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.