Sunday, December 14, 2014

2nd Annual Barnyard Wiffleball Invitational 12-14-14

I decided to check out Brandon Barnes' 2nd Annual Barnyard Wiffleball Invitational Tournament today at The Office Sports Academy in Anaheim. This was a charity event hosted by Colorado Rockies outfielder Brandon Barnes to help support the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. Entry to the event was $5.

Scheduled MLB players to be in attendance were Joe Kelly, Tyler Matzek, CJ Wilson, Mark Trumbo, Christian Colon, Nolan Arenado and Justin Turner.

I arrived at the Office Sports Academy at around 10am and the entire building was already packed.

The first autograph I got today was from Joe Kelly who signed an 11x14 for me. Joe was sitting in the stands just watching the wiffleball game. Ironically the backdrop was a replica of Fenway Park which is his home ballpark he plays at for the Boston Red Sox. Here he is pictured below with the TACO cap.

I like how he signed his autograph really large on the photo. Joe was cool with the fans as he ended up signing multiples for all the graphers today. Later on during the day I also got two cards signed as well.

Afterwards I took photos of Brandon Barnes' wiffleball team which comprised of Tyler Matzek, Justin Turner and Christian Colon. Here is a photo below of Brandon pitching.

Here is a few photos showing Tyler, Justin and Brandon watching Christian take some cuts.

After the game I ended up getting Tyler Matzek to sign a card for me. Brandon Barnes and Christian Colon signed an 8x10 for me. I also ended up getting a Big West baseball signed by Christian Colon for my friend Jose who couldn't make it out to the event today.

Afterwards I ended up getting Mark Trumbo to sign a 12x18 for me and with the help of my friend Phil I was able to get an 11x14 photo done as well. It was nice to finally get these photos signed. I had these photos for about two years now. Mark as usual wasn't in a good mood and he grudgingly signed for everyone. Basically with Mark you get your one and leave. It's never a good idea to try double dipping on him.

The toughest autograph to obtain by far was Nolan Arenado today. He would sign sporadically for a few then leave, then sign again and leave. He was a popular target among graphers since he just won back to back Gold Glove Awards so everyone had a Gold Glove ball ready for him. Nolan was kind enough to sign an 11x14 photo for me along with a Gold Glove ball today.

The only no show was CJ Wilson at the event or at least I thought he was going to be a no show. As I said my goodbyes to all my friends in the graphing community I ran into CJ at the parking lot. He arrived at the event in the afternoon. I ended up getting CJ to sign an 11x14 along with a 2011 All Star Game baseball with the 1st All Star inscription.

I want to thank Brandon Barnes for running another successful and well organized event. It was nice to go to an event where all the invited guests actually showed up. I also want to give a shout out to all the graphers. It was nice running into my summer baseball family and spending a nice afternoon with them.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Clayton Kershaw Appearance at the LA Auto Show 11-30-14

Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to make an appearance at the LA Auto Show today from 12-1pm at the Acura Booth. During the entire week there was speculation that the event was cancelled since the flyer was taken down on the LA Auto Show website. Nobody was certain if any outside items were allowed to be signed as well. My goal today was to get my road grey Kershaw jersey signed.

I arrived at the LA Convention Center at around 11pm.

There were already about 100 people in line.

Kershaw arrived a bit late around 12:15 and went inside the Acura booth.

I'm pretty certain all of the Acura employees got their Kershaw items signed.

Clayton also did an interview for Acura as well.

The line ran through quickly since Kershaw wasn't signing any outside items. There was also no photos allowed as the guards were strict about taking photos of Kershaw signing near the table.

I ended up with this fancy Acura promotional photo signed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Steve Garvey and Friends feat Reggie Jackson at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino

I decided to check out the Steve Garvey and Friends dinner featuring Reggie Jackson at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino yesterday.

The cost of the dinner was $40 and featured a three course meal along with baseball stories from Steve Garvey and Reggie Jackson, who happened to be the guest of honor at the event. The dinner was scheduled to take place at 6:30pm.

When I arrived at the casino I met up with my friends Jeremy and Spencer. Our goal was to get Reggie Jackson's autograph tonight and to also enjoy dinner and to listen to old baseball stories told by both Reggie Jackson and Steve Garvey.

Both Reggie Jackson and Steve Garvey arrived promptly on time for the event.

The first course was the signature salad which contained shaved vegetables, herb flowers, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, and sherry citrus vinaigrette.

The main entree was either a top sirloin 10oz steak or garlic roasted petaluma chicken breast. I chose the steak which was damn good.

Dessert was chocolate bread pudding with candied kumquat creme anglaise.

