Saturday, September 21, 2013

Garret Anderson Signing at Angel Stadium: 9/21/13

After getting Garrett Richards earlier in the morning, I made my way over to Angel Stadium where Angel alumni Garret Anderson was scheduled to sign. Since I had some time to pass before the signing began, I decided to graph the Mariners pre-game, however, most of the Mariners decided to take the team bus in, so nobody notable signed. Luckily, right as I was about to call it quits on the Mariners, Joe Saunders came in. Saunders was scheduled to pitch, so everyone was a bit surprised to see him stop and sign. "Saundo" was kind enough to sign my Angels bobblehead from 2010.

After getting Saunders, I made my way over to the CarMax tent where the Anderson signing was scheduled to take place. I got in line only a few people from the front and after a while of waiting, Garret finally showed up.
To my surprise, the Angels staff were allowing two items per person and inscriptions to top things off. I decided to take full advantage of the opportunity and got Anderson on a 2003 All-Star baseball, which he inscribed "2003 ASG MVP" upon my request.
I was also able to get a 2002 All-Star baseball (left) and thanks to some help, a 2005 All-Star baseball (right) signed, completing the Garret Anderson "all-star set".
A big shout out to Kyle (who helped me out with one of the All-Star balls), Victor, David P, Benson, Larry, Josh, Mike, and everybody else. Baseball season is almost over, but luckily I have a few games left. Thanks for reading!

Garrett Richards Signing at OC Dugout: 9/21/13

After a few days of debating, I finally decided to cough up the money and go to the OC Dugout for the Garrett Richards signing on Saturday. Usually, I do not attend paid signings since most of the players are either over-priced or easy to get for free at games, however the Dugout was charging a reasonable $20 for Richards, who has become tougher to get over time. So I decided to spend the money and get a clean, sit-down signature.

Richards wasn't the only Angel signing on Saturday, as the Dugout also had C.J. Wilson, Kole Calhoun, Dane De LaRosa, and Jerome Williams at the store, however Richards was the only one I was interested in paying for. When I got inside the store, we were separated into five lines, with each one containing a different player. The Richards line was one of the shortest, and when I got up to him, he was as nice as could be. I decided to get a ROMLB signed with an inscription, which was an extra $5. The ball ended up coming out great, and Richards was kind enough to add "First MLB Win 6-5-12" on the side of the ball.

On my way out of the store, I realized that I had unknowingly parked next to C.J. Wilson. Here are a couple of photos of his nice ride.

Is it sad that I know all of these guys' cars? Yes. Do I care? No. Like they say, there's a price that comes with being famous.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

2013 Angels Fiesta: 9/7/13

After the Howie Kendrick signing in Fullerton, I decided to make my way over to Angel Stadium for the 2013 Angels Fiesta. The Fiesta was basically the Angels version of a fan-fest, with player appearances, food, music, and games being advertised as part of the free event. I really had no idea what to expect, and with no announcement as to which players would be appearing, I was forced to bring some generic items and hope that I would be in the right place at the right time.

When I arrived at the event, I noticed that all of the coaches excluding Mike Scioscia were signing in the first group. The only guy that even intrigued me was Alfredo Griffin, who is usually a tough signer, but I decided to skip that portion and instead head to the back of the stadium to try and get some Angels coming in.

As usual, none of the players stopped and signed except for Jerome Williams, so I made my way back over to the Fiesta where the second group of players had just began signing. Luckily, the second group was a bit better than the first, and included J.B. Shuck, Michael Kohn, Dan DeLaRosa, Ryan Braiser, and Peter Bourjos, who I jumped in line for first. I was able to get Peter on an 11x14 photo of Angel Stadium, which was my generic piece for most of the signers.

I was then able to jump in Michael Kohn's line and have him sign the photo as well (upper-left corner) and was able to get Hank Conger (right) to sign it in the next group. Hopefully I can add a few more players to the photo as time goes along.

After getting Kohn I jumped back in Bourjos' line knowing that the third group of players would be signing shortly. Luckily, I was in the right line as Josh Hamilton came over and switched out with Bourjos. As you could imagine, there was a lot of moving around and switching lines going on, but luckily I was only about ten people from the front of the line, so I was guaranteed an autograph from Josh, and he was kind enough to sign my 2011 All-Star baseball underneath the logo.

