Monday, September 9, 2013

The Hunt for Greg Maddux: Angels vs Rangers Series Recap

Angels vs Rangers Game 9-7-13

As soon we finished getting our items signed at the Howie Kendrick signing we headed over the Angel Stadium to graph the Rangers.  I decided to skip the Angels Fiesta since it was about 100 degrees outside and didn't want to deal with the crowds or the sun. Plus the lineup of players scheduled to sign were weak with only Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo being the top caliber players that were signing. I didn't want to risk the chance of waiting in line all day to end up being in the wrong line and getting a piece of paper signed by a random player on the Angels 40 man roster. I'd figure i'd graph the Rangers pregame in the shade instead.

My goal today was to get Greg Maddux's autograph. From fellow graphers I heard that Maddux was at the game the previous night and some of my friends were fortunate enough to get his autograph. Greg Maddux has been my holy grail for quite some time. He was one of my favorite pitchers growing up so I always wanted to add his autograph to my collection. I figured my chances were slim since he rarely signs but it was worth a shot today.

The first player to sign for me today was Ian Kinsler. It was nice to finally add his autograph to my collection since i've been trying to get him for the past two years. I love it when I get autographs from players i've never gotten before.

Adrian Beltre was next but I was denied as he ended up signing for about five fans. I always have the worst luck with that guy. I think I am 2 for 20 lifetime whenever I had a chance to get his autograph over the years but it wasn't the end of the world I missed out. I was still happy about getting Kinsler.

The last autograph I got pregame was from Jason Frasor who was super nice when signing a card for me. I guess it's because I was the only fan to ask him for an autograph. I wished him good luck at the game and he thanked me.

Thanks to my friend Benson who had an extra ticket for me I was able to go to the game. Thanks again Benson for the ticket.

Unfortunately graphing during BP was bad today. I was set on getting Greg Maddux's autograph so we went over to the Rangers dugout. He was low profile so at first we didn't recognize him. Everyone else was fixated on trying to get Yu Darvish to sign as he ended up signing a few autographs the previous night. Greg Maddux was having a conversation with one of the members of the Rangers organization so Benson, Alex A. and I waited patiently to ask him for an autograph as soon as he finished his conversation. When we did ask he ended up completely ignoring us. That was strike one. We noticed afterwards that Maddux ran over to the outfield to give pitching instructions. We moved over to the left field bullpen.

If you look closely above you can see a Corona sign and a fence that swings open so that the players can enter the bullpen. I waited with my friends Ryan, Benson and Alex near that corner to try to get Maddux's attention to sign for us. The stadium employees began to close the fence in as Maddux was walking towards to the bullpen so he quickly ran towards me. We were literally face to face and he still denied us. That was strike two.

We then moved over to the bullpen near the left field seats where Greg Maddux was talking to his brother Mike. There we asked him again and this time we finally got a response from Greg Maddux who just shook his head meaning "no." That was strike three which was a bummer since we had three close encounters with him today.

Graphing during BP was terrible as none of the Rangers signed autographs for us. I decided to try postgame for Maddux again.

Post game was no different as many other graphers who also heard that Maddux was in attendance all waited for him. Maddux walked out with his family and was low profile again. By the time anyone noticed him he was already near his car. Maddux signed one autograph for legendary HOF grapher Matt Crocker. Good stuff as usual Matt. Sadly that was my fourth strike of the day.

Post game wasn't completely a bust as Joe Nathan signed a card for me. I want to thank my friend Eric aka  "Koontz" for helping me getting an extra card signed by Joe. Thanks again bro.

Overall I was a bit disappointed not getting Maddux but I still had one more day to try again.

Angels vs Rangers Game 9-8-13

Today was my last shot at getting Greg Maddux's autograph. We weren't completely sure he was even going to be at the stadium today. Sunday graphing is always tough since there is no BP and you have to get up really early since it's a day game. Plus it's a travel day for most teams so it's tough to graph on Sundays.

I arrived at the stadium and within 10 minutes Greg Maddux signed for us. I was fortunate enough to be the first guy he signed for. My persistence finally paid off. I didn't want this to be my fifth strikeout but luckily today was my day. Greg Maddux was nice enough to sign my Rawlings Gold Glove baseball on the SS. I figured that outside of the HOF ball this was the best type of commemorative baseball to use to get an autograph from Greg Maddux since he owns the record for most Gold Glove Awards won by a pitcher at 18 total GG awards.

That pretty much made my day, my month and maybe my year. Greg Maddux is my favorite autograph I got all year and is on top of my list next to getting Mariano Rivera's autograph in person.

Since I still had tickets to the game I decided to try to get some autographs after the pitchers finished warming up.

The only pitcher from the Rangers that signed was Neftali Feliz. It was nice to finally get him to sign my photo which I printed out for him last year. I never had a chance to get him to sign it since he was injured most of the time. As soon as he saw the photo he came up and signed it for me.

In terms of quantity I didn't get much this series but I was happy with the quality autographs I got.


  1. Always gotta get the quality over quantity man and that Maddux looks amazing!! Good work. Glad to get out there with you again.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Kyle. It was fun graphing as usual with you bro.