After the OC Sports Cards Signing Benson, Phil and I headed out to Angel Stadium for some pregame graphing. When we arrived we were informed by our fellow graphers that Matt Williams and Alan Trammell signed coming in already a few minutes ago. Had Vlad and Kendrys showed up on time to the signing we would have ended up with getting both Matt Williams' and Alan Trammell's autograph. Maybe next time. What made up for the loss was Angels Team Hall of Famer Don Baylor who was the first person to sign for us today. Don signed a ROMLB for me on the SS.
What a great start. The Diamondbacks are one of the few teams where i'd rather get the coaches autographs more than the current players. Their coaching staff is stacked with legends such as Kirk Gibson, Alan Trammell, Matt Williams and Don Baylor. Even the broadcasters are worth graphing such as Mark Grace and Tom Candiotti. One lucky grapher finally completed his project today. It's a canvas painting of four Angel legends; Fred Lynn, Don Baylor, Reggie Jackson and Rod Carew.
The next player to sign was us was good old Trevor Cahill. Trevor has always been great with the fans at Angel Stadium since his days with the Oakland Athletics. Trevor ended up signing four cards for me and a ROMLB for my buddy Phil pictured below.
On a side note, one thing great about the hobby of graphing baseball are the friends you meet in the process and in general nice people who help you out. Remember that story on my previous entry how Brian Bogussevic accidentally signed my Jason Castro Allen and Ginter card at Dodger Stadium? Well my buddy Matt knew that I needed a replacement Jason Castro Allen and Ginter card so he ended up giving me a Jason Castro card today after he stumbled upon the card at a local card shop.
My friend Scotty also gave me a Willie Bloomquist Topps 2012 card today as well since he had a bunch of them. Thanks Scotty.
Since I didn't have any Tom Candiotti cards on me today my friend Brian gave me a 1992 Tom Candiotti Upper Deck card which later I ended up getting signed. Thanks Brian.
As for pregame graphing that was pretty much it. We entered the stadium at 5pm two hours before game time for batting practice. During batting practice there wasn't much signing going on so I devoted my day to ball hawking. Matt and I hung out near the right field hoping to graph and ball hawk at the same time. The theme of the day was "David" since two players with the same name as me threw me four baseballs. The first person to throw me a baseball was David Carpenter. As soon as I caught the ball I ended up giving it away to a little kid standing next to me. David Carpenter saw that so he threw me another baseball which happened to be a leftover Angels 50th Anniversary baseball from last year. Thanks David. Since Matt was next to me I told him the next ball that I catch will be his. Soon afterwards David Carpenter threw another toss up towards our direction and I caught the ball and handed it off to Matt.
Since there wasn't much graphing going on at Right Field we decided to head out near the bullpen. There were a ton of Angels fans all begging for baseballs from David Hernandez and Wade Miley who were out in left field near the bullpen. Since nobody was signing Matt and I decided to wait behind the bullpen in left field. I ended up getting David Hernandez' attention by yelling out his name and asking him to show me his cannon arm and if he can spare me a baseball. I also pointed at my vintage Dbacks cap I was wearing and my HR derby jersey I was wearing from last years All Star Game in Arizona. I also pounded my fist to my chest as well and pointed towards him to show him some brotherly love. David Hernandez was teasing me for about 15 minutes imitating each of my moves but didn't throw any baseballs toward my way. He was laughing and imitating my moves showing Wade Miley as well. Finally he broke down and tossed me a baseball. Then he asked for it back. This was my big league moment since I never ever played catch with an MLB player before. I threw the ball back and it barely made it over the bullpen fence. I was nervous but was happy the baseball went over the fence. David then threw the baseball back onto the field and I thought i'd never see the baseball again. Soon afterwards he threw me another baseball and I was able to keep it. Thanks David. Here is a picture of the two baseballs I got from BP. Only two are pictured since I gave two away.
After BP we decided to try to get Garret Anderson's autograph since he was doing the Fox Sports Broadcast in the outfield.
Garrett was in a rush and was signing as he was leaving so he signed for only a few fans. I ended up striking out. No big deal since I know I can get him again next time.
Here is a view of the game from Benson's season seats. Stellar view of the game as usual. Thanks again Benson for inviting me to the game. If you notice to the right of the Honda Center sign there is a Batman Logo on the building to promote the new Batman musical. Check it out.
The game itself was almost historic. Ervin Santana had a perfect game going until the 7th inning when Justin Upton hit a single to left field. Ervin ended up pitching a 1 hitter in the end. I am happy for him since he's been struggling this entire season. Hopefully he can build up his confidence from this great night of pitching. Trumbo also hit a 2 run homerun and the Angels beat the D-backs 2-0.
After the game Benson and I decided to do some post game graphing with the goal of getting Mark Grace's autograph. The first player to walk out was Josh Collmenter who signed my 2012 Topps Heritage Card.
Next up was Mark Grace and Tom Candiotti who both walked out together and were in a rush to leave. They were signing as they were walking. I ended up getting Mark to sign my ROMLB on the SS and Ton Candiotti on the 1992 Upper Deck Card.
Within a five minute time a lot of players were walking out so there was no time to take pictures. The next group of players to walk out was Jason Kubel, Chris Young, and Justin Upton who were all escorted by security. Chris Young and Justin Upton ignored the fans not even acknowledging the little kids who were requesting them for autographs. The basically pulled an A-rod on everyone. Jason Kubel however did sign as he was walking toward his car. He was also in a rush to leave though so he ended up signing outside the border of my 2012 Topps Heritage card.
As I was walking back from the parking lot my friends were telling me that David Hernandez signed and I just misssed him. I wanted to meet up with him in person to thank him for the baseball he gave me during BP and I was hoping I could also get the same baseball signed. Maybe next time i'll run into him again.
Soon afterwards I saw Aaron Hill sign for one fan and was about to leave. When I asked him for an autograph he told me that he had to leave so he started to walk away. No big deal since that happens regularly. As soon as the game is over most players usually have things to do after the game and can't wait to leave. Normally when players decline signing for me I try to be polite and I always wish them a good night and a safe drive home and I don't make a big deal about not getting an autograph. Aaron heard me and stopped and said "man I don't want to be a jerk to you so i'll sign for you." I was in shock since i've never had a player change his mind to stop and sign for me as they were leaving. I thought that was super cool so I thanked him for signing my 2011 Allen and Ginter card.
The last person to sign was Charles Nagy. Since I didn't have anything for him I ended up getting an extra card signed for Benson since he had two Charles Nagy cards. All in all it was a fun filled day of graphing.