Sunday, August 11, 2013

Angels vs. Rangers: 8/5 & 8/6

The Texas Rangers came into town for the second of three series in Anaheim to face their AL West rival, the Angels. I'm always excited any time Texas comes into town, as most of their big names (Beltre, Nathan, etc., etc.) always seem to sign a good amount of autographs each series. In fact, I think the only guy on the team that I haven't gotten is Yu Darvish, who for some reason seems to sign everywhere but Anaheim.So I was able to make it down to Angel Stadium for the first two games of the three game series.

Game One (8/5/13):

Game one of the series turned out to be a major bust (for me at least). To start things off, there were at least twenty people waiting pre-game, which almost surely meant that few, if any, Rangers were going to stop and sign. Sure enough, that was the case, and I was able to salvage one David Murphy signed card, who signed for everyone as usual.

Batting practice was also a bust for the most part. I was able to get Elvis Andrus thanks to some connections, but I'm currently in the process of trading it to a friend, so I didn't bother taking a photo. I also missed out on Matt Garza, who apparently signed down the line while I was waiting near the dugout. I was, however, able to get the "Dutch Oven", otherwise known as Derek Holland. Derek was cool as usual and signed for a ton of fans before and after BP, he also stuck to his usual of strictly one item per person.

Finally, Adrian Beltre signed after pre-game stretches. I'd say Adrian signed at least 15-20 autos, but for some reason he kept avoiding my baseball. At the time, I was frustrated due to the way my day had been going, but I made up for it by getting a second chance at Beltre the next day.

Meanwhile, I caught up with my friend Kyle, who was able to score big today by getting to go down on the field as part of a contest for charity that he won. I won't say exactly what he got, but I will tell you to check out his Instagram page (linked above) to see more. I will also tell you that he was one of two people to get Rod Carew on the day, so in the end, he had one of the better days all season.

Post game was so bad that I'm barely going to waist a minute on it. Let's put it like this, Beltre signed for five people, I didn't get him, we were yelled at by Leonys Martin when we took one step towards him and Jurickson Profar, A.J. Pierzynski signed in the front, but I was in the back (of course), and Joe Nathan came out around midnight, after all but one grapher had left. On to day number two.

Game Two (8/6/13):

My plan for the day was simple, sleep in, get to the stadium later than usual (when Beltre and Nathan usually come in) and hope to do better than I did on the first day. Luckily, my day went exactly according to plan, and I was able to get my first autograph of the day from Adrian Beltre, who kindly signed by Rawling Gold Glove baseball across the sweetspot.

I was really surprised that there were only six of us when Beltre signed, compared to the crazy amount of people that were waiting on the day prior. I guess a lot of people took Monday off and had to go back to work on Tuesday, but either way, it was better for me. The next person to sign was David Murphy, who once again rolled up in a cab and signed. I don't usually ask the same player for an autograph twice during a series, but I made an exception as only one other person asked David for an autograph. 

Later that night, I realized that the photo in the 2013 Topps Archives card above is the same exact photo that they used in the 2013 Topps Heritage card, which I got signed yesterday. Here's a side-by-side photo for proof.

Anyways, it was about 3:00 o'clock and the other five graphers slowly started to leave, which meant that I was the only grapher there waiting for Joe Nathan. This turned out to be a savior for me as Joe came in a major hurry, and probably wouldn't of stopped if there were more than just one person there. He was kind enough to sign my 2013 All-Star baseball under the logo.

I decided to skip BP for the first time in a while and instead went back home and did some necessary things. It's amazing how much more you can get done around the house in five hours compared to at a baseball stadium. It turned out to be a great idea, as when I came back for post-game, I heard that just a handful of players signed, all of which I had from prior games.

When I got back for post-game I was again surprised by how small the crowd was, which again was better for me and the other six or seven graphers waiting. The first person to walk out and sign was recent call up, Engel Beltre (not related to Adrian). I was the only person to approach Engel and he was kind enough to sign a pair of cards.

Next out was Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar. This was a major surprise as none of us expected to see either of the two walk out the front. Everybody automatically assumed that Profar wasn't going to signed, so while the other six graphers went after Andrus, I went up to Profar, one on one. To my surprise, he actually grabbed my card and signed it, unfortunately, as he handed it back, it smudged, but I was still thrilled to finally get the #1 prospect in baseball.

Profar ended up signing for one more little kid, then denied everyone else, so it was definitely a good decision on my part, especially since Andrus gave out his rare, short signature to everyone.

The last person to walk out was A.J. Pierzynski. A.J. is one of the more hated players around baseball (and especially in Anaheim) for his cocky attitude. I, however, like him, and besides that play back in 2005, I have nothing against him as a fan of baseball. A.J. was kind enough to sign my ROMLB across the sweetspot.

That concluded a very successful day and series for me. A big shout out to Kyle, Benson, Daniel, Ryan, and everybody else that I saw out there. Thanks for reading!  

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