Saturday, September 28, 2013

Final Week of the Regular Season Part II Colorado Rockies Graphing 9-28-13

It was another bittersweet ending to yet another great year of graphing with my fellow graphers at Dodger Stadium. Since the Rockies were in town I decided to try for Todd Helton one more time since he is retiring at the end of this year. Luckily earlier this year I was able to get Todd's autograph so I decided to try for him again but for my buddy Benson who couldn't make it out to graph today. My goal was getting Troy Tulowitzki's autograph today along with Todd Helton's autograph for my friend Benson.

Here is what I ended up with.

I finally dropped a commemorative baseball on Cargo who is one of the nicest players in the league and also one of my favorite players. He's always good to the fans and it was nice to get his autograph on the 2012 All Star ROMLB which was his first All Star Game appearance. It was nice to add another Cargo autograph to the collection.

Next up was Todd Helton who signed a ROMLB for me on the SS. Todd is probably the best player in Rockies history and is also a baseball legend so it's always a good day when you get his autograph. This one was for my friend Benson who couldn't make it out today.

I also ended up getting Roy Oswalt's autograph again. I got his autograph in Anaheim last year when he played for the Texas Rangers so it was a pleasant surprise to get his autograph again today. He's a tough autograph to get in general so it was nice to add another Roy Oswalt autograph into the collection. I wish I planned better and dropped a commemorative baseball but it was still nice to get his autograph again on a standard ROMLB. If anyone wants to trade for an Oswalt baseball feel free to contact me.

Wilin Rosario, Dexter Fowler, Jonathan Herrera, Tyler Chatwood, Michael Cuddyer, Drew Pomeranz, Rex Brothers, Josh Rutledge, Mitchell Boggs and Jordan Pacheco all signed cards for me.

Unfortunately no Troy Tulowitzki again this year. I hope I can get his autograph in the future but it was still a great day of graphing. 

I hope I can continue graphing during the Dodger playoff run. Hopefully they win it all this year. I want to give a shout out to all the Dodger Stadium graphers including my friends Josh aka Dodgerbobble, Alex A, Franz G, Harry R, Andrew aka Minibull, Andy aka Pitbull, Eric K, David A, Jose V, Alex H, Mikey P, Stephan, Steve Z, David M, Jesse, Junior, Manuel, and anyone else who I may have missed. I want to thank everyone for another awesome year of graphing.

Final Week of the Regular Season Oakland A's Postgame 9-23-13

Angels vs A's Postgame 9-23-13  

Tonight was the last game for postgame graphing at Angel Stadium for me. It was a long season of graphing and I was glad it was finally coming to a close. Originally I was intending on skipping the entire series but I ended up meeting up with my friend Jose to pick up my baseball he owed me.

In terms of graphing here is what I got postgame.

I want to give a shout out to all of the Anaheim graphers including Benson, Ryan, Alex G, Rob G, Kyle S, Kyle M, Matt Crocker, Lori, Mike, Freddie, Joe C, Jeremy, Scotty, Ken, Ken Jr, Victor, Moe, Jose, David A, Tyler, Robert, Bryan, Joe S, and anyone else who I forgot to mention. It was another memorable year of graphing at Angel Stadium.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Garret Anderson Carmax Signing Angels vs Mariners Game 9-21-13

Saturday was another fun filled but also a long day of graphing. Since the Mariners were in town I decided to do some pregame graphing prior to the Garret Anderson Carmax signing which was located at the Angel Stadium Parking lot. The goal today was to get my Garret Anderson jersey signed and the rest of the autographs were just gravy.

The Mariners that signed pregame for me were Kyle Seager, Humberto Quintero, Carter Capps, Brad Miller, Justin Smoak, Dustin Ackley, Charlie Furbush and Joe Saunders who all signed cards for me. Kyle Seager also signed a photo for me as well.

My favorite autograph was from Howard "Hojo" Johnson who is currently the assistant hitting coach for the Mariners. I remember watching him play for the Mets back in the 80s when I was a youngster. It's always nice to add autographs from players from your childhood to your collection. Coach Johnson was nice enough to inscribe his nickname "Hojo" and "2 x World Series Champs" on my baseball.

