Saturday, March 30, 2013
Freeway Series Graphing at Angel Stadium
On Saturday I made the trip out to good ol' Angel Stadium to graph game three of the Dodgers vs. Angels exhibition series. This was my first time back at Angel Stadium since late September, and to say I was excited would be an understatement. I planned an all-day outing and was hoping that the effort would pay off.
When I pulled into the parking lot it was literally like Christmas morning for me. Last year I attended over 50 games, so as you could imagine, I became quite familiar with the place. I was also happy to see most of my graphing friends already waiting including Nancy, Kieth, David, Alex, Josh, and many more. To top things off I was able to get plenty of autographs including a few studs.
Chad Billingsley was the first Dodger to come over and sign. I have always had a tough time obtaining Billingsley's autograph, so I was happy to check his name off the list early. Chad was signing one item per person, but luckily my good friend Jim had nothing for him and got the card on the right signed for me. Thanks Chad and thanks Jim!
Don Mattingly also came over and signed. Don is simply one of the best when it comes to signing. It looked at first as if he was in a hurry and wasn't going to sign, but he broke down and signed for a good 25 people.
My favorite item I got was by far my Josh Beckett signed baseball. Josh was one of the biggest jerks when he was with Boston, however has mellowed down a bit since coming to Los Angeles. He was kind enough to sign my Rawlings official baseball across the sweetspot.
I got really lucky with getting Kenley Jansen's autograph. Kenley walked half way down the barricade and then walked directly over to me. He signed my photo, David's photo, and a card for Alex and then left. All three of us were extremely lucky to get Kenley's autograph.
I then headed back to the front of the stadium to catch some of the broadcasters. The first guy to come in was Mark Langston. Langston is always cool about signing and never has turned down an autograph request to my knowledge. Mark was kind enough to sign two more cards for me to add to the collection. You can never get enough of a 4x All-Star and 7x Gold Glove winner!
Rick Monday then came in. Monday was one of my main goals coming into the day since I needed him on my 1981 Dodgers World Series photo. I was the first person to approach Monday and he was more than happy to sign the photo for me. The gates of the stadium then opened and I went inside for batting practice. There wasn't much going on at all until after BP when some of the players came out to stretch.
Clayton Kershaw then started signing autographs over the dugout. Kershaw ran with a black Sharpie the entire time and wasn't sweetspoting. I didn't want to pass up a free autograph from one of the most dominant pitchers in the game, so I threw down my 2011 All-Star Game ball which Clayton signed under the reverse Rawlings logo. Hey, it's still a Keshaw autograph!
Carl Crawford then came over just before the game and signed for five of us. He used my blue ball-point pen pen but I guess he couldn't hear me when I asked for the sweetspot. Unfortunately the music was really loud and the crowd was cheering since they were introducing the Angels line-up, so I can't say I was surprised that he didn't hear me.
As for the rest of the autographs, here they are followed by some numbers...
Kevin Gregg- 4/4
Chris Capuano- 2/5
Justin Sellers- 4/4
Chad Billingsley- 2/4
Nick Punto- 1/4
Ken Howell- 2/2
Mark Langston- 2/2
Rick Honeycutt- 1/1
Tim Wallach- 1/4
Josh Beckett- 1/1 (baseball)
Don Mattingly- 1/1 (8x10 photo)
Kenley Jansen- 1/1 (8x10 photo)
Rick Monday- 1/1 (W.S. trophy photo)
Clayton Kershaw- 1/1 (11' A.S. ball)
Carl Crawford- 1/1 (baseball)
Total- 25 autographs
Overall it was a solid day of graphing. I think I was just more excited to be back at the stadium then to graph. It makes April 9th (Angels home opener) seem a lot closer! A big thanks to all of the players that signed for me and a big shout out to everybody the I saw and/or graphed with. Thanks for reading and happy Easter!