Saturday, September 27, 2014

GTSM Show: 9/27/14

If you've been reading my blog for long enough, you probably read about my trip up to San Francisco last October for GT Sports Marketing's annual Bay Area Show. Fast forward to September 27, 2014 and GTSM was back in the Bay Area for another autograph show, and I found myself, once again, making the trip up to Northern California.

This year's show happened to include a change of venue from the Cow Palace in San Francisco to the Santa Clara Convention Center. The convention center is located right across the street from the 49ers new stadium, Levi's Stadium, and being a Niner fan it was a must to snap a couple of pics.

Levi's Stadium, home of the 49ers
The show itself was actually pretty weak compared to past shows. There were only a few vendors and mostly everything was overpriced. I ended up buying just a few cards I found while waiting around between signings. Also, the volunteers "working" the event were pretty pathetic. I usually don't complain about staff, but something should be said when customers who are paying hundreds of dollars are being treated like crap throughout the day.

Now for the autographs, I was able to get former San Francisco Giant Kevin Mitchell and current Giant pitcher Tim Hudson on ROMLB's. Both guys were very friendly and Mitchell was kind enough to inscribe "NL 1989 MVP" for free.

Kevin Mitchell (left) and Tim Hudson (right)
One of the bigger names at the show was boxing legend Mike Tyson. I was given a Tyson glove as a gift from a friend a while back, but wanted to get a nice 11x14 to go with it. The photo was nearly bend in half by Tyson's handler, but luckily the top loader below it helped to protect the photo and it ended up just fine.

Mike Tyson autographed 11x14
I know that the photo can be a bit difficult to see with the glare, but if anyone can tell me who Tyson is knocking out in the photo above, I would be very appreciative.

Now for the guy that most people attended the event for, MLB's Home Run King (Yes, he still is in the record books.), Barry Bonds. Yes, Bonds cheated, and yes, he lied to a grand jury, but he is still very much loved by San Francisco fans, and that was apparent by the 300 tickets they sold in less than two months. This was Bonds' first autograph signing in over ten years, so I decided to go big and get a couple of premiums signed, starting with an authentic jersey signed and inscribed "7x MVP".

Barry Bonds autograph jersey
As you can see, I got the jersey PSA'd along with the Bonds hologram, which is the silver hologram below. Bonds also hand signed each COA that was given out for free along with the hologram.

I was also able to get a Bonds model SSK bat signed along with "#762 HR's" along with the dual authentication.

Barry Bonds autographed bat
Overall it was a very successful and expensive day. I'm very happy with how each and every item came out and am looking forward to attending next year's event. As always, thanks for reading!

The final haul

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blake Griffin: 9/15/14

On Monday, September 15th, the OC Dugout hosted an autograph signing with Clipper star Blake Griffin. The prices for the event were actually comparable to the last autograph signing that Griffin did after his rookie season in 2011, in fact premium items were only $150 compared to $125 at his last signing. Griffin also has an exclusive autograph deal with Panini Authentics, which makes it rare to get a clean, legible signature from him without paying.

The autograph signing was announced last minute, which can be a nightmare for any grapher at times. Luckily I was able to find a pair of 2011 Nike Hyperdunks at a local shoe store, and picked them up on my way down to the autograph signing.

Blake Griffin autographed Nike Hyperdunks
These happened to be the same color-wave and design that Griffin wore when he won the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest, so I decided to get the left shoe inscribed "'11 Slam Dunk Champ".

Griffin autograph (right) and inscription (left)
All items included free Panini Authentication, and as a bonus you were able to take free pictures with Griffin. A big thanks to my friend Marc for taking these photos of Blake and I.

Griffin is one of the humblest athletes that I've ever met, and has been that way for a while now. He may get a bad rap for "only being able to dunk", but his overall game is improving at a rapid pace. Best of luck to him and the Clippers in the 2014-15 season and, as always, thanks for reading.