Afterwards I decided to get in line for the Carmax Garret Anderson signing which took place from 4-6:30pm at the Angels parking lot. I got in line at 3pm and here is a picture below how the line looked like.

I was the second person in line as there was only one other fan who arrived earlier than me. A low turnout at a signing is unheard of in LA since there's always a long line for free signings. It was nice since if there was a small turnout I could get multiple items signed.

While it was getting closer to the time of the signing the representatives of Carmax formed a separate line for people who registered to get their car appraised. Since I didn't register I ended up being pushed back in line to about 30th in line. Garret began to sign as soon as he arrived. He signed multiple items along with inscriptions as only about 100 fans showed up.

In the end Garret inscribed and signed multiple items for the first 50 fans and his handler started to crack down on inscriptions as it got out of hand.

Garret signed my jersey and also added the "2002 World Series Champs" inscription on my jersey. He also signed a photo for me as well.

The photo above was courtesy of my friend David A. who was kind enough to take this photo for me as I was getting my jersey signed by Garret. Thanks David A.

Mission accomplished. It's always a good day when I get a jersey signed. It was nice to get this jersey completed and I was glad to get the jersey signed at a public signing versus in person since Garret gives out a sloppy signature when you get his autograph in person. A perfect example of a quick in person sloppy signature are these two photos I got signed by Garret earlier this year pictured below.

Thanks to my friend Benson who had an extra ticket for me we headed inside for BP. Since the signing took place during batting practice we missed most of it. When we entered the stadium the Mariners were done with batting practice but Nick Franklin stuck around and signed. Luckily I was able to catch him before he was headed towards the dugout. The photo below is courtesy of my friend Kyle who took this photo of me as I was getting my photo signed by Nick Franklin. Thank Kyle.

Afterwards Taijuan Walker rolled by to take photos with friends and family.

Kyle and I had Taijuan sign some baseballs for us.

This was our view of the game.

Overall it was another fun day at the stadium.

5th Annual CJ Wilson Throw Strikes Bowling Tournament 9-19-13

I decided to attend the 5th Annual CJ Wilson Throw Strikes Bowling Tournament this past Thursday. The event took place at Bowlmor in Anaheim from 6-10pm. Entry to the event was $50 and included food, drinks, and also a game of bowling with all proceeds benefiting patients at the Hematology Clinic of CHOC Children's and The Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Thanks to my friends Victor and Scotty I was able to attend the event for free since they had an extra pass for me. I headed to Anaheim as soon as I got off work which is what explains why I am still wearing my scrubs in the pictures below. When I arrived CJ was already inside mingling with Angels fans who formed a line to get his autograph. Here is a photo of CJ and his teammate Collin Cowgill.

Here is CJ talking to the fans discussing information about his charity.

CJ was nice and cool with everyone as usual signing hundreds of autographs and also posed for pictures with fans. He's always been good to the fans since his days with the Texas Rangers so it's nice to see him have another successful season leading the Angels in wins this year.

CJ ended up signing three photos and six cards for me. For some reason I think he forgot to sign my 2013 Allen and Ginter Card.

Other Angels in attendance were Buddy Boshers and Collin Cowgill as I mentioned previously. Unfortunately I didn't have any items prepared for them to sign. A lot of graphers were hoping more Angels would show up like last year when Jered Weaver and Dan Haren stopped by but this year there wasn't much team support. Everyone in attendance was anticipating that maybe Mike Trout or Josh Hamilton would stop by but sadly they didn't show up.

After getting CJ's autograph I noticed that there was a raffle table set up. The table included really nice prizes such as an autographed Weaver jersey, Hamilton jesey, Trout jersey, Trout bat, Trumbo bat, and Kendrick bat. Other notable prizes included Beats by Dre headphones, Disneyland tickets, a signed skate deck by Ryan Sheckler, a signed Cole Hamels replica jersey and a signed Cole Hamels baseball. Each raffle ticket was $5 or three tickets for $10.

