On March 27, 2011 the Angels had their annual Fan Fest at the Angels parking lot. It was scheduled to start from 8am-4pm. I got up early in the morning that day and arrived at the stadium around 7am to get in line to get into Fan Fest. This was my first Angels Fan Fest so I didn't know what to expect but I did come prepared with several ROMLBs and an Angels mini helmet for all the scrubs to sign. When I arrived the weather was bad and it started to sprinkle and rain. Thus there were about 20 people in front of me in line. What was cool about going to Fan Fest was that the Angels were giving out free tickets to the exhibition game which was happening the same day vs the Padres. When I entered there were four different autograph stations. However it was very unorganized since it was random. The released a time schedule of where the autograph signings would take place but the didn't announce who was signing at a given point. Thus it was all luck. They also had a separate autograph station for season ticket holders. In that line they did release the names of the players signing which included Jim Abbott, Chuck Finley, Jay Johnstone, Gary Disarcina, and Bobby Grich. I was hoping to get Vernon Wells or Torii Hunter. At that point I didn't have any of their autographs.
As soon as I walked in I waited in the line with the fewest people hoping I can hop into the other lines so I can maximize the number of autographs to get. The first duo of players I got were Mark Trumbo and coach Dino Ebel. Back then nobody knew who Trumbo was since he was just a rookie prospect hoping to make the team. I ended up getting Trumbo to sign my ROMLB on the SS. He gave me the famous richter scale signature of his rookie season. If you compare my Trumbo autographs I got later in the season it looks much nicer. When I asked Mark to sign my baseball he asked me where I wanted him to sign it. I found that question to be odd since most guys never ask you that and most of the time as graphers we need to ask nicely for a sweetspot signature. I told him to sign on the sweet spot of course since I knew back then he'd become a star. I told him that he was going to be a star one day bombing HRs at Angels Stadium. He smiled back and signed my baseball. I had coach Dino sign my mini helmet.
Next up was Hank Conger and coach Steve Soliz. I was excited to get Hank's autograph for the first time. He is a fellow Korean and due to my personal bias of being Asian American I root for all Asian players in the MLB. Thus I had to get his autograph. The lady in front of me in line had the most unique item for Hank to sign. She actually had him sign a toaster. Strange but we all got a laugh out of it including Hank.
When I met Hank I told him that he is an inspiration to all Korean Americans and he was happy to hear that. Hank gave me a clean signature on my ROMLB on the SS. Hank is the man. I hope he does well this season.
Here is coach Soliz wiping my mini helmet since there were raindrops on it due to the mild sprinking that morning.
Next up in line were Chris Pettit and Andrew Romine. Inexplicably Chris signed my helmet using a black sharpie when in fact the rest of the autographs were in silver. I should have made the request that he signs in silver to keep things consistent. That was a rookie mistake on my part. I had both players sign my mini helmet.
Next up were Rich Thompson and Matt Palmer. I was initially in line for Jordan Walden but his time was up so they switched the players. I had both guys sign my mini helmet as well.
The next line was a surprise guest. Now everyone knows who Mike Trout is but when I was in line at Fan Fest last year not many fans knew who he was. There wasn't even a name tag made for him at the event. I had Mike sign a ROMLB in the SS and Michael Kohn sign my mini helmet. This would be my first of three times I got Mike to sign for me this season.
Then I walked over to the season ticket line where you had a chance to have a photo op and autograph of an Angels legend. This area was strictly for season ticket holders but the guy running the line was nice. I told him I wasn't a season ticket holder but was wondering if I can stay in line for an autograph. He knew I was a fan so he let me stay. I ended up getting Jay Johnstone to sign an ROMLB on the SS for me.
Next up was Brandon Wood. I got in line hoping they would do a player switch the last minute. I let a ton of people behind me go in front of me since I didn't want Brandon's autograph. He was one of the most hyped minor league players in Angels history whose career never panned out to its full potential. I saw other fans do the same thing as me. After letting about 30 people pass me by they finally had a player change and it was Peter Bourjos and Erick Aybar. I ended up getting both players to sign an ROMLB for me on the SS.
I went back to the season ticket autograph line and noticed that Gary Disarcina was there. I ended up getting a photo op and had Gary sign a ROMLB on the SS. The signature came out great.
Next up in season ticket holder line was Bobby Grich. I also took a photo with him and he signed a ROMLB on the SS as well.
The last set of autographs from the autograph line were from Jered Weaver and Hisanori Takahashi. I had Jered sign my 2010 All Star Baseball and Takahashi on my mini helmet.
After the signings I went to the back to check out an interview with Tim Salmon and Rod Carew. I didn't listen to the interview much since I was trying to get them to sign for me.
There were a crowd of fans with the same idea. Tim didn't sign for any of us but HOFer Rod Carew did stop by and signed for the fans. The only item I had left with me was my 2008 All Star Baseball which I brought to the event with the intention of getting it signed by Ervin Santana. Mr. Carew signed my AS ROMLB on the SS. This would be the first of three times I got Carew to sign for me this season.
The weirdest and most unique item I saw get signed by Rod Carew was a Kidrobot Munny. Back then I didn't know who this guy was but it was my buddy James who got his Munny figure signed by Carew. James is my friend who got me into getting shoes signed and runs his blog http://justsomeblog.com/.
After getting Rod Carew's autograph I headed out to the stadium to check out the Angels vs Padres exhibition game. It was about the 3rd inning when I entered the stadium and I was extremely tired from the long day. I took a ton of photos and left the stadium happy after a nice day of graphing.