Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Upcoming Signing: Pedro Guerrero at Harry's Dugout Sunday May 5th, 2013

Here is another upcoming signing at Harry's Dugout.

Pedro Guerrero is scheduled to sign at Harry's Dugout on May 5th, 2013 from 1-3:30pm

All small and medium items are $25
Cards are $15
Bats, Jerseys and Artwork are $40
Inscriptions are $10

My buddy Edward emailed me updates on the flyer which is here below.

Please check it out and come support and up an coming local card shop.

Angels vs Rangers Graphing Recap

Angels vs Rangers Post Game Graphing Recap 4-22-13

Since this was the first Rangers vs Angels series of the year I decided to do some post game graphing after work. I wanted to test my luck in getting Adrian Beltre's autograph. All last year I was denied by him and currently I was on a two year drought in terms of getting his autograph. I came close to getting him many times last year. Either he would deny us or some idiot grapher would ruin it for us all. I was hoping for a change of luck tonight.

We waited patiently for Adrian and sure enough he stopped. Normally he will ignore fans if he doesn't feel like signing and would leave or he'll sign about three autographs and then leave if a fan pisses him off. Today all of the regulars were there so we decided that if we were all going to get Adrian's autograph we would have to be orderly and get in line. Sure enough Adrian ended up signing for the 10 graphers who waited for him after the game. Initially Adrian signed for his one of his friends who brought several items for him to sign. After Adrian was finished signing for his friend he walked up to me and signed my Gold Glove ROMLB on the SS.

The next Ranger to sign was AJ Pierzynski who signed a card for me.

AJ was in a great mood since he ended up beating the Halos once again with a game winning homer. As usual AJ's signature was sloppy on all of the cards he signed with each signature being different than the other. There was absolutely no consistency when he was signing cards for fans. I did notice that some of the other fans getting him on baseballs ended up getting legible signatures while people who were getting AJ to sign cards or other flat items were getting sloppy signatures. I was afraid to drop a ball thinking he would side panel or give me the same autograph he gives out on cards.

That was pretty much it for post game graphing. I was happy that my two year drought on Beltre is now officially over.

Angels vs Rangers Post Game Graphing Recap 4-23-13

My autograph goal tonight was to get Derek Lowe's autograph. I heard he signed the previous night but we barely missed him while we were getting Adrian Beltre's autograph. I also wanted to test my luck and see if I could get a legible signature from AJ Pierzynski.

The game itself went into extra innings which helped in terms of graphing since a lot of fans went home which meant less competition for autographs. Luckily Howie Kendrick ended the game in extra innings by hitting a walk off home run for the Halos.

The first player to sign for us was Tanner Scheppers who signed my Bowman card for me. Tanner is a local guy so he was with his family and signed for everyone who asked.

The next player to sign was Alexi Ogando who signed my 2012 Topps Heritage card. As usual he was strictly 1 per.

Next up was AJ Pierzynski. I decided to try my luck and have him sign my baseball hoping that he would sign using his legible nice version of his signature. AJ was nice enough to sign my ROMLB on the SS and also inscribed 05' World Series Champs at my request. This was well worth the risk.

The last autograph I got during post game graphing was from Derek Lowe who rolled out with Scott Boras. Derek signed my ROMLB on the SS.

Overall it was another fun night of post game graphing at the stadium.

Angels vs Tigers Weekend Series

Angels vs Tigers Post Game 4-19-13

Since the Tigers were in town I decided to head out to Angel Stadium for some post game graphing. The Tigers are in town for just one series all year so this was my one and only shot of getting Miguel Cabrera or Prince Fielder's autograph. The goal for me this weekend was to get one of the two.

I heard from fellow graphers that Prince signed a ton over the dugout during batting practice on Friday. This was a bad sign since Prince already signed quite a few autographs already.

The first player to sign for me post game was Joaquin Benoit who signed a card for me. Joaquin is always nice about signing.

Anibal Sanchez signed as well but he was strictly one per for some reason. However he signed for everyone who waited for him which was a surprise since he was the losing pitcher that night. There were a ton of graphers that night so it was a surprise that he signed for basically everyone.

I also ended up getting Max Scherzer to sign a baseball for me. Initially it looked like he didn't want to sign since he hesitated. When I asked him to sweetspot the baseball he asked for my name. I've heard rumors that he personalizes which is fine by me since I wasn't planning on selling the ball anyways. Max was nice enough to personalize my baseball and sign it on the SS. Max even personalized some cards as well and he ended up signing for about five fans.

