The 2015 MLB season is officially underway and the Kansas City Royals came to Anaheim for the first regular season series at the Big A. Historically, the Royals have always been an autograph friendly team, however you could definitely tell the difference in the players' attitudes now that they're legitimate contenders. Still, it was nice to be back at the ballpark and hanging out with friends.
Game One (4/10/15):
Pre-game was, as expected, rough for autographs. Like all Opening Day games, the stadium was packed and there was very little room to move around. It did not help either that Angel Stadium (and all MLB stadiums, for that matter) installed metal detectors at the front gates. Let's just say that I've gotten through airport security quicker than I got into the stadium. I was still able to get autographs from two of the nicest guys in baseball, Kris Meden and Danny Duffy, before the game started.
The three cards at the bottom were all signed after the game by So-Cal native Mike Moustakas, Jason Vargas, and Chris Young.
As usual, the Angels had a big pregame ceremony to celebrate the new season. This included a fly-over, player introductions, etc. If you've never been to an Opening Day game, I recommend doing so. It's a great experience for any baseball fan.
On hand to throw out the first pitch was former Angel pitcher Mike Witt. Witt has always been a tough autograph to get since he rarely comes to Angel games and does not sign TTM (through the mail). The only times that I've seen him at the ballpark was during the Angels 50th anniversary season in 2011. Ironically, I saw him at both games that I went to this weekend, and had him sign a ROMLB.
I had to ask Witt to sign it under the sweet spot instead of on it. That's because I planned on turning it into a dual ball with Mark Langston. Langston and Witt threw the first (and only) combined No-Hitter in Angel history on April 11th, 1990, so I had Langston, who started the game, sign it on the sweet spot with the inscription later that night.
The ball might be irrelevant to anyone else, but for an Angel fan like myself, it's a great piece to have.
Game Two (4/11/15):
Game two was pretty much a carbon copy of game one. I didn't do great the first half of the day and only got some cards signed by a few Royals.
Amongst those five cards you'll notice a card signed by Jeff Montgomery. Montgomery is the Royals all-times saves leader, and I had no idea that he was traveling with the team until this awesome experience: While waiting for Royals players to come in, a man dressed in a Royals t-shirt came up to us and asked if we were autograph seekers. Of course, we said yes and the man proceeded to ask if he could borrow a Sharpie. One of my friends, Jeremy, asked if he was a fan looking for autographs and the man replies, "No, I'm an old player and got these cards in the mail to sign. I asked the front desk for a Sharpie and they didn't have one". He then pulled out some cards from an envelope and it was none other than Jeff Montgomery. He ended up giving me one of the cards since I let him use my Sharpie, so if anyone gets their Montgomery TTM back one short, thanks for the card.
My day took a turn for the better right before the game started as I was able to get the best player in baseball, Mike Trout to sign a ball. Trout ran with a blue Sharpie right before the game was about to start, and I didn't have time to pull out anything other than my ball, but I can't complain since I was one of the very few that he sweet spotted.
The final autograph I got came from Eric Karros. Karros was calling the game for Fox Sports 1 and stopped to sign on his way out. Unfortunately he was in a hurry and was giving out sloppy autographs. Had I known this I wouldn't have asked for an autograph, but he was still kind enough to add "92 ROY".
That wrapped up the weekend. A shout out to the usual including Mike, David, Ryan, Phil, Scotty, and others. Thanks for reading!