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.