Monday, July 29, 2013

Drew League Epic Fail 7-28-13

This was pretty much my fault for the epic fail on Sunday at the Drew League. Rumors spread all over the internet that Kevin Durant was going to make an appearance at the Drew League this past Sunday. 

I arrived at the Drew at about 10am which was when they opened the gym. By the time I got there there were already over 100 people waiting outside the gym to get in. The entire gym was already full to capacity as they weren't letting anymore people in.

I figured my best chance was to wait by the parking lot to catch the players coming in. This was my view for the next three hours in the warm sunlight.

Luckily I didn't strike out as Demar Derozan signed a photo for me coming in.

Next up was Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace.

He was a surprise guest as he was unannounced but luckily I had my entire collection of basketball photos with me. I thought i'd never get this photo signed especially since Metta just signed with the NY Knicks. Initially Metta denied me since he was running late to the game. However he got stuck in line at the players entrance as security initially wouldn't let him in. While he was waiting I asked him again and he finally broke down and signed a photo for me.

I ended up missing out on KD as he signed inside after the game for a few fans as he was leaving the gym. Again that was my fault for not waking up early. People were actually camping out to get inside the gym as early as 7am. I miss the good old days when the Drew wasn't as high publicized like it is now when ESPN is covering the event. It was so much easier to get inside the gym without having to wake up early for the games.

I did however manage to get Shabazz Muhammad's autograph on a floorboard. He went as a spectator to watch KD play for LAUNFD vs Money Gang. He was nice enough to inscribe "Go Wolves."

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ryu vs Choo Dodgers vs Reds 7-27-13

I decided to head out to Dodger Stadium to witness Korean baseball history; Ryu vs Choo when the Dodgers faced the Reds this past weekend. It's been a few weeks since i've been back to Dodger Stadium so I was happy to get a chance to see this great match up and to get a few autographs as well. I also had to meet up with Chris Capuano to give him his batting photo.

When I entered the stadium I decided to take a few photos of the Dodgers warming up. Puig was playing catch with Andre Ethier.

T-Fed was the first to sign autographs. I had him sign a card for me.

I noticed that Cappy was playing catch with Kershaw.

A few weeks ago I had Chris sign a photo for me pictured below.

As he was signing he asked me if I could print one out for him since he liked the photo a lot. Normally pitchers love to see themselves hitting so I wasn't too surprised he liked this photo. Since Chris has been good to me over the years being a great signer and a great person in general I decided to return the favor by giving him the photo. I promised him that I would be back after the All Star break and today was the day I handed him the photo. After he finished playing catch with Kershaw I called him over to give him his photo. Chris thanked me and signed a card for me. I thanked him as well for being fan friendly and for signing a ton of autographs for us over the years.

Chris seemed really happy to get the photo as he was showing off his photo and his home run swing to his teammates.

That pretty much made my day. It's rare that a player asks a fan for things especially since they can afford anything they want in life. It felt good just to return the favor as well. It also helped me the rest of the day since autograph karma kicked in a good way.

Afterwards I noticed that Ricky Nolasco was inside the bullpen. He was sitting deep inside the bullpen and he started signing. Ricky was only signing baseballs since he was deep inside the bullpen so we had to toss the baseball to him. I decided to get my clean BP ROMLB signed by Ricky. Ricky was nice enough to sign my baseball on the SS.

Afterwards he came out of the bullpen and signed for the rest of the fans. I asked him to sign a few cards for me as well and he signed all seven cards I had of him. I guess Ricky was in a good mood since he is glad to be back home playing for the Dodgers instead of the lowly Marlins.

Afterwards I headed out to the autograph corral. There wasn't much action as most of the Dodgers ran into the clubhouse. Thus I took photos of the stadium from my view on the field.

The only Dodger that signed at the autograph corral was Andre Ethier who signed a photo for me.

Afterwards I headed towards the Reds dugout as the Dodgers were done with batting practice. There was absolutely no action on the Reds side. I heard from other graphers that both Votto and Phillips signed a ton on Thursday which was the first game of the series. Thus I didn't expect much since they were probably all signed out. However I still tried graphing the Reds with a glimmer of hope. Brandon Phillips and Shin Soo Choo did indeed sign but only for people with field passes. Arolidis Chapman also signed for a baseball team that had field passes but showed no love for the ones without field passes.

I headed over to the Reds dugout to hopefully get some of the relief pitchers and maybe Aroldis. I figured my chances were low though since he already signed a bunch of autographs already.

The only Reds relief picher to sign was Logan Ondrusek who signed a card for me.