I then hopped into Mark Trumbo's line, but time had run out just before I got up to him. That concluded the current player's autograph sessions, and only alumni were left. Unfortunately, all of the alumni were ones that I have gotten plenty of times in the past (Percival, Langston, Gubicza, Clyde Wright, and Grich) so I decided to pass and call it a day. A big shout out to Kyle, Ryan, Bryan, Scotty (who's doing much better after begin assaulted earlier in the week), Scott Cr, Ken, Moe, Joe, and Jeremy. Thanks for reading!

Howie Kendrick Metro PCS Signing: 9/7/13

Angels second baseman and former American League All-Star Howie Kendrick made an appearance at the Metro PCS store in Fullerton on Saturday afternoon. The signing was not very well advertised by the Angels or Metro PCS, as it was officially announced Wednesday afternoon, leaving little time to inform fans about the event. With that said, I decided to catch up on some sleep and arrive around 10:30, with the signing scheduled to begin about an hour later. Sure enough, it was the right move, as I was 74th in line once I got there.

Kendrick ended up arriving early to the signing, which is always surprising considering that most players barely bother to show up on time, and got to signing right away. The line moved fast and before I knew it, I was next in line to meet Howie. When I got up to him it was a quick and friendly exchange. He basically just said "hi", thanked me for coming out, and then signed my bat. I was also able to get a quick photo with Kendrick before leaving.

My mom was just a couple people behind me, and she was able to get a ROMLB across the sweet spot signed for me.

As you can see, Howie has one of the nicer signatures in baseball, which is one of the reasons why I decided to drop a "premium" item on him. Also, Kendrick has become a lot tougher to get over the years, and now he rarely signs in Anaheim. A big thanks to the Metro PCS store in Fullerton for a quick and easy event, as well as Howie Kendrick for coming out and signing. With autographs in hand, it was time for me to make my way over to Angel Stadium for the Angels 2013 Fiesta.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Angels vs. Rays: 9/2 & 9/5

The Tampa Bay Rays came in town for a four game series against the Angels this past weekend. This will probably be the shortest of all my series recap's this season, as I'm basically going to mash both days into one quick post. I ended up not bringing any cards this series, as I realized that my not-so-local card shop was closed on Monday, so instead, I decided to go down the path of getting a team ball signed by all of the players that I didn't want on ROMLB's. In the end, this is how it turned out...

Photo #1 (sweet spot): Joe Maddon
Photo #2: Sam Fuld and Kelly Johnson
Photo #3: Chris Gimenez, Jose Lobaton, Jose Molina, and David DeJesus
Photo #4: Joel Peralta and Roberto Hernandez (formerly Fautso Carmona)
Photo #5: Alex Torres and Ben Zobrist

That was it for the Rays. No Longoria, no Price, no Moore, no Myers. Luckily, I was too disappointed as I have gotten three of those four in the past.

Thursday was actually a big day at Angel Stadium, as Bobby Knoop was inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame. While Knoop didn't really catch my eye, the scheduled guests did, which included Jim Fregosi, Rod Carew, Brian Downing, Chuck Finley, and Bobby Grich, so I was looking forward to hopefully getting some Angels alumni. Unfortunately, the day got off to a bad start as I learned that my good friend Scotty was injured earlier in the day when he got attacked and assaulted by a Rays fan, who got upset after a ball got away from Scotty and one hopped into his stomach. Hopefully the legend will make a quick recovery!

The first guy to sign was Jim Fregosi, who came up through the front shortly after I arrived. Fregosi signed for about thirty people on his way in, and I was able to get the Angel legend on a ROMLB across the sweet spot.

The only other alumni I was able to get was Jay Johnstone, who was a surprise guest. Johnstone was kind enough to sign a ROMLB for me with his four World Series years on there as well.

The final guy I was able to get was Mike Trout, who ended up signing for a very good amount of people. Trout ended up signing my 2012 All-Star baseball WAY under the logo, but no complaints from me.

