Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Hall of Fame Day: 6/25/14

Other than getting Mark Langston's autograph, Tuesday was pretty much a bust for me. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time for Joe Mauer, I had gotten denied one-on-one right before first pitch by Paul Molitor, and had missed getting David Eckstein, who was at the game with his brother Rick Eckstein. I was hoping for a much better day on Wednesday, and before the gates even opened I was already having a legendary day.

The first autograph that I got came from Hall of Fame member Rod Carew. Carew had gone in to the stadium well before the game was scheduled to start. Initially, he denied my friend Alex and I, but turned around and told us that he'd maybe get us on his way out. Alex and I decided to stick it out and were two of four people to get Carew's autograph on Wednesday.

Rod Carew autographed baseball
A while later we got a call from one of our friends telling us that Paul Molitor had gone out for a jog with some of the other Twins coaches. We made our way over to where Molitor had left and about twenty minutes later he returned and signed for every grapher waiting.

Paul Molitor autographed baseball

I ended up missing out on Joe Mauer for the second straight day, but luckily I had some Steiner gift cards saved up and ended up spending them on a nice Mauer piece later that night. I also did get some cards signed, but since I titled this post "A Hall of Fame Day", I won't waist your time with any Kevin Correa or Matt Shoemaker base cards. I'm sorry for not keeping this blog up to the minute like I have in the past, but I do have a life outside of graphing, and sometimes it interferes with events that I'd like to go to, but can't. With that being said, I'll continue to post as frequently as possible. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mark Langston: 6/24/14

If you've followed this blog for long enough, one name that you've heard me mention quite often is Mark Langston. Langston was an All-Star pitcher for the Angels and the Mariners in the late 80's and the early 90's. He now serves as the one of the Angels radio announcers, and is basically a "sure-thing" autograph if you go to Angel Stadium. Over time I've slowly ran out of items to have Langston sign, but the other day I noticed that I still had one last item to get him on, so on prior to Monday's game vs. Minnesota, I finally got Mark Langston on a Rawlings Gold Glove baseball with "7x Gold Glove".
 
Mark Langston autographed baseball
I was actually very happy to finally get this ball done. Langston is one of the nicest former athletes that I've ever met, and even when I don't have anything to get signed he always says hello and asks how all of the graphers are doing. With that being said, I'll make sure to display this ball proudly next to my other Gold Glove winners. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

David Freese: 6/8/14

For those of you, like myself, who were born after Carlton Fisk's famous 1975 "If it stays fair" World Series home run, or Joe Carter's mammoth shot off of Mitch Williams in the 1993 World Series, then David Freese's heroic effort in game 6 of the 2011 World Series may go down as the greatest baseball moment that you've ever witnessed. Freese's game-tying triple and, eventually, his game-winning home run has made him a part of baseball history, and no matter what the rest of his career beholds, he will always be part of baseball immortality.

The OC Dugout had Freese sign autographs at their shop following Sunday's Angel win over the White Sox. Freese was actually scheduled to sign back in May, but a fractured finger caused him to reschedule. I decided to hold on to my items and attend the rescheduled event on June 8th, and I'm thrilled with the way both items came out.

David Freese autographed ROMLB
David Freese autographed 11x14
In case you're having a tough time reading the inscriptions, the ball says "Game 6 Winning HR" and the 11x14 has two inscriptions, the first being "2011 WS Game 6 HR 10/27/2011" and the second being a quote from Joe Buck "'We will see you tomorrow night!'". Both items, especially the photo, came out flawless, and I can' wait to properly display them along with my other World Series MVP's. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Tony LaRussa: 6/7/14

Saturday was a very lucky day for myself. As I mentioned in my previous post, I got very lucky and got Jose Abreu's autograph prior to Saturday's game vs. the Angels. I also got lucky later in the day and got Paul Konerko's autograph along with my friends Ryan and Lori. My final lucky encounter came nearly seven hours after my previous two. 2014 Hall of Fame inductee Tony LaRussa was at the Angels game on Saturday to celebrate Albert Pujols' 500th career home run. Once again Ryan, Lori, and my other friend Mike decided to wait where we thought was best for LaRussa, and moments after the final out, the legendary manager walked out and signed for all four of us before leaving the stadium.

