Saturday, April 21, 2012

HOF Sports Spring Open House, Angels vs O's Game 4-21-12

It was a long weird day for me on Saturday. The plan for Saturday was to stop by Frank and Sons for the Hall of Fame Sports Open House then go to Angels Stadium to graph the Orioles coming in, attend the game, then graph the Orioles coming out. The goal today was to get Jim Palmer's autograph.

In the morning I headed out to Frank and Son's to attend Hall of Fame Sports' Spring Open House event. There were numerous athletes scheduled to sign including HOFer Bob Gibson, Paul Lo Duca, Al Downing, Denny McLain, and Dick Gray. It was a paid signing with Al Downing being the free signer. I went out there to get the gift bags which were handed out to the first 150 people in line. They also offered free autographs from Al Downing.

After picking up my gift bag I got into the line to get Al Downing's autograph. The only item I had on me at the time was a Dodgers ice cream helmet. While I was in line I noticed that another fan had two cards of Al Downing. I asked if he was willing to sell one of his cards to me since I wanted something more personal to get signed. He asked me $3 for Al's rookie card when he was with the Yankees. Although the condition of the card was off centered I felt the deal wasn't too bad for an old Topps 1962 rookie card. I don't plan on getting the card sent to PSA to get graded so it didn't matter to me what condition the card was in. Al was a nice guy and signed both items for me.

As I headed out of Frank and Son's I got into a minor car accident as I was backing out of the parking lot. Luckily nobody was hurt. The accident rattled me a bit and I decided to call up Benson to let him know that I won't be going to the stadium today. I didn't feel like driving at all the entire day so I went home.

To keep my mind off of the entire accident and also since we did have tickets to the game Benson offered me to pick me up from my house so we can graph and go to the game. He didn't have to do that but he did since he's a good friend. I felt a bit bad since my house is out of his way but he still came over to pick me up. This meant that we'd miss a good portion of players walking into the stadium in the morning.

When we arrived at the stadium we were informed that Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, and Mark Reynolds signed. There was no sign of Jim Palmer though coming in and leaving even on Friday night. We later found out that he was sick so he didn't make the trip out. I felt bad since if it wasn't for the accident Benson at least would have been able to get Markakis, Roberts and Reynolds. He was cool about it and didn't seem to care.

The first autograph we got was from Jake Arrieta. Jake was the starting pitcher for tonight's game so we were a bit suprised that he stopped and signed for all the fans. Since I didn't have a card for Jake I had him sign my Orioles Team Topps Heritage 2012 card.

Sorry Benson for putting you on the blog. Benson likes to be low key and is shy and he always gets mad at me for posting pictures of him getting autographs. Unfortunately that was the only picture I had of Jake on my camera.

The next card I got signed was from Kevin Gregg as you can see from the photo above. Kevin was in a rush and almost signed my Zach Britton card. He actually left a sharpie mark on my Britton card. As he began signing I told him to sign his actual card to the right. I made the mistake of placing the Britton card and the Gregg card on the same page.

I ended up getting Nolan Reimold and Brady Anderson on my Orioles Mini Helmet.

The biggest surprise former player to walk through the front and sign for us was Jim Fregosi. He is currently a scout for the Atlanta Braves. It was very random running into him. Jim was extremely nice to the fans signing and doing photo ops with fans. He signed my ROMLB on the SS. It was nice to add another Angel Hall of Famer into my collection.

So far it was a great start to graphing. We could have technically went home happy without even attending the game. It was Angels Hat Giveaway night so there were already a ton of fans waiting to get into the stadium so we decided to go get our hats.

Benson and I decided to ballhawk near the Angels left field area during batting practice. During the beginning of batting practice LaTroy Hawkins tossed me my first baseball of the year. He threw it a bit over my head so I had to chase for hit a few rows back. The bonus was that it was a leftover Angels 50th baseball from last season.

I didn't get another baseball the rest of BP. I did however get Tommy Hunter to sign my mini helmet.

We then walked over to the Orioles side on right field to see if we can get more Orioles autographs. The only player to sign after BP was Wei-Yin Chen. I was in prime positioning to get his autograph since he was right in front of me but he kept on skipping me. He signed for a few fans and went to the Orioles dugout. I wanted his autograph to add him to my Asian MLB Baseball Player collection but I guess it wasn't meant to be. For some reason it didn't really bother me too much. Maybe i'll get him next time.

The game itself was great as Jered Weaver threw a complete game. The Angels beat the Orioles 6-3. Still no Albert Pujols HR but as long as the Halos win it doesn't matter.

After the game Benson and I headed to Tunnel B to see if we can get Kendrys Morales' autograph. We tried the previous night and wasn't successful. Unfortunately this time no sign of Kendrys since none of the players came out through Tunnel B except Mickey Hatcher. Thus we went over to the front gates to see if we can get the tail end of graphing the Orioles that were leaving the stadium.

Luckily we made the right choice. We did miss out on Brian Roberts again but we did end up getting Nick Markakis. I had Nick sign my ROMLB on the SS.

At the end there was only about five of us left in the stadium. It was about time to leave. As we were leaving we noticed that Buck Showalter was the last to leave the front gates. I had Coach Showalter sign my Topps Heritage card.

It was another great day of signing. We had to head back home to prepare for Angels Fanfest which was only a few more hours away. I want to thank Benson for keeping my mind off of the accident and for driving me around all day to graph the Orioles.


  1. Good job. You guys really know what you're doing. Watching you and Scotty and Ryan in action today was so cool!

    1. Thanks Josh. We spend way too much time at Angels Stadium. It's bad that we know all the tricks of the trade here. I just started graphing at the stadium last year and all of my graphing buddies were nice to take me under their wing to show me the ropes. Ryan and Scotty are good people.

      I'm going to need your help at Dodger Stadium though. I don't know the stadium very well since I rarely graph out there.

      If you ever want to graph at Angels Stadium one weekend let me know. I'll show you all the tricks to get autographs. Or we can follow Scotty around. LOL