Thanks to Benson who had an extra ticket I was able to attend the Angels vs Rays game. As soon as I got out of work I headed straight to the stadium.
Today was another special day at the stadium since the Angels Wives were hosting the "Angels for Animals" Mystery Grab Bag and Raffle Fundraiser. Each bag was sold for $40 and contained a mystery autographed baseball from one of 20 current Angel players or Coach Scioscia. There was a total of 420 mystery bags being sold and you can read the odds getting each autograph here. Thus it was a perfect opportunity to donate to charity and to possibly get an autographed baseball signed by Albert Pujols or Mike Trout. The limit was two bags per person.
The Angels have held this same event before and the mystery bags always sell out fast due to high demand. Since I was coming from work I knew I wouldn't be able to purchase the mystery bags myself. Luckily Benson found someone to buy me 2 mystery bags and I ended up getting LaTroy Hawkins and Ervin Santana. I was happy getting both players especially since i've never had any signed baseballs from LaTroy or Ervin. Even though Ervin is not having the best season this year i've always wanted his autograph and through the charity I was able to get it.
The baseballs were signed beautifully in blue pen and it came with a letter of authenticity from the Angels.
I arrived at the stadium a bit late and BP had already begun. Luckily I didn't miss out on any autographs. I figured today would be the perfect day to get David Price's autograph since he pitched the night before and he tends to sign on the first day of the series even though today was technically the second game of the series. My instinct was correct as he was the first Rays player to sign for us. This was my first time getting David Price's autograph so I was excited. David was nice enough to sign my ROMLB on the SS.
That was pretty much it for pregame graphing. I was already happy with the results of today since I really wanted David Price's autograph for quite awhile now. On Sunday's game I was able to get David Price AGAIN after his bullpen session thus I have two David Price baseballs in my collection from one series.
Troy Glaus was in attendance to throw out the first pitch. Afterwards he was signing copies of Under The Halo: The Official History of Angels baseball at the team store.
The team store was charging $60 per book which came with an autograph. They didn't allow outside items to be signed. The book was overpriced since it can easily be bought for around $30 through amazon.com. Since I was able to get Troy's autograph for free last year during the Angels 50th Anniversary signings I passed on getting Troy's autograph today. Here are some photos of the FREE Troy Glaus signing from last year.
After the game my goal was to get Bengie Molina's autograph on my jersey.
The first player to sign for me was Desmond Jennings. I was in shock to see him walk out of the front gates since he normally takes the team bus to leave the stadium. I've never gotten his autograph before so I was happy to get him to sign my 2011 Allen and Ginter Rookie card.
The next player to sign was Carlos Pena. Carlos walked out with BJ Upton. I figured it wasn't worth asking BJ for an autograph since he will turn you down every single time like his brother Justin. Half of the fans mobbed BJ but he didn't break down while the other half was asking Carlos for his autograph. Carlos started to sign then he stopped signing saying he had to leave. Afterwards everyone then chased after BJ. For some odd reason Carlos began to sign again after the pause. I guess he realized his comments diverted more fans to get BJ's autograph so he signed for the remaining few who stayed back. Carlos signed my 2011 Allen and Ginter card for me.
The next players to walk out were Bengie and Jose Molina with a bunch of their family members and friends. Bengie wasn't in the mood to sign like the previous night but luckily I was able to get him to sign my Authentic Bengie Molina jersey for me. The jersey is extremely rare as I don't know anyone else who has this jersey especially an authentic version. I am sure Bengie was surprised to see it too.
The last Rays player to sign were Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist who both walked out together with their significant others. Matt only signed a few and left with his wife/gf. Ben is another HOFer among the autographing community as he is one of the friendliest players in the game. He actually stayed back and signed for every fan and also took photos with fans as well. He was signing multiple cards for fans and signed five cards for me.
I figured the night was over for graphing but Benson parked near the Amtrak Station. Thus we walked over to the Angels parking lot to check if any of the players were still there. Surprisingly there were. Since the Angels are playing terribly these days I guess they had a post game meeting. There were still several cars in the parking lot. Only a handful of fans were left waiting. Thus I was able to get Jason Isringhausen and Scott Downs to sign my 2012 Topps cards for me.