Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ken Landreaux Signing Saturday March 15, 2014 from 3-4pm

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Randy Johnson at USC, Coach Rod Dedeaux Statue Ceremony

I decided to go to USC this morning to check out the unveiling ceremony for a statue to honor legendary Coach Rod Dedeaux. Scheduled guest speakers included Randy Johnson and Tommy Lasorda. The ceremony was scheduled to take place at 11:30am.

I arrived at Dedeaux Field about an hour before the ceremony. As soon as I arrived there were already about 20 graphers waiting for Randy Johnson inside the stadium. Randy was also there talking to one of the organizers of the event.

It was weird to see everyone just waiting for Randy but then I found out Randy denied everyone but promised that he would sign later. For me it just felt odd being in enemy territory since i'll always be a UCLA guy.

Before the event started Randy was being interviewed by KCAL 9.

I could tell that Randy was genuinely a humble guy and preferred to be out of the spotlight. He literally stood about a foot away from us in the back of the stage area and didn't sit in the VIP section throughout the entire ceremony. He was actually one of two people to donate money to create the statue to honor Coach Dedeaux.

Here is a photo of Randy below giving a speech to the crowd discussing his personal memories of Coach Rod Dedeaux.

Here is a photo below of Tommy Lasorda talking to the crowd as well.

After the speeches were completed they unveiled Coach Dedeaux's statue.

Afterwards Randy walked out of Dedeaux Field and signed as he was being escorted by security to his car. He did end up keeping his promise but he was mobbed by about 50 people including both graphers and casual fans asking for autographs. Randy ended up signing about 10 autographs. Luckily I was one of the few to get his autograph today. Even though it was a side panel short version of Randy's autograph it was nice to add his autograph to the collection.

I want to give a shoutout to all of my fellow graphers including Matt Crocker, Jose, David A, Josh, Jordan, Clint, Eddie, Larry, Jesse, Stephan, Roberto, Tyler, Mike, Gabriel, Steve Z, Michael, Greg, Jared, Bruce, Daniel and the rest of the graphers who were out there today.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Padres Fanfest 2014 Part II

We headed back to Petco Park from Fowler Park. Luckily both stadiums were close to each other so we didn't miss much during our brief intermission. The next autograph line we went to was for Jedd Gyorko and Casey Kelly.

Casey was cool as usual and he signed three cards for me.

Jedd ended up signing a ROMLB on the SS for me and was nice enough to add the "Go Pads" inscription above my baseball.

Afterwards we went to the Cameron Maybin and Kyle Blanks autograph session.

Cameron jokingly said he doesn't like to sign Florida Marlins cards. I initially thought he was being serious so I told him I didn't know and that it was my bad for bringing the card. Luckily he was joking as he ended up signing the Marlins card as well as three other cards for me.

Kyle signed two cards for me

I ended up going to the Eric Stults and Eric Owens autograph session to help my friend David A get his cards signed. I had nothing for both guys. I did take this photo of the jersey that Eric Stults was wearing today.

If you look closely he is wearing his own signed jersey with MLB authentication. I'm guessing this jersey will eventually end up at a Padres charity event in a silent auction one day.

Afterwards we went to the Everth Cabrera and Dale Thayer autograph session. I didn't have anything prepped for Dale to sign so I ended up getting a standard Padres Fanfest card signed by him. Everth signed two cards for me.

Next up was Nick Hundley and Tommy Medica. I had cards for Nick and nothing for Tommy so I ended up with another Padres Fanfest card signed. Tommy for some reason signed the card backward.

Afterwards we decided to go to the Xavier Nady autograph session. There I ran into my friend Spencer who as no surprise brought his Yankee plaque with him. Spencer travels all across the country with that famous plaque getting all the significant Yankees on that piece. It's simply impressive. Here are two photos below of happy Spencer and stone-faced Spencer holding his famous Yankee plaque.

Xavier ended up signing two cards for me. As he was signing he asked me how the event was going and I let him know I had no complaints since the Padres always do a good job of organizing fanfest. Xavier mentioned that he has signed at several different fanfest events over the years and told me that the Pirates Fest is the worst since it is totally unorganized. I hope members of the Pirates organization never read this comment. Hopefully Pirates Fest is more organized now that the team is playing much better these days.

Afterwards we went to the Player Forum Q and A session near the home dugout to hear Yonder Alonso, Chris Denorfia, Josh Johnson, and Joaquin Benoit talk to the fans and answer questions regarding the upcoming season.