Normally I would watch a few innings and leave to go eat tacos but I decided to watch the game until they called in a reliever for Ryu. I wanted to see every at bat between Ryu vs Choo and so did many other Korean baseball fans as Dodger Stadium was filled with a ton my fellow Koreans to witness history. Ryu ended up pitching seven innings. Afterwards I left since I was hungry and I wanted to go home. My postgame meal is always at Taco Zone which serves the best tacos in LA period. Order the suadero mulitas, they are simply amazing.

When I arrived at Taco Zone the truck was nowhere to be seen. It was around 8pm so I figured the taco truck would be there. I got the times mixed up as I found out that it opened at 9. I still wanted my tacos before driving home but I had an hour to kill. I was listening to the game on the radio and it was already the 9th inning. Since Taco Zone is only a few minutes away from the stadium I decided to head back for some postgame graphing which I originally didn't plan to do.

I have to thank the autograph gods and autograph karma for that decision since I had one of my best postgame graphing night at Dodger Stadium.

The first player to sign was the former MVP himself Joey Votto who i've wanted his autograph for quite some time now. He was excorted by security but told us that he would sign as long as we were not double dipping on him. Joey warned all the fans and graphers that if he caught anyone double dipping he would stop signing and leave. It was nice since none of the graphers and fans broke the rule and everyone behaved. Joey signed my ROMLB on the SS.

Next up was Brandon Phillips who also signed my ROMLB on the SS.

That pretty much made my night since I never expected to get both Votto and Phillips postgame. To celebrate I decided to head back to Taco Zone for some mulitas.

Monday, July 15, 2013

LINSANITY!!!!! Steve Nash Foundation Showdown Soccer Game 7-14-13

After the Drew League, Nick and I decided to check out the Steve Nash Foundation Showdown Soccer Game since we were already close by. Initially I wasn't even planning on graphing on Sunday since I wanted to take the weekend off but as soon as I found out Jeremy Lin was a late add on to play in the Steve Nash Showdown soccer game I knew I had to be there to meet Linsanity himself. Getting Jeremy's autograph in person was my goal today.

As you can see from the picture above the event had heavy security as you were gated off if you didn't have VIP tickets to the event. The entire soccer field was gated off to the public and they had bleacher seating on a first come first served basis which was located outside the gates.

The game was located in the ghetto part of LA near the Staples Center and it was tough to find a good parking spot which is always annoying.

We decided to wait near the entrance hoping to catch the players coming in. Sure enough they all got dropped off in one bus along with the soccer players as well. Thus it was tough to graph since you had to pick and choose who you wanted as each player was in a rush to enter the soccer field.

The first player to walk out of the bus was the Captain of the LA Galaxy Robby Keane. I passed on him since I don't graph soccer and wasn't prepped for him.

I saw Klay Thompson walk by but nobody stopped him. Since I got his autograph a few weeks ago I initially passed on him.

During the chaos I noticed Jeremy Lin walking out of the bus so I called him over. He was cool and signed my Sports Illustrated for me.

Afterwards he ran with my blue sharpie and signed a blue LA Dodger cap for another fan and walked in. Jeremy signed a total of two autographs pregame.

After getting Jeremy Lin's autograph I noticed that Steve Nash began to sign. Nick ended up getting Steve Nash's autograph on his basketball but missed out on Jeremy Lin so he was a bit bummed. I ended up getting Steve to sign a basketball for me as well.

The autograph was a bit rushed as Steve ended up signing about five autographs. He was also in a rush to get inside the field. I can't complain though since Steve will be a HOFer one day.

Afterwards I decided to take a few pictures of the players warming up on the field.

Klay Thompson ended up signing through the fence prior to the game. I was able to get Klay to sign a photo for me by sliding it between the gate.

The floorboard pictured above was signed after the soccer game as Klay was leaving the event.

Jared Dudley also signed but in a section of the fence where there was no room for a photo to slide in. Fans were sliding random items through the fence like their t shirts for him to sign. I ended up getting Jared Dudley after the game as he was leaving.

I took some more photos to pass the time.

Steve Nash's team ended up winning with Steve making the game winning goal. As for post game graphing it was bad as most of the players were in a rush to leave just like how they were in a rush to enter the event. Klay Thompson was the first one to walk out and sign and he pretty much signed for anyone who asked. Jared Dudley signed as well. Jeremy Lin signed one autograph on a notepad but the autograph was illegible  as Jeremy was in a rush to leave. Nash came out with his kids so he didn't sign at all.

Overall I felt really lucky to get both Steve Nash and Jeremy Lin's autograph today.