As for my intuition that Prince wouldn't sign I was correct since he was escorted by security along with Austin Jackson. Prince had already signed a ton of autographs inside the stadium so he denied all autograph requests post game.

Angels vs Tigers Game 4-20-13

Thanks to my friend Benson who hooked me up with tickets I was able to attend the Angels vs Tigers game. Benson and I decided to go some pregame graphing with the hopes of getting Tigers autographs prior to the start of the game.

The first Tiger to sign for me was Brayan Villarreal. Nobody stopped him for an autograph since nobody recognized him. Since I didn't have a card for him I had him sign a team card.

Andy Dirks, Omar Infante, and Anibal Sanchez came in together and signed. I had each player sign a card for me. Ramon Santiago and Joiquin Benoit also signed cards for me as well.

During warmups there wasn't much action. Since it was a day game there was no BP so only the pitchers were out there warming up. The only player who signed for me was Phil Coke who pretty much signed down the line for every fan. He signed for about 15 minutes. Phil signed two cards for me which are pictured above.

Justin Verlander signed over the dugout as well. My friend Nancy ended up getting her card signed by Justin. None of the other usual graphers ended up getting Justin as he was signing mostly for kids and casual fans. I was in prime position to get his autograph since I was standing next to Nancy but Justin kept on skipping over me. Justin would point and signal at each fan so that they could toss him a pen and their item to get signed. Fans who prematurely threw items at Justin without his signal ended up getting their items thrown  back unsigned. Justin kept on skipping over me to the left then to the right. This was extremely frustrating since I came so close to getting his autograph. Although he was side panelling every baseball I didn't care since he is one of the toughest autographs to obtain in the graphing world. This day just felt like the day I missed out on Prince last year. In the end Justin ended up signing for about 10 fans and went back inside the dugout. It just wasn't meant to be.

After the game I decided to wait for Eric Karros. Eric was at the stadium since the game was being broadcasted by Fox.  As soon as the third out was recorded Eric basically bolted out of the stadium with his luggage. None of the graphers noticed him leaving so I politely asked Eric if he could sign an autograph for me. I didn't expect him to stop and sign for me since he has luggage in his hands and he looked like he was in a rush to leave the stadium asap. Luckily he stopped and signed my ROMLB on the SS.

I think I was the only grapher to get Eric Karros that day since he abruptly left the stadium after signing my baseball. That made up for me missing out on Verlander since Eric was one of my favorite Dodgers growing up. It was nice to add his autograph to my collection.

The biggest surprise of the day was USC's own Matt Barkley who is projected as the 2nd QB to be selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. Matt was at the stadium as a fan watching the Halos beat the Tigers. Not many fans noticed who he was. I am not much of a USC fan since I am a Bruin but I couldn't pass up this autograph opportunity. Since I didn't have a football or mini helmet on me I did the next best thing which was to get an ROMLB signed on the SS.

Afterwards Prince and Austin Jackson walked out of the stadium together and again with security. Therefore we were shut out again from Prince.

Coach Leyland signed as well after the game and he signed my 2013 Topps Heritage card for me which is pictured above.

After another day of missing out on Miggy and Prince I decided to hit up the Clippers vs Memphis playoff game at Staples Center with Benson to keep my mind off of missing out on Verlander, Prince and Miggy again. Luckily the Clippers beat the Grizzlies to take a 1-0 lead in their playoff series. Notable guests in attendance at the Clipper game were Mike Trout and Garrett Richards. I want to thank my friend Benson again for hooking me up with game tickets for both the Clips and Angels.

Angels vs Tigers Pregame 4-21-13

Although I was tired for graphing all day and getting home late from the Clipper game the night before I decided to try getting Miggy, Prince or Verlander again at the stadium. I decided to graph pregame only today since physically I was too tired to graph back to back days. Again it was another tough day as only Omar Infante and Andy Dirks signed pregame.

I guess i'll have to test my luck on getting them next year or if the Angels face the Tigers in the playoffs.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dodgers vs Pirates Game 4-6-13

Today was the first regular season game I attended at Dodger Stadium for the 2013 season. As many of my readers know my goal this year was to get all of my Dodger jerseys signed. Since I was only able to get my Josh Beckett jersey signed a week ago I decided to give it another shot. I brought two jerseys with me today, my Brooklyn Dodgers Matt Kemp jersey and my Dodgers Adrian Gonzalez jersey. I didn't bother to bring my Kershaw jersey since he was pitching today and I didn't bring my Hanley jersey since he still has a cast over his injured thumb. My goal today was to get at least one jersey signed. As soon as I entered the stadium I decided to take a few photos of the Dodgers warming up.

