This was the first time I ever graphed hockey. I've been a casual hockey fan for a long time following both the Ducks and Kings. However I do favor the Ducks more since they are the closest in proximity to me so I consider them my home team. My friend Benson finally convinced me to graph hockey saying that hockey is relatively the most easiest sport to graph since most of the players don't have massive egos or entourages like NBA or MLB players. He was right. We headed out to Honda Center at around 8am. The players had practice since it was their off day and most of them rolled in around 8:30-9:00am. My goal was to get Teemu Selanne's autograph since he's always been one of my all time favorite hockey players. I figured this was my last chance before he retires. Benson also had a goal of getting his Selanne jersey signed so we all had high hopes today. I didn't come prepared but luckily I had a few friends who supplied me with items to get signed. I want to thank Benson for providing me with two hockey pucks (Ducks and All Star Puck), a team set of Ducks cards, and also info on helping me ID each player as they walked in. I also want to thank Scotty for giving me several cards to get signed as well. The only thing I brought with me was a Ducks Program from a game I went to this year featuring Francois Beauchemin and a neat Ducks Brochure I picked up from the ticket booth. I added all my scrubs on that book or for guys that I didn't have cards for. Here are some photos of the Ducks signing autographs.
I ended up getting Andrew Cogliano #7, Cam Fowler #4, Sheldon Brookbank #21, Jonas Hiller #1, Bobby Ryan #9, Rod Pelley #14, Jeff Deslauriers #43, Toni Lydman #32, Niklas Hagman #12, Matt Beleskey #39, Nick Bonino #63, Devante Smith-Pelly #77, Lubomir Visnovsky #17, Dan Ellis #38 on my Ducks Book
Ended up getting cards signed by Ryan Getzlaf, Cam Fowler, Luca Sbisa, George Parros, Kyle Palmieri, Jonas Hiller, Saku Koivu, Lubomir Visnovsky x 2, Bobby Ryan x 2
Got the program signed by Francois Beauchemin
I didn't realize how easy it was to graph hockey. I wish I came better prepared with higher end items such as jerseys. A lot of people were getting really nice photos signed by all of the players. We almost got the entire team in just a few hours. The man we wanted went in from the back of the stadium so none of the fans waiting in the front got Teemu's autograph. Therefore we went over to McDonalds for some breakfast and came back to wait for Teemu at the back of the stadium. While we were waiting I got bored so I took a picture of his car. Nice ride Teemu. I love how he took two parking spaces since A) Teemu doesn't care about rules B) Teemu owns the team C) Teemu is just bad ass like that.
We waited about another hour until practice ended. Finally Teemu came out. There were about 20 fans waiting for him. I was a bit worried he wouldn't sign due to the number of people waiting but Teemu like all of the other Ducks were very nice to all the fans. He signed for all of us including multiples. I was able to get my puck signed and my friend Benson got his jersey signed along with the 10X All Star Inscription on his jersey.
The guy pictured getting his jersey signed is Benson. Benson goes to most of the signings in the Orange County/LA area. If any of my readers run into Benson at an upcoming signing feel free to approach him and say hi. He's the guy that usually has his signature black Angels cap on. He's one of the nicest graphers you will ever meet.
After the Ducks our original plan was to go to the Ramon Sessions signing. We got word from another friend who was at the Ramon Sessions signing in Long Beach that they almost finished out giving out the 200 wristbands. We originally planned to go to that signing to kill time before the Garvey signing. Benson and I weren't dying to get Sessions anyways since we only had cards for him to sign so we instead killed some time at Frank and Sons.
At Frank and Sons we ended up browsing as usual and Benson had to pick up some supplies for his magazines. We saw a guy spend $1800 on 10 boxes of cards. If you ask how any crazy person can do that let me explain. I used to collect cards back in the day when I was a kid and I remember packs being around the $2-5 dollar range and the most expensive ones being like $20 a pack. I realized that the market for premium grade cards changed as some boxes sell for over $200 for only four cards. The case that another collector spent over $1800 on was a product called Panini Preferred Basketball. I think he ended up opening about 10 boxes. Each box contains 3 autograph cards and 1 multi-swatch booklet card.
Soon afterwards we rolled out to the Steve Garvey signing at Tustin Nissan. I've gotten Steve before on several items so I was in no rush to get there. We arrived 5 minutes into the signing and there were about 50 people in line. I ended up getting Steve to sign my 1981 World Series baseball and my 1980 Dodgers Stadium All Star Ball. Steve was nice enough to inscribe "1981 WS Champs" on my WS baseball. However he was on his phone and got confused when he signed my 1980 All Star Ball. He automatically sweet spotted the baseball (instead of signing under the all star logo) and started to write 1974 NL MVP when I just wanted the 10X All Star inscription since it was an All Star ball. Oh well I couldn't complain since he's such a nice guy. I just have to be thankful that it was a free signing and he inscribed stuff for me. Sorry if I sounded like a complainer.
The only thing bad about the signing was that his handler called me and Benson out for getting back in line. The majority of people were double if not triple dipping since there weren't that many fans there. Benson and I got our items signed but got back in line to get the stock photo signed that Nissan provided since we figured we'd might as well get an additional item signed since the turnout was so low. Plus there was another hour to go in the signing. Then the handler calls just us out that we were getting back in line too much and selectively picked us out of the remaining 20 people in the line. We were being civil and didn't even cause a scene. He was simply rude about it so we ended up leaving.
On a brighter note it was good to meet old friends. I want to give a shout out to George, Darryl, Scott, Scotty, Larry, Robert, Alex from http://lawlerlawfirstto100wins.blogspot.com/, and Martin from http://truetotheblue81.blogspot.com/. I also want to give a shout out to the readers of my blog who approached me today and showed some love to my new blog. I'm always happy to meet new friends at these events. I want to thank the Anaheim Ducks players for being so cool today and also Steve Garvey for being a class act as usual. Tustin Nissan was cool too minus Garvey's handler at the signing for being rude to us. On to the next signing.