Normally with raffles, I go in with the expectation that I won't win since the odds are always slim. I figured it was for a good cause since all proceeds from the raffle went to charity so I ended up buying 12 raffle tickets. Only 11 tickets are shown below since I won one item at the raffle.

With the 12 raffle tickets I decided to strategize by looking for the can with the least amount of tickets. The Cole Hamels signed replica jersey and the Cole Hamels signed baseball had the least amount of tickets so I decided to invest two tickets on the jersey and one ticket on the signed baseball. The item I really wanted to win was the Trout signed Old Hickory bat so I invested five tickets for the bat, three tickets for the Trout signed jersey and one ticket for the Hamilton signed jersey.

Towards the tail end of the event CJ Wilson walked over to the raffle table and began to call out numbers of the winning raffle tickets for each item.

The moment of truth was when he called out my winning raffle ticket number 126443 when he was raffling off the autographed Mike Trout Old Hickory MLB Authenticated bat. I couldn't believe it. I had to look at my ticket twice to check if I won. The most popular item with the most raffle tickets was the Trout jersey and the Trout bat. I couldn't believe how lucky I got. My friend Lori took a photo of me with the bat as soon as I won it with my friend Joe who was nice enough to photobomb the photo.

After the raffle was over CJ signed more autographs and posed for pictures with fans. All of the raffle winners were able to pose for a photo with CJ. When we took this photo CJ told me to pose with a batting stance.

We also took a group photo of all the Anaheim graphers in attendance.

The graphers missing in the photo above are Tyler, Victor and Jeremy who all left early. I want to give a shout out to all the graphers including Victor, Scotty, Amber, Lori, Joe, Jeremy, and Tyler and a special thanks to both Victor and Scotty for hooking me up. If it weren't for you guys I would have never won the bat. I also want to thank CJ Wilson for hosting his charity bowling event and for being nice and cordial to the fans as usual.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dodgers vs Giants Series La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers Recap

Dodgers vs Giants Post Game 9-13-13

The Giants were in town for a four game series vs the Dodgers. My goal this series was to get Tim Lincecum's autograph since I am the only person in the autograph community in Southern California that still hasn't gotten Timmy's autograph. I've tried for the last few years and I always missed him.

Initially I was stuck in traffic thus I thought I wouldn't make it on time for postgame graphing. Luckily I was able to arrive at Dodger Stadium in the bottom of the 9th inning.

It felt like the playoffs as the entire stadium was filled to capacity. Even though the Dodgers pretty much have the division won it was nice to see the fans stay and watch the full game. Unfortunately the Dodgers ended up losing to the Giants 4-2.

As soon as the game was over Tim Lincecum walked out and signed a photo for my friend Alex. Afterwards he grabbed my ROMLB and pen and ran toward his car. I guess he didn't want to get mobbed by the fans. It was weird since I had to chase Timmy down to get my baseball back. I wasn't sure if he was going to keep it and drive off or hand me the baseball back. Luckily he sat in his car and signed by baseball and tossed it back to me.

I was happy to finally add Tim Lincecum's autograph to my collection. What's unique about the baseball is that it looks like he drew a happy face like how Brett Butler signs his autograph.

That was pretty much it for postgame graphing as none of the other Giants signed. I was glad to knock Timmy out of the way the first night I tried graphing this series.

La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers 9-14-13 

I decided to check out La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers Event since I missed out last year due to work. The scheduled Dodgers to sign were Adrian Gonzalez, Juan Uribe, Jerry Hairston Jr, and Ronald Belisario from 2-2:30pm; Billy Ashley, Bobby Castillo, Sweet Lou Johnson, and Kenny Landreaux from 3:45-4:15; Fernando Valenzuela, Manny Mota, and Pepe Yniguez from 5:15-6:10.

My goal was to get either Adrian Gonzalez or Juan Uribe autograph today. I wanted to get my 2010 All star bat signed by Adrian Gonzalez and a photo by Juan Uribe since he rarely signs.

As expected the event was extremely crowded.

