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!