A big shout out to Rob G, Alex G, Eric, Lori, Benson, Ryan, Moe, Robert, Joe, Jeremy, Scotty, and everybody else that I graphed with this past week. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Matt Kemp Rehab with Rancho Cucamonga: 8/29-8/31

Dodgers' star Matt Kemp began his rehabilitation stint with the Dodgers High-A affiliate, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Thursday evening. Since I live just a few minutes away from Rancho, I figured this would be a perfect opportunity for me to rack up on Kemp without having to drive all the way out to Los Angeles, so I decided to make the most of the opportunity and attend the first three games of his scheduled rehab stint.

Game One (8/29/13):

I ended up deciding against pre-game and instead made it out to Rancho for some post-game graphing. I made it to the stadium around the fourth inning, and to no surprise, there were already 25-30 people standing around. This is usually the case with big-name players, as most of the fans get positioned early in the game. Luckily, my friends Joe, Jeremy, and Robert had prime spots right next to the clubhouse door, so I was able to join them and get in good position for an autograph.

The wait was long and wasn't helped by the humid weather and some random guy threatening my friend Robert. The guy had approached Robert trying to brag about his card which he though was worth $200. Robert then pulled up a listing of the same card on Amazon for $.88 and showed the guy, which apparently set him off. He went so far to a point where he threatened to shoot up the parking lot. Obviously he had something wrong with him, and he was detained and apparently arrested a while later. Crazy stuff.

Anyways, when Kemp finally came out I figured that I would be able to get an autograph fairly quickly and possibly have a chance to go back for a second. This was not the case as I was skipped over not once, not twice, not three times, but four times in four different spots for Kemp. Finally, I was able to get his autograph as he signed a few more before jumping in his car, and I was very relieved to have Rawlings Gold Glove baseball signed.

 Game Two (8/30/13):

Unlike the day prior, I decided to go pre-game in hopes of getting Kemp earlier and not have to deal with all of the hassle following the game. I actually was very lucky, as the game was announced as sold out on the Quakes Twitter page a few hours earlier, but apparently there were a few extra seats available and I was able to snag one for $6.

I met up with Joe who had made the trip from Anaheim for the second straight day. Joe had already gotten Kemp coming in, but wanted another photo signed for his wife, so we hustled down to the field where we got in fairly good position for an autograph. Of course, Kemp denied all autographs after he warmed up, telling everyone that he'd sign after the game, which was the case as Kemp came out around the ninth inning and began signing for the mob of people. Unlike yesterday, I was able to get Kemp on my first try, this time on a SGA bobble head from the 2010 season.

Usually, I'm not a big fan of getting bobble heads signed, but this was one of my favorite SGA's that I've seen. Plus, it had a great spot for an autograph on the light-blue wall, so I was thrilled to have it signed.

After putting the bobble head away, I wrapped around the corner and got in position by the outside gate. I was actually surprised/thrilled at how easy getting my second auto was, as I just slipped my team ball through the gate and got it signed in under a minute.

I tried going back for one final ball for a friend of mine, however by the time I put the team ball away and took the other ball out, it was too late. I do have to give a lot of credit to Kemp, he signed for at least 15 minutes, and knocked out about 100 autographs for the second straight day, and as a result I was able to add a couple more to my collection.

Game Three (8/31/13):

I knew this would be my last chance at Kemp for a while, so I was hoping to make things worth while. I had already gotten a Gold Glove ball, a bobble head, and my team ball signed, so I was hoping to get a couple of photos done before the day was over. Kemp ended up coming in very late, and only signed for three people. He also denied everyone after warm-ups inside, but like the prior two days, he signed a ton of autographs after the game.

It ended up being the craziest of all three days, but after being skipped over a couple of times, I was finally able to get in great position and got one of my two 8x10's signed.

Again, big props to Matt Kemp for taking so much time to sign post-game. I was actually surprised that he signed so much as he was being heckled by a lot of Dodger "fans". Any true fan wouldn't boo the face of the franchise. Lastly, I was able to get a photo of the four items that I was able to get signed in the three games that I attended.

A shout out to Robert, Joe, Jeremy, Brittany, Scotty, Scott Cr, Greg, and everybody else that attended any of the three games. Thanks for reading!