Saturday, March 23, 2013

Caron Butler at Westfield Culver City

          First off, I would like to apologize for getting this post up so late. I've been very busy this past week with school, sports, etc. and writing a recap has been the last thing on my mind. This past Saturday I made the trip out to the Five Four clothing store at the Westfield Culver City mall to meet Clippers forward Caron Butler. This was my second straight day attending a Clippers signing and I honestly didn't know whether to expect a big turnout like the Grant Hill signing or a small turnout. The signing was very sketchy and there was some serious communication problems between the store and the fans. The Facebook page created by the store for the event specifically listed that Caron "would be signing autographs for exactly one hour", however, if you called the store they told you that it was only a meet and greet and that Caron wasn't signing. I wanted to believe that this would keep the crowd to a minimum, but with the way the Clippers fan base has been growing, I just didn't know what to expect.

          I ended up getting to the mall around 9:30 and noticed just a small line of nine people formed along side the store. Surprisingly, none of the regulars were among the first nine or so people. I made some calls to people and sure enough, the uncertainty about Caron actually signing autographs kept almost all of the regulars at home. This was relatively good news for me, of course only if Caron would sign autographs, as I was almost certain that I wouldn't have to compete with more long lines. Caron showed up about 10 minutes early, got a quick hair cut (he doesn't have much hair to cut anyways) and went inside the store. An employee came out and informed the line that it was only a meet and greet, and that Caron wasn't obligated to sign any autographs, however if we wanted something signed, we could ask Caron personally and it would be up to him. While it didn't exactly confirm that he would sign autographs, it did get my hopes up. Then the moment of truth came, the second person to walk up to him asked him to sign her ball, and he obliged! By the time we got up to him, we were more than sure that he was signing. Caron was very friendly and very personable to all of the fans. Since it was an actually meet and greet, the workers did not rush you through the line. They actually encouraged you to talk to him and take photographs with him. Caron was nice enough to sign an 8x10 photograph of him, Deandre Jordan, and Blake Griffin for me, as well as one out of three cards for my mother, who was probably the most excited to meet Caron.

          As you can see, the photograph now only needs Blake's autograph on it to complete it. The nice thing about this photo is that all three of the guys are fairly accessible. The photo was taken before the Chris Paul trade last December, so it is one of the few Clippers group photographs that don't have CP3 on it. Blake is not that hard of an autograph to get, it's just about being at the right place at the right time. I've gotten his autograph before, but at the time I didn't have the photo. After I do get Blake, I'll pry get it PSA'd and professionally frame it with a blue and red mat over it. Once I get all of that done, it pry becomes a $500+ piece and a centerpiece of my collection. It's not that I ever plan to sell any of my stuff, but you never know what will come up in life. Family comes first before anything, and if something tragic were to come up at ay point of my life, it's just nice to know that I have an emergency "fund", so to speak, in my room that could definitely help any situation.  

          Overall only about 100 people showed up and only a couple of regular graphers were amongst the crowd. A big thanks to the Five Four store for putting on the event as well as Caron Butler for being so cool and friendly. Baseball season is right around the corner and my adventures will pick up as April turns into May and May turns into June (which is when I get out for Summer Break). To name off a few guys I got last year... Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Matt Kemp, Jered Weaver, R.A. Dickey, David Price, Josh Hamilton, and many more! So make sure to continue checking for many new posts in the upcoming months! Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your week! 

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