Tony LaRussa autographed ROMLB
Even though it's not LaRussa's "full signature", I'm more than happy to add one of the cleanest short sigs that I've seen to my collection. LaRussa is and will be one of my all-time favorite baseball figures, so just to meet him and see him sign my ball was certainly a moment that I won't forget. Unfortunately, not every day is as great as Saturday was, but days like this certainly make up for the bad ones. Thanks for reading.

Jose Abreu: 6/7/14

If you haven't heard of Jose Abreu's name by now, you've been hiding under a rock for the past two months. The Cuban "rookie" has already made his mark in American with the Chicago White Sox, hitting 17 home runs in his first 50 Major League games. With power numbers like that, it's clear why graphers in Anaheim were scrambling to get Abreu's autograph when the Sox played the Angels this past weekend.

I decided to skip game one of the series on Friday night to graph the Nationals in San Diego, however I ended up getting very lucky and got Jose Abreu to autograph my ROMLB prior to Saturday's game.

Jose Abreu autographed ROMLB
Getting Abreu's autograph was pure luck, but none the less I got the auto and am thrilled to add his "rookie sig" to my collection before he shortens up his signature like Yoenis Cespedes did. Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Nationals vs. Padres IP Recap: 6/6/14

With another year of school behind me and summer officially underway, I was able to focus on getting autographs this past weekend, starting with the Nationals vs. Padres game on Friday. I decided to make the trip down to San Diego in hopes of snagging a few new autographs for my collection. My goal was to get either Stephen Strasburg or Ryan Zimmerman, and with Bryce Harper not traveling with the Nationals I knew that I wouldn't have to deal with nearly as much competition.

Starting with cards, I was able to get Denard Span x2, Ross Detwiler x2, Craig Stammen, Jose Lobaton x2, Adam LaRoche x2, Drew Storen, Danny Espinosa, Scott Hairston, and Tyler Clippard.


I was also able to get Ryan Zimmerman on my 2005 Nationals Inaugural Season ball. It was nice to see Zimmerman get of the DL just in time to make the trip out west.

Ryan Zimmerman autographed ROMLB
Every time I'm in San Diego, I always seem to run in to an unexpected guest. Last time I made the trip down to San Diego I ran in to Hall of Fame outfielder Dave Winfield, and this time I noticed Chargers kicker Nick Novak on the field at batting practice. I decided to get Novak on a baseball after talking to him for a couple of minutes and seeing how cool of a guy he is.

Nick Novak autographed ROMLB
I decided to stick around for the game since I had great seats in the 300's right behind home plate. If anyone is looking for a ballpark to travel to this summer, I highly recommend Petco Park.

One of the best views in baseball
I also decided to stick around for post game graphing in hopes of getting Strasburg or Matt Williams, whom I've had a jersey of that I have been trying to get signed for a couple of years. While Strasburg decided to avoid the fans, I was able to get Williams on my authentic Mitchell and Ness Giants jersey.

Matt Williams autographed jersey
Overall it was a great way to kick off summer break. I haven't attended as many events recently (part of the reason why I haven't been posting as much), but with school out I do plan on going to some more games in the near future, and hopefully I'll get a chance to blog about my successes. Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Darryl Strawberry: 5/9/2014

Throughout the course of his seventeen year career, there may not have been a player more popular than Darryl Strawberry. The "Straw-man" made an immediate impact in the majors, winning the 1983 NL Rookie of the Year award and quickly winning over the hearts of many New York baseball fans. Strawberry would go on to win the 1986 World Series with the Mets, his first of four titles, and appear in eight All-Star games in what would turn out to be a very successful career.

Recently, the OC Dugout had Darryl Strawberry in their shop for a rare West Coast autograph signing. I decided to attend and, as usual, the signing went very smoothly. I had Darryl sign a Shea Stadium commemorative baseball from it's final season, along with the inscription "Goodbye Shea 2008".

Darryl Strawberry autographed baseball
Darryl was also kind enough to take a photo with me.

Darryl Strawberry and I
Overall it was another great event and yet another new autograph to add to the collection. Thanks for reading.