The Dodgers created four autograph lines. Unfortunately nobody knew where each player would sign so it was randomized. I decided to get in line 3 with Josh, Jessie, Benson and Larry. My buddy Spencer was in line 4.

I get really unlucky when it comes to lines so it was no surprise that I was in the Jerry Hairston Jr line. No offense to Jerry since he is a great guy in person and a World Series champion but I didn't have anything but a card for him to sign today so I was a bit upset. Adrian Gonzalez ended up in line 1, Juan Uribe ended up in line 2, Jerry was in line 3 and the biggest surprise were two unannounced signers Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig in line 4. My buddy Spencer pretty much hit the jackpot. The organizers of the event let people in line four to choose between getting Hanley's autograph or Puig's autograph.

Ironically my buddy Spencer actually came to the event just to get his Yankee plaque signed by Jerry Hairston Jr. I had nothing but a measly card for Jerry to sign so Spencer asked me if I could get his plaque signed for him. Sure enough I agreed since I knew my buddy's Yankee's plaque project was more important than me getting my card signed. In exchange Spencer agreed to get me Yasiel Puig's autograph which is simply the most generous trade ever. Unfortunately I didn't have a bat on me that was appropriate for Puig to sign since I only brought my 2010 All Star bat with me but my buddy Larry who was in line with me immediately noticed the situation and gave me one of his bats so I could get Puig's autograph. I didn't want to drop a ball on Puig either since he was side paneling everyone since he is under "contracto."

I ended up getting Jerry to sign Spencer's Yankee plaque and he was nice enough to inscribe 09 World Series Champs.

Spencer handed me this signed Puig bat afterwards.

I want to thank Spencer for getting me Puig's autograph and also Larry for hooking me up with the bat. It's good to have nice friends in the autograph community. I felt really lucky to get Puig since I soon found out that Puig and Hanley weren't signing bats that day. There was a kid who tried to get a bat signed that got denied by the handlers running the event. Somehow Spencer was able to convince Puig so sign my bat. Hanley and Puig ended up signing for less than five minutes for about 20 fans and ended up leaving early as Belisario took their place. A lot of fans in line 4 were upset when this happened. I'm glad I dropped a bat since I soon found out that Puig was side paneling every baseball since he is under "contracto." My buddy Juan even tried to use a sweetspot cover aka "ball condom" to get Puig to sign on the SS but he ended up peeling it off to side panel the baseball.

Afterwards we entered the stadium to graph the Dodgers during BP. The first Dodger to sign was Paco Rodriguez near the bullpen. Unfortunately I missed him as he finished up signing by the time I was able to hand him my photo.

Then Carlos Marmol signed two cards for me. It was nice to finally add his autograph to my collection.

Next up was Michael Young. Today was my lucky day. First was getting Puig's autograph on a bat due to the generosity of my buddy Spencer. I recently ordered a 2006 All Star Baseball earlier during the week so that I could get Michael Young to sign it for me. My buddy Benson ran a bit late today before meeting up at my house to carpool to Dodger Stadium together. My mailman literally dropped off the baseball as Benson arrived at my house. Had we left for the stadium earlier I wouldn't have been able to get Michael Young to sign my 2006 All Star baseball. Michael Young was cool as usual and signed my 2006 Rawlings All Star baseball under the logo. He also hooked it up with the '06 ASG MVP inscription.

That was pretty much it for me and the rest of the day for graphing the Dodgers. I did take some action photos of my buddy Josh aka Dodgerbobble getting Don Mattingly's autograph near the dugout.

The Donnie baseball autograph came out sick. Another great pickup for Josh.

The best autograph that anyone got at the stadium today belongs to Josh's agent Benson. Among Dodger fans, graphers at Dodger Stadium, and graphers in Southern California Josh has become a cult hero. Benson ended up getting a 1 of 1 spotlight photo signed by the legend Dodgerbobble.

If any true Dodger fan or OG grapher needs a photo of Josh or his autograph feel free to contact his agent Benson.

I want to thank my buddy Spencer again for helping me get Yasiel Puig's autograph and also my buddy Larry for loaning me the bat I used to get Puig's autograph. It's nice to know good people and friends in the autograph community.