Yonder ended up signing a card for me once the player forum was over.

The last autograph session of the day was for Nick Vincent and Andrew Cashner. I had nothing for Nick to sign so I ended up getting a Padres Fanfest card signed by Nick and Andrew signed four cards for me one of which (not pictured) was for my friend Alex A who was too tired to wait in line.

Overall it was another awesome day of graphing in San Diego. It was fun graphing and chatting it up with everyone today. I want to thank the Padres as well as the staff for running another successful and well organized Fanfest this year.

University of San Diego Pro All Star Game Kris Bryant 2-8-14

We decided to take a brief intermission from Padres Fanfest to try and get Kris Bryant's autograph at the University of San Diego Pro All Star Game in Fowler Park. I've always wanted to add Kris' autograph to the collection since he has a ton of potential to become a breakout superstar for the Chicago Cubs one day. He was the 2nd overall pick of the 2013 MLB draft and was the best college baseball player in 2013.

The game was scheduled to start at 1pm and prior to the game Kris was awarded the Golden Spikes Award.

When we arrived at Fowler Park Kris was already signing near the 1st base dugout for my friend Kyle so we raced over to him. Luckily the fame hasn't corrupted Kris as he was signing multiple items for everyone and was really nice to everyone today. Thanks to my friend Jose who picked up a Cubs 100th Anniversary baseball for me I was able to get Kris to sign one under the logo with the number 2 pick inscription.

The photo credit on the photo above goes to my friend Kyle S. who took a great shot of Kris signing autographs for us today. Thanks again for the photo Kyle.

I wanted to get a baseball for Benson since he is a diehard Cubs fan and luckily Kris signed another baseball for me on a standard ROMLB on the SS.

My friend Jack ended up getting a nice photo signed by Kris.

Afterwards Kris went to home plate to receive his Golden Spikes Award for being the top college baseball player in the nation last year.

Afterwards I took a few closeup photos of the trophy as it was being displayed.

Before the game started Kris signed again for everyone but this time near the bullpen on the 3rd base side. I decided to get another baseball signed by Kris to complement my Cubs 100th Anniversary ball with a standard autograph on ROMLB on the SS.

Here is a group picture of all the baseballs we got Kris to sign today.

Afterwards we headed back to Petco Park to catch the second half of Padres Fanfest.

Padres Fanfest 2014 Part 1

Padres fanfest has always been one of my favorite graphing events of the year. What's great about the event is that it's really laid back and well organized compared to other graphing events in Los Angeles. This was my third year in a row attending Padres Fanfest and I decided to carpool with David A, Jose, and Alex A.

We arrived at Petco Park around 8am and we were fortunate enough to get four free tickets for early entry which was at 8:30am from a season ticket holder named Greg. Thanks again Greg for the hookups. As soon as the gates opened I picked up my autograph session tickets.

My goal today was to get Carlos Quentin on a 2008 All Star ball and Josh Johnson on a 2009 All Star ball. I also wanted to check out the Padres Garage Sale which always has good items to buy at a low price. After getting my tickets I decided to check out the garage sale. As expected there was already a huge crowd of people searching for game used jerseys, bats, and other Padres memorabilia.

The only downside to this was the check out line. Luckily the cash line was shorter than the credit card line. However I still had to wait about 20 minutes in line to check out.

I ended up finding two Mat Latos autographed ROMLBs with MLB Authentication. I bought an extra one for my friend Benson who couldn't make it out this year to Padres Fanfest.

Latos is generally a tough autograph to get especially on the SS so I had to add it to the collection even though he is not the most fan friendly player, especially his wife who hates all graphers in the world.

Afterwards I decided to meet up with the rest of the group and went to our first autograph session of the day which was for Carlos Quentin and Joe Wieland. Carlos signed my 2008 All Star baseball with the 1st All Star inscription. I think he forgot to add the word "game" but it was cool to still get an inscription out of him.

My buddy Ryan ended up getting the best item signed by Carlos. I hope he gets Greinke to sign the photo as well in the future but the chances are super slim as Greinke is allergic to the pen. I wish Ryan the best of luck in that endeavor.

Afterwards we went to the Josh Johnson and Tommy Medica autograph session. I ended up getting Josh on a 2009 All Star ball with the 1st All Star Game inscription.

Afterwards we all headed out for a brief intermission to the University of San Diego to meet our friend Kris Bryant.