Throughout the night both Garvey and Jackson recounted stories of their illustrious baseball careers and discussed how they felt when they faced each other and during critical moments of their careers like in the World Series. Reggie also discussed the story of his life how he came up from humble beginnings growing up in Wyncote which is a small town north of Philadelphia. He also discussed how much racism he had to endure while he was in the minors and mentioned how thankful he was for his teammates who protected him during those tough times.

There was also a Q and A session at the end of the night as well.

After the event was over Steve Garvey set up an autograph table for anyone who wanted his autograph or Reggie's autograph. It was well organized as everyone who got in line ended up getting an autograph. I ended up getting three baseballs signed by Reggie; an HOF ball, 2008 All Star ball since he threw out the first pitch, and a standard ROMLB.

My buddy Spencer ended up getting his jersey signed along with a Reggie Jackson plaque.

Overall it was another fun night of graphing and one of the rare nights I actually walked away from a casino feeling like a winner.

Signature Salad
Baby Greens, Shaved Vegetables, Herb Flowers, Nuts and Seeds, Dried Fruits, Sherry Citrus Vinaigrette - See more at:
Signature Salad
Baby Greens, Shaved Vegetables, Herb Flowers, Nuts and Seeds, Dried Fruits, Sherry Citrus Vinaigrette - See more at:

Postseason Graphing

Once in a blue moon both the Halos and Dodgers make the playoffs which basically extends the baseball graphing season. Here is a short recap of both the Dodgers vs Cardinals Series and the Angels vs Royals Series.

Cardinals Graphing

I didn't expect to get Yadi since I can never get that guy but I did end up with two of my main targets, Matt Holliday and Adam Wainwright.

Matt was kind enough to sign my 2011 World Series baseball.

Waino was cool as usual and signed my 2014 All Star ball for me.

Cal Ripken Jr

I ended up doing some postgame graphing when the Angels hosted the Royals for Game 1 of their ALDS matchup. Normally I wouldn't graph during the week since I try to graph only on weekends but I had to make an exception since Cal Ripken Jr. was in attendance. Last year I tried getting Cal's autograph at Dodger Stadium but he would always elude me. Thus the main objective on the night was to get Cal's autograph.

To prepare I had to find an authentic Cal Ripken Jr. jersey in advance so I would have it on time for him to sign it. That was the tricky part since Cal hasn't played baseball in over a decade now so it's tough to find a, authentic unsigned Cal Ripken Jr jersey in perfect condition. I searched online and ended up finding a great deal on a signed Cal Ripken Jr. jersey with full MLB Authentication and Ironclad authentication. The jersey itself was brand new with tags. The only catch was that the jersey was signed in front of the jersey on the jersey itself and not the back of the jersey on the jersey number. My personal preference is to get a jersey signed on the jersey number. Any other collector would have probably left the jersey alone but for me I had to get it signed in person myself.

When I arrived at the stadium I met up with my friends Jeremy and Phil and we waited for Cal to leave the stadium after the conclusion of the game. There was heavy security especially since there was a lot of media and since it was the playoffs.

When Cal walked out he headed towards his car. A lot of fans were waiting for him chanting his name and asking for him to sign. We all initially thought Cal would leave as soon as he got in his car but he didn't. He walked over to us and signed for about 15 minutes. As expected it was chaos but luckily Cal was behind a fence so he wasn't being bum rushed.

Cal is simply a class act as i've heard stories from other graphers and fans who have had previous encounters with him before. For each baseball signed he would blow air on the baseball after signing it so that the ink would dry to prevent smearing the autograph before handing the baseball back to the fan getting his autograph. Before he signed my jersey he specifically asked me what part of the number eight I wanted the jersey to get signed and also checked to make sure he didn't accidentally sign the jersey backwards. Cal took his time to make sure that everyone waiting for him got an autograph that night. It was simply legendary.

Some collectors may feel that I was being wasteful by not getting Cal on a different item since the jersey was technically already signed in the front with full authentication. Maybe I was being redundant for getting Cal to sign the jersey again. Personally for me the jersey has more sentimental value since now there is a story behind how I obtained the autograph. Anyone can technically buy an autograph but if there is no story to back up the autograph and if you personally didn't get it yourself there is less sentimental value tied to the piece. At least for me personally, every autograph I obtained myself has more value to me than the ones I obtained through trades or the ones I bought with authentication in the past. Simply put, its all about getting the autograph and the story that is tied to the autograph, and not just having the autograph.

I did end up getting one Royals autograph which was from Mike Moustakas. The Moose is tearing it up in the postseason and I wish him the best in the World Series.

Moose is another one of the local guys that made it to the big leagues. He's always been good to the Anaheim graphers whenever he is in town.

Now I need to get him on a World Series ball. Who knew the Royals would make it all the way to the World Series.