I decided to attend the 2nd Annual Cory Hahn Trinity Bat HR Challenge which took place at Mater Dei High School from 10am-4pm. Admission to the event was $10. I attended last year as well and you can read about it here. There were a ton of baseball players scheduled to be in attendance including MLB players such as Mark Trumbo and Ian Stewart along with top minor league players such as Nolan Arenado. Just like last year this event was really kick back and easy to get autographs.
I arrived at Mater Dei High School around 10:30am and decided to wait near the parking lot to catch the players coming in. The first player to sign for us was Daric Barton who signed my Allen and Ginter Card. He was strictly one per but luckily I only had one card for him to sign.
Afterwards I ran into Nick Ramirez who was strolling around the event. Nobody recognized him at first until I called him out. Nick was nice and signed my photo and a card for me. Here is a pic of my friend Greg getting his cards signed by Nick. Nick was signing full pages of cards for fans. Sadly I only had one card on me.
Then I ended up running into my friend Kyle who runs Addictive Artwork. He made a painting for Cory Hahn.
Next up was Trayvon Robinson. Trayvon was also strictly one per and he was personalizing for everyone. He's been consistent about personalizing items whenever he signs. I had Trayvon sign a 2012 Topps card for me.
Ian Stewart was the next player to sign for us. He was signing multiples. I found it weird to see him wearing a Cubs hat. It's rare to see a MLB player wear his team hat outside of the stadium. Ian signed three cards for me and here is a picture of Ian signing for my friend Tyler. Tyler racked it up today and ended up with 58 cards signed. Good stuff as usual Tyler.
Mark Trumbo walked in with security and we were all told he would be signing at the autograph table in a few minutes. Thus everyone started to get in line. I figured i'd get in line when Mark actually signs since the line wasn't too long.
Daric Barton was the first player to sign at the autograph table. Since I got him earlier and didn't have anything left for him to sign I got out of the line. He was scheduled to sign for 20 minutes. I think there were less than 50 fans waiting in line today. I wish all signings were like this without the need to camp out and dealing with long lines.
Nolan Arenado and Trayce Thompson walked in together. I had Nolan sign two cards for me and also had him sign my ROMLB on the SS as well.
At that point I only had one Trayce card on me which was the 2012
Heritage Minors card which Trayce signed. Later on during the day my
friend Tyler gave me two 2009 Donruss Elite cards both of which I ended up getting signed so I
gave one back to him for hooking me up. Thanks again
Mark Trumbo began to sign so I got back in line. I have two 12x18 photos of Mark that i've been trying to get signed by Mark for quite awhile now, one of which was from his game winning HR against the Rangers and another one picturing him in the HR derby last year. Large photos look awesome but it gets tiring carrying them around all the time so I wanted to get both photos signed today.
Mark signed one photo for me. He was strictly one per today. After getting my first photo signed I got back in line to get the second photo signed but he recognized me. I figured since there weren't that many fans and he was still scheduled to sign for another 10 minutes he wouldn't mind signing again. Mark asked me "didn't I sign for you today" and admittedly I told him he did since I wasn't going to lie to him. I asked politely if he can personalize it to me since I wasn't planning on selling the photo, but he told me that he was strictly one per today.
Some of the other graphers were able to double dip though especially the ones Mark didn't recognize. No big deal. I guess I will have to get the second photo signed another day. I was happy I at least got one autograph from him today and the signature came out nice.
Here is a picture of Matt from MCAutographSignings getting his bat signed by Mark.
If you read his blog entry Matt racked it up today and ended up with a ton of autographs.
Afterwards I ended up getting Travis Witherspoon's autograph. Travis was nice and signed my 2012 Topps Heritage Minors card for me. That's David aka "David Price" getting his autograph from Travis.
I ran into my friend Steve who is pretty much a pro grapher when it comes to baseball. He knows all of the minor league players and prospects. He gave me a heads up that Lucas Giolito and Max Fried were in attendance. Admittedly I had no clue who these guys were since I don't follow minor league baseball too much but supposedly both players have huge upside. Lucas Giolito was drafted 16th by the Nationals in the 2012 MLB Draft and Max Fried was drafted 7th overall by the Padres. I ended up getting a ROMLB signed on the SS from each player. They were both nice enough to inscribe their draft order on each baseball.
The last two players to sign were Danny Muno and David Nick. I didn't have any David Nick cards so I had him sign a generic autograph card. He ended up signing two of them for some reason. I only wanted one autograph.
The last autograph I got at the event was a signed Hideki Matsui baseball. Hideki didn't attend this event since he is now retired from baseball and is probably back in Japan. Trinity Bat Co hosted a silent auction and were auctioning off signed and game used items to raise money for the Cory Hahn Fund. The auction was scheduled to end at 3:30 and one item that caught my eye was the signed Matsui baseball.
There was about and hour left on the auction and a Japanese guy named Koji was winning with a $30 bid which was a bargain. I didn't expect the ball to go for this low but I was a bit worried that I might get stuck in a bidding war with him especially since Japanese baseball fans worship their baseball players. Guys like Nomo, Ichiro and Matsui are all national heroes in Japan. When there was about half an hour left on the auction another fan bid $40. I was hoping that it would stay that price since my max bid was $50. What annoyed me was that the guy who bid $40 begged me not to bid against him saying that he really wanted the baseball. He was also begging everyone around us not to bid. By this time Koji left, saying he already has a lot of stuff signed by Matsui. So now it was just me and the annoying $40 bidder. He incessantly begged me not to bid which got on my nerves since it's an auction and everyone has the right to bid however much they please. All my readers know I collect baseballs signed by Asian MLB players and getting Matsui's autograph was high on my priority list. I ended up bidding $50 for the baseball during the last seconds of the auction and ended up winning the signed ball. I was happy to add Matsui's autograph to my collection.
I may have overpaid a bit but it was going towards a good cause so it didn't bother me too much. Hideki was notoriously a tough autograph to get during his playing days and would tend to give out sloppy signatures all the time. I figured that a SS Matsui signed baseball with a legible signature was well worth the donation.
Overall it was another fun day of graphing. I want to thank Trinity Bat Co for running such a great event and I hope to attend next year as well.