Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dodgers vs Cardinals Game 4-17-11

This was my first Dodger game of 2011 and it was on a beautiful sunny Sunday game with my dad. My dad is a huge Dodger fan so this was one of those father/son trips out to the stadium. The Dodgers were hosting the St. Louis Cardinals. Sunday games are fun for graphing but it sux for ball hawking since there is no batting practice. Thus I focused on getting autographs. Before the gates opened the Dodgers had the Viva Los Dodgers Celebration and it featured Derrel Thomas. Derrel signed a stock photo available at the table for me as well as a ROMLB on the SS.

Once the gates opened I headed toward the right field area on the field level where the Cardinals pitchers were practicing. Miguel Batista and Jake Westbrook came over to sign for us. I got Batista on a SS ROMLB and side panel underneath the MLB logo signed by Westbrook. I should have asked Westbrook for the sweet spot but this was back when I was a rookie in the graphing game so I didn't know any better. I should have just had them both sign a mini helmet but I didn't have a Cards one on  me at the time.

I decided to wander around some more and take pictures. I ran into two kids who had the holy grail of all autographs. The both had Albert Pujols sign their ROMLBs on the SS with a full signature. I couldn't believe my eyes. I asked them how they got the signature and they said Albert signed for both of them and another boy. They literally tossed the ball and a pen over the Cardinals dugout and had him sign. My lucky day would come later at the end of the year at the Angels Pujols Press Conference.

See the man standing next to the Dodger dugout wearing the dodger cap and white dodger polo? He played a major role in me getting autographs that day. I will explain later. On the last photo you can see a Dodger player playing toss past the 3rd base foul line. That's Ivan De Jesus. He ended up tossing me that baseball while he was heading back to the dugout.

I noticed that Andre Ethier was stretching in the outfield. Normally both Kemp and Ethier sign for fans after they stretch and they did so today. However it is very difficult to graph the Dodgers since security doesn't allow access to the VIP field level seats along the 3rd base side unless you have a ticket to the designated seats. Even though I had field level seats mine weren't part of the VIP level so I couldn't get access to Andre or Matt. Thus the rich get richer. I ended up getting an elderly lady to get my baseball signed by Andre Ethier. However Andre ended up side panelling the signature using a sharpie. I ended up giving that baseball away to a friend so it is not pictured. I still thanked the lady for hooking me up with the autograph.

I walked over to hang out behind the Dodger dugout as the national anthem was being played. I noticed that Hiroki Kuroda and Clayton Kershaw were both standing near the dugout. If you know how Dodger Stadium is designed the dugout areas are blocked off from the field level as well. They really restrict regular fans from entering the VIP levels. Remember that man I mentioned in my post earlier. I convinced him to get me Kuroda's autograph by tossing the baseball and pen over to him. Another lady who had dugout seats also helped me out as well getting me Kershaw's autograph. The biggest mistake I made was that I didn't ask them to ask the players to sweet spot the baseballs so I ended up getting side panelled signatures. Kuroda ended up giving me his English signature.

Here is picture of Ethier and Kemp. These two guys will play a major role in this game.

The Dodgers were down 1-0 in the bottom of the 9th inning. Ethier hits a double and Kemp comes up to the plate. The rest is history. Walk off HR by Mr. Kemp. Check out this video

And here are some photos I took after the walk off HR.

What a great way to cap off a father/son Dodger day.

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