The Atlanta Braves traveled to San Diego for the first of three games against the Padres on Monday. The Braves are filled with a ton of young stars such as Evan Gattis, Freddie Freeman, Craig Kimbrel, and Justin Upton, so it was obvious why I made the trip down to Petco Park for what ended up being a great day of graphing.
The day actually got off to a rough start. Both my friend Rob, who I met up with earlier, and I just barely missed Brian McCann, who took a taxi through the back entrance. That was a big blow for Rob since he had a 2010 All-Star ball that he wanted signed by McCann. I remained shutout for the next two hours, and I was beginning to think that making the trip down to San Diego was a bad idea. Thankfully, former Angel Jordan Walden walked in and signed three cards for me.
Jordan and I had actually talked quite a bit when he was an Angel, so it was nice to catch up with him and tell him how much the Angels need him right now (like he doesn't know).
While getting on the board was nice, I was still hoping to get an autograph from at least one of the big names. No disrespect to Walden, but I had gotten him so many times prior that it wasn't worth a trip to San Diego for. Luckily, things started to turn around as both Craig Kimbrel and Julio Tehran walked up and signed. Craig was kind enough to sign a ROMLB across the sweetspot with the "NL ROY 2011" inscription, as well as an official 2013 World Baseball Classic ball.
Like I said above, Julio Teheran came in with Kimbrel. Teheran was actually one of my bigger goals coming into the afternoon, however he was scheduled to start, so I figured my chances were slim-to-none. With that in mind, I went after Kimbrel first, but to my surprise, Teheran began signing for a few fans and my decision to go after Kimbrel nearly cost me his autograph. I had to catch Teheran about five feet in front of the players entrance, but thankfully I was able to get him on my ROMLB across the sweetspot.
After Kimbrel and Teheran, things started to get much, much hotter. It was almost as if they opened the flood gates for all of the other players to come, as it seemed like there was a player walking up every five minutes. I ended up getting Justin Upton, Evan Gattis, and Freddie Freeman to sign ROMLB's for me.
Things started to finally cool down around 3:30, and that's when Rob and I decided to go and get something to eat before returning to the stadium for batting practice. This turned out to be a mistake as we missed Hall of Famer Don Sutton, who came in right after we left.
We then returned back to the stadium gates where we were let inside for one of the worst batting practices I have ever experienced. Quite a few of the Braves signed, however I missed almost every one including Justin Upton (again), Jason Heyward, and Andeltron Simmons. The only autographs I was able to get came from Jordan Schafer, Feddy Gonzalez, Terry Pendleton, and Gerald Laird.
I then went over to the Padres' side for pre-game stretches, where I was finally able to get Chase Headley to sign a ROMLB across the sweetspot.
I don't know what it is about Chase, but I always seem to be unlucky when it comes to getting his autograph. I've had to of missed out on that guy at least five times in the past two years, and the only other time I got his autograph came at a Padres game last year, where I got him to sign a card, so I was actually quite happy to finally get Chase on a baseball.
That was it for the day. I could of stayed and tried post-game, but I had already gotten just about everybody that I needed/wanted. On top of that, my mother and I had a long trip home, so in the best interest in both of us, I decided to leave after the third inning and call it a day, and a great one at that. Thanks for reading!