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.