Friday, March 22, 2013
A Day of Graphing: Grant Hill, Matt Greene and Jarret Stoll Signings
Friday was one of the busiest graphing days in Southern California in a while. With all of the local baseball teams being in Arizona for Spring Training, autographing has taken a turn for the worst here in the past month or so. Fortunately, this week the signings have been at a premium, and with me being on Spring Break, things couldn't have picked up at a better time!
Grant Hill Signing at Kia of Carson:
I started off the day with a trip down to Carson for former NBA Rookie of the Year Grant Hill. From what I heard from other graphers, this was Grant's first appearance in Southern California, and it happened to fall on a perfect day for me. With it being a Friday and many people being at work, I figured that I wouldn't have to get to the signing super early in order for me to be guaranteed an autograph, and indeed I was right. I got to the Kia dealership around 11:30 (the signing was scheduled start at 2:30) and found myself only about 20 people back from the front of the line.
Grant, like most Clipper players, ended up showing up about 45 minutes late, however the wait went by fast as a majority of the autographing community was there to talk to. When I went up to Grant he couldn't have been more pleasant. He was very personable and taking time to talk to all of the fans for a quick second. Due to the line being long (about 250 people) there was a strict one-per person rule put on the signing, but to be honest, I think Grant would have gladly signed everything for everyone. In fact, a few of the first people came out with multiple things signed, but unfortunately security began to catch on and would only let Grant sign one item. One person asked Grant for a second item and he said "Sorry, she's the bad person today" pointing at one of the Clippers public relations people. That got a good laugh from the crowd.
Grant made up for the one per limit by putting anything and everything you asked for on your item. My friend Larry ended up getting three or four inscriptions on his official NCAA basketball. My mother and I, however, just stuck to one inscription on each of our photographs, and Grant was kind enough to put "Blue Devils!" on my 11x14 and "7x All Star!" on the 8x10 that my mother got for me. It was really nice to see Grant be such a class act like he was, he has always been one of my favorite players and now I'm glad to see him on my favorite team. Hopefully he can finally get a ring this season and go out on top! A big thanks to Grant for being the class act that he was and taking the time to sign. I ended up hearing that Grant stayed just under 3 hours instead of the 1 hour that he was scheduled for! Also a big thanks to Kia of Carson for putting on this great event. I thought about going back in line for a second time, but instead I decided to head down the road a bit for another signing that was starting in a few hours.
Matt Greene and Jarret Stoll Signing:
I got a last minute tip in line from one of my good friends that Matt Greene and Jarret Stoll were signing at a near-by Verizon Wireless in Torrance. I felt like a complete idiot since the signing had been well advertised for over a week. I also apparently forgot about an Antwan Jamison signing the night previous that I had planned on attending, I guess going to Arizona threw my dates off. Anyways, after hearing the tip I became increasingly interested in the signing. Greene is typically a tough autograph to get and Stoll is just one of those guys that never seem to do public appearances, at least none that I'm aware of. However I had left all of my Kings stuff back at home, which was well over an hour away. I was a little frustrated since I had a ton of Greene cards and a few Stoll cards, as well as an official Kings puck that I've been trying to get signed which were all left lying in my closet. Luckily Larry, who sells supplies such as photos, balls, etc. at almost every event in the area, had some photos of the two. Also another one of my friends gave me an extra blank puck to get signed. Since I was facing a nearly three hour drive home with traffic, I figured that it wouldn't be a terrible idea to let traffic die down a bit and go to the signing.
When I got to the signing there were a good 100 people already lined up. I always seem to forget that the Kings have had a growing fan base here in So-Cal ever since they won the Stanley Cup last season. I'm not calling these fans bandwagoners, but all I can say is that there were never this many fans at Kings signings before last season. By the time the signing started there were a good 300 people lined up. Luckily Greene and Stoll showed up together a few minutes early and started signing right away. Both players were blowing through the line and they got through the hundred or so people in front of us in about 25 minutes. Again there was a one item per-person rule enforced, but there was really nobody to enforce it. Both players were pretty much signing anything you laid down in front of them. I only had two items for each player, and one of which my mother was getting signed for me, so instead of asking for multiples, I asked for inscriptions. Both players were kind enough to put "2012 Stanley Cup Champs" on each of the celebratory 8x10s that I had.
Both players were also kind enough to sign an item for my mother as well. P.S.- I've been getting a lot of questions lately asking if my mother has her own collection. So you know, she does not. She could really care less about the autograph, but instead just likes meeting the players and getting the extra autograph for me.
Overall it was a fantastic day of graphing. I ended up being out of the house from about 10 am to 8:30 pm but overall, I think it was a day well spent. A big thanks to Grant, Matt and Jarret for signing. Also, a big shout out to everyone who I talked to today (too many to name). By the way, if you ever see me at an event, make sure to come up and say hi. I enjoy meeting my everyday readers and find it cool that people recognize me. Like my friend David from David's Autograph Signings warned me, I'm getting famous! (lol) Thanks for reading!