Sunday, November 30, 2014

Clayton Kershaw: 11/30/14

2014 NL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to appear at the LA Auto Show on Sunday, November 30th. There was an unusual amount of confusion leading up to the event after the appearance information was taken off of the Auto Show's page and Acura's Twitter account. As it turned out, they actually took down the information in order to keep the crowd smaller, which is one of the first times I've ever heard of a promoter wanting less people to show up.

Even after confirming that Kershaw would still be signing there was still some confusion in the air. None of the Acura employees seemed to know whether or not Kershaw would be signing outside items or not. I was fully expecting Kershaw to not sign any outside items but figured it was worth a shot to get a free autograph from the game's best pitcher.

2014 NL MVP Clayton Kershaw
Sure enough it was announced at the very last second that Kershaw would only signed the provided photos. My last hope was that the photos would at least be of decent quality, but sadly they were printed on cheap photo paper with a nice, bold Acura logo on the upper left-hand corner.

Clayton Kershaw autographed photos
I'm sure Acura and all of their employees running the event knew well before that Kershaw would not being signing any outside items. It makes me really disrespect their company the way they handled the event compared to the way Kia handled their past Blake Griffin signings at the Auto Show. I'll still gladly take two free autographs from the best pitcher in baseball, but I really wish that the employees would've answered honestly when being asked a question directly. Rant over. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson: 11/22/14

NFL's all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith and former league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson were on hand to sign autographs at the Frank & Sons collectors show. Smith and Tomlinson were two guys that I've wanted to meet for a while, and while Smith's high prices turned away a lot of collectors, I was able to use some of my birthday cash from the day prior to get my 11x14 signed with "HOF 2010".

Emmitt Smith autographed 11x14
Photo credits to my friend Mikey Pele
Emmitt was very friendly and a pleasure to meet which made me feel a little bit better about dropping that kind of money for an autograph. Thankfully LaDainian Tomlinson wasn't charging nearly as much, and I was able to get him to sign my official NFL football with "2006 NFL MVP".

LaDainian Tomlinson autographed football
Overall it was a great experience meeting two NFL greats and a good way to cap off my 16th birthday weekend. There is slowly becoming more and more football graphing opportunities in Southern California which will hopefully continue until Los Angeles finally gets a football team back. Until then, thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Andre Reed: 11/15/14

2014 Football Hall of Fame inductee Andre Reed was scheduled to sign autographs at Dr. Alex Corbin Liu's optometry office this Saturday. If you've read any of my blog posts over the past couple of weeks, you've probably seen me mention this signing at least once or twice. Well Saturday was the big day and after my photographs nearly came late (despite paying for overnight shipping FOUR DAYS AGO) I finally had the chance to meet Reed for the first time since being inducted in to the Hall of Fame. I was able to get a pair of Photofile 11x14's signed, both with "7x Pro Bowler" and "HOF 14".

Andre Reed autographed 11x14 #1
Andre Reed autographed 11x14 #2
The signing was going great until Reed dropped my Sharpie on the first photograph, which subsequently left a big mark right below his foot. Had it not been for some friends in the graphing community, the photo would have basically been ruined, but luckily someone suggested tracing over the marking with an Expo erase marker. It ended up working like a charm, but the true moral of the story came before I erased the mark. Dr. Liu saw the photo and after I explained to him what had happened, he immediately gave me a free 8x10 and autograph ticket. In a world where most promoters are greedy it's nice to see someone like Dr. Liu who cares about his customers, which is why I advertise his signings in the first place. A big thanks to Dr. Liu for putting on the event and handling the situation like a professional, also a thanks to Andre Reed, who was as cool the second time I met him as he was the first. Thanks for reading!

Photo creds go to my bud Spencer for this one

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Jim Abbott: 11/8/14 Continued...

After getting Don Sutton's autograph in Whittier, I quickly made my way over to Irvine for another autograph signing. Former Angel and one-armed pitcher Jim Abbott was signing autographs at the grand opening of a new Sports Authority at the Irvine Spectrum. The event was kept under the radar until the very last minute, and most graphers that I talked to after the event had no idea that it was going on. That, of course, was ideal for me as I was in and out with five autographs in under 20 minutes.

Jim Abbott autographed Yankee Stadium ball
Jim Abbott autographed ROMLB

Jim Abbott autographed cards
The fifth and final autograph was a photo provided at the event that I got for my brother-in-law, so I did not take a picture of that. Overall it was one of the easier events that I had been to and a great chance to meet one of the most inspiring players in MLB history. On a side note, Abbott is a big Detroit Lions fan and talked some smack to me after noticing my 49ers iPhone case. I just wish that I could talk to him today after the Niners overtime win against the Saints.

A final reminder to all Southern California graphers that 2014 HOF inductee Andre Reed will be at Dr. Alex Corbin Liu's office next weekend. Tickets are just $30 for flats and mini's and $40 for premiums. If anyone from outside of California wants any photos signed then contact Dr. Liu, he usually has a few left over after every signing. 

As always, thanks for reading!

Don Sutton: 11/8/14

This past weekend I had the opportunity to meet Hall of Fame pitcher and 300 game winner Don Sutton. Sutton was scheduled to do a paid signing at Harry's Dugout in Whittier, his first Southern California autograph appearance since 2001. While many of my friends have had success getting Sutton during his west coast trips with the Braves, I knew that this would be my best chance to get his autograph since I try to limit trips to Dodger Stadium and Petco Park as much as possible.

My original plan was to have Sutton sign a Dodger Stadium 50th Anniversary baseball, however I was not able to find one in time for the event, so I switched up my plans and went to a HOF ball instead. I also decided to pay for two inscription instead of one, and had him sign it on the sweet spot with "324 Wins" and "HOF 98".

Don Sutton autographed HOF baseball
I'm more than happy with the way the ball came out and my decision to pay for Sutton's autograph. The event was well run and Sutton was one of the nicer guys I've met in quite a while. Also it'll save me the stress of trying to get him the next time I graph the Braves (whenever that may be). A big thanks to Harry's Dugout for putting on a great event and bringing a much needed baseball HOF'er to SoCal.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Don Newcombe: 11/1/14

On Saturday, November 1st, I had the honor of meeting former Brooklyn Dodger Don Newcombe. "Newk" played with Brooklyn from 1949 to 1958, and even won a World Series title in 1955 along side one of his friends, Jackie Robinson. He compiled 122 wins in 11 MLB seasons and was the only pitcher in baseball history to win the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and Most Valuable Player awards until Justin Verlander did so. I decided to pay for Newcombe's autograph after realizing that he was already 88 years old. I had passed on getting him a few times in past, but didn't want to make the same mistake that some people made with Tony Gwynn amongst other former players. With that being said, I decided to get Newcombe on a ROMLB with "1st Cy Young 1956".

Don Newcombe autographed baseball
I find it funny that even at 88 years old, Newcombe can still sign his name better than 95% of current athletes. Obviously he wasn't in the greatest condition, but he still talked to everyone that he signed for and even gave me a fist bump at the end which I thought was neat. I'll have another baseball post likely by next weekend, but until then, thanks for reading!