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.

September Graphing Recap La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers

I haven't posted on my blog in a long time. Most of it is due to laziness especially since it's the end of baseball season and the long graphing season can be draining at times. Here is a short recap of what I ended up with the last month of the baseball season.

Angels vs Rangers Series

I only ended up with one autograph since I didn't graph much during the series but I was able to get Adrian Beltre on my 2010 All Star bat which matches perfectly with the 2010 All Star ball I got signed earlier this year at the Eddie Guardado Charity Bowling event.

Most importantly though I was able to graph with my homie Rich who happened to be in town during the Rangers series. Go follow Rich on instagram. He has one of the sickest collections out there in the graphing game.

The coolest item signed during the day was when my friend Alex got Mike Trout's autograph. The photo is special; possibly the best photo ever of Mike Trout in terms of sentimental value among Anaheim graphers.

The Halos clinched the AL West earlier during the week and my friends Alex, Moe and Joe were featured in a celebration photo next to Mike Trout.

When I met up with Alex he shows me this photo signed literally a day after the celebration.

All I gotta say is that it's the best signed Trout item i've seen so far this year. The photo is simply legendary.

La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers and Rockies Graphing

I decided to check out La Gran Fiesta at Dodger Stadium with my friends Alex and Rob. Any other day we would skip this event since the weather was hot and it's annoying to deal with crowds but we each had personal goals in mind in terms of graphing. Both Alex and Rob needed Josh Beckett on their set cards since Josh was pretty much going to retire after this season and it would likely be impossible to track down Josh at a later time to get his autograph. My goal was to get Nomar Garciaparra's autograph on my Nomar Red Sox jersey.

As usual it was packed like a circus as you would expect from any Dodger event.

What was nice is that the autograph lines were organized. Instead of making us walk through a mystery line they actually labelled where each player would sign and you had the choice to choose one specific player to sign for you. I ended up going to the Nomar line and both Rob and Alex were in the Beckett line.

I ended up getting Nomar to sign my jersey. For some reason he was personalizing every item he was signing today, even random items like his Starting Lineup figurines. I don't mind the personalization but I just wish he would space the personalization more so that he wouldn't have to shrink his autograph in a small space.

We also ended up graphing the Rockies since they were playing the Dodgers that weekend. I ended up getting a 2011 All Star baseball signed my Michael Cuddyer with the 1st ASG inscription.

All I gotta say is that Michael Cuddyer is one of the nicest guys in baseball. I've never had a bad graphing experience with him. He's always nice to the fans and takes pride in his autograph and never rushes a signature like most ball players do these days. I wish more guys would sign like Cuddyer.

I also got Brandon Barnes to sign my photo. He's also another nice guy in baseball. Brandon does a lot of charity work to raise awareness for The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and each year he runs a Charity Wiffleball Tournament during the offseason. I actually originally printed this photo out for him to sign at the Barnyard Invitational but I wasn't able to attend the event last year. It was nice to finally get the photo signed.

It's great to see him do well this year with the Rockies, especially since he is a local guy from Orange.

I also ended up getting cards signed by Wilin Rosario, Rex Brothers and Jhoulys Chacin.

Overall the trip to Dodger Stadium was well worth it as Josh Beckett did indeed officially retire as expected after the Dodgers lost to the Cardinals in the playoffs.