This never gets old. I love how the Dodgers let you in three hours before game time to watch warmups and batting practice. The Angels need to do this for their season ticket holders.

The first Dodger to sign for us was Coach Don Mattingly. He started to sign over the bullpen after his bullpen session with Chris Capuano.

It's weird how Coach Mattingly was once my white whale for quite some time but I was able to get him back to back weekends this year. That's the nature of graphing I guess. That puts my collection up to three signed baseballs; 2 regular ROMLBs and one GG baseball. I do have cards of Coach Mattingly but I still can't drop a card of him since he is such a legendary Yankee. I need to find a nice photo of him to sign next time. You can never have enough signed Mattingly baseballs. I guess I can give one away as a gift or use one as trade bait.

Afterwards there wasn't much action until the autograph corral opened up. Thus I took more random photos. Here is one of Zack Greinke sipping on water chilling at the Dodger bullpen.

I swear Zack does an amazing job ignoring the fans which explains the reason why he is one of the toughest and most elusive autographs to obtain in baseball. This guy doesn't even look at you when you try to call him over and he always has his stone face on.

As soon as the autograph corral opened up we headed over there to get in the first group. The first two players to sign for us was Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez. Adrian was initially about to go straight into the clubhouse but Matt convinced him to sign for the fans by telling him that he'd sign if Adrian signs. I was positioned better to get Matt's autograph so I pulled out my Kemp jersey. I noticed that several fans that presented baseballs to Matt all had the sweetspot cover on aka the "ball condom" which made no sense since Matt usually sweetspots without even asking. Using the sweetspot cover just makes you look like a dealer and chances are most of these guys who were getting his autograph using the SS cover were probably dealers. Matt seemed irked by this asking everyone what this contraption was and said "I smell ebay." I jokingly told Matt it was a "ball condom" so he started to laugh and started calling it the "ball condom" as well. Luckily Matt was in a good mood and still signed for everyone but he kept on telling everyone this better not go on ebay. Matt was nice enough to sign my jersey for me.

As soon as I got Kemp's autograph I pulled out my Adrian Gonzalez jersey. Sadly he was already done signing and went into the clubhouse. I think he signed for about 5 fans and left. I was still happy with the Kemp autograph though. One jersey down and three more to go. Maybe i'll get Adrian next time.

Soon afterwards Andre Ethier signed for us as well. He signed two cards for me.

Once our session was over we got back in line to join the second group. By then most of the players were already in the clubhouse. I was able to get Brandon League's attention by calling him over to sign for us. Brandon is great about signing as usual and he signed a photo for me.

By the time it was for the last two groups to go into the autograph corral all of the players were already in the clubhouse. Thus Benson and I decided to hang out near right field to graph the Pirates.

The first player to sign for us was Jeff Karstens who signed two cards for me.

The next player to sign was Jonathan Sanchez who was signing for a few fans in the VIP field level seats. What sucks about Dodger Stadium is that the VIP section has heavy security. Thus if you don't have tickets to those seats you can't get access to the players when signing unless the players summon you over. Thus you basically have to get the players attention so that he will sign for you. Luckily Jonathan called me over to my cards signed. He was nice enough to sign three cards for me.

This was the same situation for Jared Hughes. Jared was about leave after signing for fans in the VIP seats but luckily I got his attention and he signed three cards for me as well.

The last player to sign for me today was Paco Rodriguez who signed for me near the Dodger bullpen before the game started.

Overall it was another great day of graphing at Dodger Stadium. Clayton Kershaw pitched another gem and the Dodgers ended up beating the Pirates 1-0.

Dodgers vs Pirates Post Game Graphing 4-5-13

Tonight was the first night of post game graphing at Dodger Stadium for me and my first visit to Dodger Stadium for the 2013 season. The Pirates were in town for a three game series vs the Dodgers and since I haven't graphed the Pirates before this was a perfect opportunity to add some Pirates autographs to my collection.

The first Pirate to walk out and sign for the fans was Michael McKenry who I mistakenly thought was Travis Snider. I apologized for my mistake. Luckily Michael was cool about it since he told me that everyone gets them both mixed up. He still signed a card for me.

The next Pirate to sign for me was Jose Tabata who walked out with Wandy Rodriguez. I brought seven cards for him to sign and surprisingly he signed all of them. Only six are shown since I gave one of my doubles away to my friend Benson.

