Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 29, 2012 Eddie Guardado Charity Bowling

Last month I attended Eddie Guardado's Stars and Strike Charity Bowling Event at Bowlmor Lanes in Tustin. The event was a benefit to support children with autism and it featured a lot of local MLB players as well as celebrities. Although I didn't have tickets to the event I decided to go graphing to see if I can get the players to sign as they came in. Scheduled players and celebrities included

"Everyday Eddie" Guardado, 2-Time All-Star Pitcher
Torii Hunter, LA Angels of Anaheim 4-Time All-Star
Michael Young, Texas Rangers 6-Time All-Star
Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers 2-Time All-Star
Derek Holland, Texas Rangers
Vernon Wells, LA Angels of Anaheim / 3-Time All-Star
Garret Anderson, LA Angels of Anaheim 3-Time All-Star
J.J.Putz, Arizona Diamondbacks All-Star Pitcher
LaTroy Hawkins, Milwaukee Brewers
Rex Hudler, Former MLB Player and Radio Personality
Troy Percival, 4-Time All Star
Jamie Moyer, All-Star Pitcher
Carlos Fisher, Cincinnati Reds
Brad Thompson, St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Melhuse, Former MLB Player
Aaron Sele, 2-Time All-Star Pitcher
Chad Cordero, All-Star Pitcher
Jacque Jones, Former MLB Player
Gary Pettis, Texas Ranger Coach and Former MLB Player
Lisa Foxx, On-Air Radio Personality 104.3 MYFM
Bret Saberhagen, 3-Time All Star Pitcher
Todd Marchant, Former NHL Player
Eric Chavez, New York Yankess Infielder
Denny Hocking, Former MLB Player
Sasha Pieterse, Actress – Pretty Little Liars
Musetta Vander, Actress - best known for her roles in science fiction and fantasy films
Nick Roux, Actor – Wizards of Waverly Place, Lemonade Mouth
Darwin Barney, Chicago Cubs
Ty Wright, Chicago Cubs
Howie Kendrick, LA Angels of Anaheim
Chanel Ryan, Model, Actress, "Small Apartments"

My main goal was to get Adrian Beltre and Michael Young. Adrian Beltre has been my white whale for quite some time. Last year I had four separate encounters with him at Angels Stadium and each time he declined to sign. There was one night where he didn't sign anyone for us even though it was a small group of four graphers trying to get him at the players parking lot at Angels Stadium.  

The first autograph I ended up getting was Troy Percival. I was happy I finally got a chance to get him on a SS ROMLB. I am trying to collect every single member of he 2002 Angels Championship team each on a SS ROMLB. The signed baseball also completes my collection of a signed jersey by Troy and now a signed baseball. Note that the signed jersey is an original California Angels authentic jersey from the mid 90s. One of my favorite jerseys in my jersey collection.

The next autograph I got was Bret Saberhagen. I already have a signed Saberhagen SS ROMLB in my collection but if you know me I never pass up a chance to get more. The first Saberhagen SS ROMLB is from the signing at Frank and Sons on 12-3-11 sponsored by good old Hall of Fame Sports. I actually paid for the autograph. Remember I had the discussion between sit down paid signings versus a meet up signing. You can tell that the one I got today was very rushed compared to the one I paid for. Even though I like to get my graphs for free sometimes it pays to pay since you end up getting a cleaner signature. Here is a comparison of both signed baseballs. The one on the left is the one I got for free at this event and the one on the right is the paid one at the signing at Frank and Sons.

Next up was the big moment. Adrian Beltre rolled through with his wife. I was a bit nervous at first to ask him to sign for me since I couldn't get him last season. Luckily he was in a good mood today so he signed for me. The baseball pictured on the left is Adrian Beltre on the one on the right is Michael Young.

Next up was Jamie Moyer. He came out to the event with his kids. Moyer is a class act. Very nice guy in person.

Then Torii Hunter rolled through. Torii is one of my favorite players all time mainly because he is a great baseball player but most importantly he is one of the most fan friendly athletes you will ever meet. He is in the level of Matt Kemp in terms of being very fan friendly and willing to take the time to sign autographs and pose for pictures. I've gotten Torii to sign numerous times at Angels Stadium last year and also at sit down signings like at Metro PCS in Stanton on 5-21-11 but you can never get enough of Torii. The only item I never had him sign was a Angels 50th Anniversary Ball. I had an extra 50th ball that I picked up during batting practice last year so I ended up having Torii sign the baseball underneath the 50th logo.

As you can see from the picture I even had Vernon Wells sign the baseball as well. He came out next with Michael Young. Vernon is another example of a talented player who has no ego and takes the time to please his fans. Overall it was a great event.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 21, 2012 Trinity Bat Company HR Derby Challenge Cory Hahn Fundraiser

I went to El Dorado High School in Placentia to check out the Trinity Bat Company HR Derby Challenge in support of Cory Hahn. It was a home run derby involving local high school players, top minor league players and a few MLB players. Scheduled players to participate in this event was Mark Trumbo, Hank Conger, Danny Espinoza and Mike Carp. Both Carp and Espinoza were no shows and Trumbo couldn't participate due to injury. Featured minor league prospects included Matt Hobgood, Nick Ramirez, Christian Colon, Trayce Thompson, Aaron Northcraft, Austin Hedges, and a surprise guest Gerrit Cole (#1 pick of the Pirates in the 2011 MLB Draft). The event was very well organized and it was easy to to get access to the players for autographs. Most were very friendly and willing to sign.

Since Trumbo wasn't participating in the home run derby they actually had a table ready for him to sign autographs. I ended up getting my Louisville Slugger Angels Bat signed as well as a SS ROMLB by Mark Trumbo.

I think I OD'ed on Trumbo this past year. I got Trumbo last year on a bat as well as a SS ROMLB at the Dave and Busters signing at The Block and I got his old richter scale rookie signature at the Angels Fanfest last year on a SS ROMLB. I just have a sick habit of not being able to pass up an autograph when I have an opportunity even if it's a player i've gotten before. If anyone reading this blog needs a Trumbo signed bat or baseball let me know. I am open for trade offers.

I then had Hank Conger sign my Allen and Ginters Topps Rookie. I don't normally do cards but i've gotten Hank on numerous items such as ROMLBs and Angels hats so I figured mix it up a bit. This card was given to me courtesy of my friend Benson last season at Angels Stadium who goes to all these signings with me. You can never get enough of Hank though. I hope he does well this season. I have a personal bias towards Asian major league baseball players. I collect autographs of all Asian players especially Korean players since I am Korean myself. I took a picture of a SS ROMLB signed Conger I got at Angels Fanfest last year vs the signed card I got at this event. Notice how sit down signatures always come out better since they are not rushed.

Then I went after the prospects. Ended up with Matt Hobgood, Christian Colon and Gerrit Cole x 2.
Hobgood was nice enough to add the inscription "5th overall pick" and Gerrit inscribed one of my baseballs with "#1 pick 2011." 

I was excited to get Gerrit since he is a UCLA alum. I always root for the UCLA players. I hope he does well this year. Both Gerrit and Christian were nice enough to take photos as well