I decided to attend Dodgers Fanfest for the second year in a row today with the hopes of getting my Hyun-Jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig jersey signed. The Dodgers were much more organized this year and actually sold autograph tickets on their website earlier during the week. Each autograph was $10 and all proceeds went to the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF).
Since I was at work on Monday I had to order the tickets through my cell phone which was probably the worst idea ever. I was able secure a ticket for Dan Haren/Mickey Hatcher, Don Mattingly/Charlie Steiner, and Alex Guerrero/Pepe Yniguez. The Puig, McGwire and Ryu ticket sold out immediately. Here is a photo showing the entire autograph schedule below.
I was pretty much out of luck in getting the Puig and Ryu ticket. Luckily my friend Alex A. hooked me up with a Ryu ticket in exchange for an Alex Guerrero autograph. Thanks again for hooking me up Alex. Thus I knew going in that I would be able to get a Haren and Ryu autograph. I ended up giving away my Mattingly ticket away to my buddy Spencer who needed Mattingly more than I did since he still needed Donnie Baseball on his famous Yankee plaque. I was hoping to buy a Puig ticket off someone the day of fanfest.
I arrived at Dodger stadium around 9:15am. Unfortunately the parking gates weren't due to open up until 9:30am and there was already heavy traffic full of cars waiting to enter the stadium. I decided to park outside where I met up with my friend David M.
The gates opened up at 9:30am and we rushed into the stadium and headed toward Lot B.
David M. and I were both about 5th in line. We met up with Jesse who brought his son along. I took a photo of how long the line was at the entrance which is pictured below.
The Dodgers staff opened up fanfest at 10am. I rushed into the Dan Haren/Mickey Hatcher line who were both scheduled to sign from 10-10:50am. Dan was cool as can be and he even asked me where I wanted my baseball signed after I handed him a 2007 All Star ball. He also asked me if I wanted his old jersey number 15 (his jersey number as a member of the Oakland Athletics) signed on the baseball since he recently changed his number to 14 when he joined the Dodgers. Dan had no problem adding two inscriptions for me the first of which was "1st All Star Game" and second which was "A.L. Starting Pitcher." 2007 was probably Dan's best season as a pro so it was nice to personally add his autograph on an all star ball into my collection.
I actually ended up skipping Mickey Hatcher since I had nothing for him. Afterwards I noticed that the Dodgers were selling mystery bags with all proceeds going to charity. They were selling signed jerseys for $40, signed baseballs for $20 and signed photos for $20. I'm a sucker for mystery bags so I ended up buying one jersey and one baseball.
When I opened up the mystery bag for the baseball I ended up with smeared Danys Baez signed baseball in black pen. I was upset since the entire autograph was smeared. I went back to the booth to exchange the ball for a new one. Luckily I was able to return the ball and get a new mystery bag. I opened the new bag and ended up with a signed Dioner Navarro baseball which was again also signed in black pen. I swear that was annoying not because it was a Navarro baseball but because I noticed that almost every baseball pulled from the mystery bags were signed in black. As collectors we prefer blue since black tends to fade faster. Now that I look back I should have purchased two jerseys instead since I didn't see anyone get a good autograph from the mystery balls.
While I was opening up my mystery bags Chris L. who runs the his own blog socalsignings.blogspot.com approached me and offered me a Jae Seo signed ball that he personally pulled out of his mystery bag for free. Chris knew i'd appreciate it more since he knew I collected Asian baseball player autographs especially Korean baseball players. I thanked him for his generosity and ended up giving him my Navarro ball. The photo above is courtesy of Chris L. Thanks again Chris. Everyone should go check out his blog.
The Seo ball came with a Dodgers COA.
As for the mystery jersey bag I ended up with an Adam Kennedy jersey which was MLB Authenticated.
My buddy Alex A. had some good autograph karma on his side as he ended up with a signed Russell Martin jersey. Here is a picture below of his haul today courtesy of Alex A.
Afterwards it was time to get back in line to get my Ryu jersey signed. Ryu was scheduled to sign from 11-11:50am along with Ned Colletti. I waited in line with my buddy Anthony who brought a Ryu Hanwha Eagles jersey directly from Korea while he was there for a business trip. My goal today was to get a dual Korean/English autograph from Ryu on my jersey. I asked Ryu to sign my jersey in Korean as well as English. He was super cool as usual and gave me his Korean and English autograph. He even replied that was a great idea when we were both talking with each other in Korean.
The autograph on the left is his English autograph and the one on the right his is Korean autograph. Here is a picture of my Ryu collection below.
I didn't realize this until I got home but the baseball pictured above from fanfest last year was actually his Korean signature and the WBC hat is his English signature. This entire time I thought he ignored my request to sign it in Korean last year since I expected the autograph to be signed in Korean alphabets/characters. The difference is subtle but the English signature looks like it starts with a capital letter R. Now I need to get Ryu on a baseball signed in English and another one in Korean characters to complete the collection.
Here is a photo of Anthony below pictured with his newly signed Hanwha Eagles Ryu jersey. Look how happy he is.
That pretty much made my day. I want to thank Alex A. again for hooking me up with a Ryu ticket.
As for Ned Colletti I had nothing for him so I had him sign a Dodgers postcard. Ned noticed I was talking to Ryu in Korean and jokingly asked me if I wanted his Korean signature. I seriously thought Ned was joking but he actually wrote his autograph with Korean letters/characters. I guess Ryu taught him to write in Korean. Thus I ended up with a Colletti auto in English and Korean.
Afterwards the floodgates opened up as all the fans behind me in line noticed I got a dual signature on the jersey so everyone else who brought jerseys asked Ryu to do the same thing.
Afterwards there was some downtime and we ran into Tim Wallach who signed a photo for me.
I had to go back in line to help my friend Alex G get an extra Fernando Valenzuela baseball signed. Fernando and Drew Butera were both scheduled to sign from 1-1:50pm. I had nothing for Drew so I picked up another postcard after getting a Fernando ball signed for Alex.
Don Mattingly and Charlie Steiner were signing as well. I ran into my buddy Spencer who ended up getting his famous Yankee plaque signed by Donnie Baseball. Everyone make sure to follow my homie sprunnnooo on instagram.
The last autograph of the day was from Alexander Guerrero and Pepe Yniguez who were both scheduled to sign from 2-2:50pm. I had to get a ball signed for my friend Alex A. since he was in line to get his Mark McGwire bat and baseball signed which took place the same time as the Guerrero signing. The line was long as expected since a lot of Dodger fans see huge upside and potential on Guerrero. Basically everyone is trying to get his auto now just in case he becomes the next Cuban superstar. I took some photos pictured below since I was bored waiting in line. It pretty much sums up how crowded it became.
Alex Guerrero ended up signing two baseballs for me one which was for Alex A. He was nice enough to inscribe "VIVA Cuba" for me after I asked for him to inscribe it in Spanish.
I ended up getting a postcard from Pepe Yniguez since I didn't have anything for him to sign.
To sum it up it was another great day of graphing at Dodger Stadium. On a side note I was never able to buy a Puig ticket or get his autograph on my jersey today. Hopefully I can get him during the regular season. I want to give a shout out to all the graphers who were out there with me including Alex A, Rob G, Alex G, Ryan, Josh, Franz, Anthony, Big Mike, Martin, Franz, Clint, Chris L, Jordan, Jerry, Larry, Alan, Jesse, David M, David A, Andrew, Mical, Austin and everyone else who was out there with me hustling for graphs at the stadium. I want to thank Alex A again for looking out for me and helping me get my Ryu jersey signed and another special thanks to Chris L for hooking me up with the Seo baseball.