As soon as Jose signed all of my cards I thanked him and got Wandy to come over. Wandy ended up signing all six cards on my page. Last year he was strictly one per with me when he played with the Astros. I guess he was in a good mood even though the Pirates lost to the Dodgers. I congratulated him on his WBC Championship with the Dominican Republic and thanked him in Spanish for signing all of my cards.

Next up was AJ Burnett. AJ initially was about to walk straight to the team bus but a fan next to me convinced him to come over and sign for us. I initially expected AJ to sign a few then leave but surprisingly he signed down the line. When he was a Yankee he was a tough autograph to get but I guess his autograph habits have changed since he joined the Pirates. AJ was nice enough to sign my ROMLB on the SS.

AJ also helped me get Clint Barmes' autograph. As soon as he finished signing for me Clint walked by and stopped to chat with AJ. I asked Clint to sign my three cards as well. Only two are pictured below since I gave one away to Benson.

Next up was Coach Clint Hurdle who signed two cards for me.

The last player to sign was Garrett Jones who signed three cards for me.

I want to give a shout out to all my fellow graphers who were out there tonight including Benson, Rob, Alex G, Alex A, Josh, and Marty.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Angels vs Dodgers Game 3-30-13

Today was going to be a long day of graphing. I decided to go to the stadium early to do some pregame graphing. Thanks to my friend Benson who hooked me, Alex, and Josh up with tickets to the game we all knew that we would be graphing at the stadium the entire day.

I arrived at the stadium at 11am and there wasn't much action. I was just chit chatting it with the fellow graphers who were waiting patiently for the Dodgers to arrive.

The first Dodger to arrive was Matt Kemp who was driven down the tunnel by his driver. Again no Matt Kemp autograph which was a bit disappointing since I figured today might be the day he signs.

The first Dodger to sign for us was Chad Billingsley who signed a photo along with three ginter cards for me. Thanks for the help Joseph and Robert who were kind enough to help me get some extra autos.

I had that photo for over a year now so it was nice that I finally got it signed by Chad.

Next up was Josh Beckett who rolled in with Kershaw. Kershaw denied us as expected. Looks like this jersey is going to be impossible to get signed in person. Surprisingly Josh signed for me again. He signed about 8 autographs out of the 50 people that were there waiting and my buddy Alex and I happened to be standing at the lucky spot. After Beckett finished signing for Matt he grabbed my 2011 All Star baseball and told everyone he would only sign two more. Luckily Alex was standing next to me so we got both of our baseballs signed. Alex was smart enough to tell Josh to sign with my pen so he would be guaranteed to get an autograph. Without even a request Josh was nice enough to sign my 2011 All Star baseball underneath the logo.

The next two players who sign were Stephen Fife and Chris Capuano. I didn't have anything for Stephen to sign but I did have a card for Chris to sign. Here are some pictures of both players signing courtesy of Alex.

The next player to sign was Kenley Jansen. Again we were in the correct spot as he ended up signing for less than 5 fans. Kenley walked directly to Matt and I who both had photos of Kenley. He also signed a card for Alex and left.

Next up was Coach Don Mattingly and again we were at the correct spot since Coach Mattingly walked right in front of us and started signing. Fans started to crowd over us trying to reach Coach Mattingly to get their items signed. Coach Mattingly signed a ROMLB on the SS for me.

After getting my autograph I noticed that one grapher who was pushing me from behind ended up handing a photo to Coach Mattingly but accidentally handed him a ball point pen. Coach Mattingly asked the grapher if he was sure if he wanted the photo signed in pen instead of a sharpie. It was already too late. Before the grapher realized his mistake Coach Mattingly started signing with the ball point pen. Then the grapher handed him a sharpie. Coach Mattingly signed over the ball point pen with a sharpie but it already destroyed the picture. I ended up finding out later the anonymous grapher ended up giving away that damaged photo to my friend Tyler.

Afterwards JP Howell stopped by and signed two cards for me.

I decided to head out to the front of the stadium to check to see if any of the players were walking in. I found out later that Adrian Gonzalez did walk in through the front but only five graphers were there waiting for him and he signed for everyone. So far I was 0-3 in getting my jerseys signed. This was not a good sign for the rest of the day.

Mark Langston ended up walking by and signed for the fans. Benson and I have this rule where we can only ask for Mark Langston's autograph once a month if not every other month. I see fans abusing him all the time trying to get 100 cards signed by him asking him everyday for autographs. He is always nice to the fans and rarely rejects any autograph request. We don't want to abuse him so when we do ask him it's once a month or once every two months. I've had a jersey, a ROMLB, and a Gold Glove ROMLB signed by Mark but never any cards. Part of the issue is that my mom threw away most of my baseball cards growing up so I don't own any cards from the badwax era of the 80s and 90s. I used to own a ton of his baseball cards. I wasn't really planning on asking him for an autograph today but my buddy Josh had some extra cards for me. Thus I couldn't pass up this autograph opportunity. Mark was nice enough to sign two cards for me. Thanks again Josh for the hookup.

Josh ended up giving me a Justin Sellers rookie card as well who I later got signed inside the stadium.

This is when I should have gone home and not attended the game. I had one of my worst graphing days inside the stadium.

We entered the stadium as soon as the gates opened at 4 for batting practice and I decided to go to the Dodgers side hoping to get some of my jerseys signed. I took a few photos of the players warming up.

I was surprised graphers were asking Hanley for his autograph even though he has a cast on his throwing hand. After each autograph request Hanley waved to fans showing his cast. I guess it never hurts to try. I didn't even bring my Hanley Ramirez jersey today since I knew that his cast would prevent him from signing autographs.

My overall timing and luck was pretty bad today inside the stadium. The first strike was when Clayton Kershaw signed over the dugout after warming up. He was signing for literally 10 minutes but he ran with a black sharpie. I asked Kershaw if he would sign my jersey and even personalize it with my silver deco so that he would know that I wouldn't be selling this jersey. He told me that he would be only signing baseballs and hats today and that he couldn't sign my jersey. It was a bit frustrating since i've been trying to get him to sign my jersey this entire weekend. He also refused to switch pens and ran with the black sharpie he had. I didn't want to ruin a clean baseball with a sharpie signature so I passed on Kershaw's autograph. I got him before on a ROMLB on the SS so it wasn't the end of the world to me that I didn't get his autograph. However I regret not wearing my Dodgers hat today since that would have been the perfect default item to get signed. I should have had an extra BP baseball in hand as well but I wasn't prepared. At least with a BP ball I could care less if it was sharpied or not. I hate missing out on autograph opportunities.

After missing out on Kershaw I saw Ethier sign for a few fans. I ran over to the spot and Ethier left after signing a few more autographs. That didn't bum me out too much since I've gotten almost every item signed by Ethier before.

Then I saw Matt Kemp stretch near the outfield. Usually after he stretches he will sign for the fans. Again I was in the wrong position. I was standing next to my friend Tyler when Kemp started signing a few sections ahead of us. I was waving my Brooklyn Dodgers jersey hoping to get his attention. I figured he would at least go down the line and sign. I was wrong. Kemp just stood in one spot as swarms of fans started to gather around. I knew it would be too late to chase after him. That was strike two. During all this madness I also missed out on Carl Crawford who signed for a few fans as well.

The only autograph I did get was from Justin Sellers who signed a card for me.

Post game graphing was worse. Initially I waited in the back of the stadium hoping that Kemp or Kershaw would sign. Again Kershaw denied us and Kemp didn't stop to sign since his driver drove him away.

I decided to try my luck in the front hoping that Adrian Gonzalez would leave the stadium through the front. There was no sign of Gonzo. Fernando Valenzuela did walk out from the front and told the five graphers waiting for him that he cannot sign and instructed us to send the stuff through the mail.

We waited hours for Gonzo and there was no sign of him. That was basically strike 3. I guess I would have to wait until another Angels vs Dodgers series or hit up a Dodger game this year to get these jerseys signed.

Kevin Gregg and Jerry Hairston walked out and both signed cards for me.

Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto walked out together as well but both guys denied all autograph requests. Skip told the graphers that he signed coming and already got all of us. Sadly I wasn't there to get him earlier during the day.

The biggest surprise of the day was the fact that Alfredo Griffin signed. Most graphers know that it's not wise to bother or even approach Alfredo. He is one of the most intimidating guys you will ever meet. I guess some newbie graphers didn't know any better and asked him for an autograph. Sure enough he signed for them. I didn't bother asking Alfredo for an autograph since I got him before. Normally when I run into him I just wave hello or say goodbye to the guy.

I decided to walk by the Angels parking lot since it was on the way to my car. I saw a crowd gathered around Scott Downs's car. Luckily I brought my Scott Downs photo that I printed last season and Scott as usual was nice and signed it for me.

The day was pretty much over. I was extremely tired and exhausted. I am seriously not in graphing shape anymore. Maybe it's time to retire who knows.

The good news was that Hank Conger hit a walkoff game winning homerun to beat the Dodgers 2-1. I got nothing but love for my brother from another mother and was happy he made the Angels roster this year.