Monday, September 15, 2014

Blake Griffin: 7/15/14

On Monday, September 15th, the OC Dugout hosted an autograph signing with Clipper star Blake Griffin. The prices for the event were actually comparable to the last autograph signing that Griffin did after his rookie season in 2011, in fact premium items were only $150 compared to $125 at his last signing. Griffin also has an exclusive autograph deal with Panini Authentics, which makes it rare to get a clean, legible signature from him without paying.

The autograph signing was announced last minute, which can be a nightmare for any grapher at times. Luckily I was able to find a pair of 2011 Nike Hyperdunks at a local shoe store, and picked them up on my way down to the autograph signing.

Blake Griffin autographed Nike Hyperdunks
These happened to be the same color-wave and design that Griffin wore when he won the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest, so I decided to get the left shoe inscribed "'11 Slam Dunk Champ".

Griffin autograph (right) and inscription (left)
All items included free Panini Authentication, and as a bonus you were able to take free pictures with Griffin. A big thanks to my friend Marc for taking these photos of Blake and I.


Griffin is one of the humblest athletes that I've ever met, and has been that way for a while now. He may get a bad rap for "only being able to dunk", but his overall game is improving at a rapid pace. Best of luck to him and the Clippers in the 2014-15 season and, as always, thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

August Graphing Recap: Lot's of Awesome Stuff

Yes, I know I haven't been blogging much lately. Believe me, I feel more guilty about it than anyone, especially after putting so much time in to this page over the past two years. With that being said, August wrapped up what was quite possibly the best summer I've ever had both at the ballpark and away from it. I got a lot of great autographs and wanted to share them with you before I get too deep in the hole, so without further distractions:

This first autograph wasn't obtained in the month of August, but considering that it was less than a week before August began, I think it's fair to show it off a bit. Angels pitcher Garrett Richards was doing a free signing at Angel Stadium. Garrett is a great young pitcher and a fairly tough autograph to get, so I was happy to get this 2011 Angels 50th Anniversary baseball along with his MLB debut date of "8-10-11". Hopefully Garrett can make a quick recovery and bounce back in 2015.

Garrett Richards autographed baseball
Next up, the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies came to Anaheim for a pair of three game sets. Both teams have a tendency to be tough for graphers, but for some reason the Sox were even more difficult to graph than before. Maybe they're still bitter that they still can't put back-to-back winning season's together. The only major auto I came away with was from John Farrell, who autographed a 2013 World series baseball with "13 Champs!".

John Farrell autographed baseball
The Phillies, on the other hand, were a surprisingly good team to graph this year. Starting off with the cards, I was able to get Antonio Bastardo, Cody Asche, Dominic Brown, Darren Ruff, and Ben Revere (who is quite possibly the nicest guy alive) on some cardboard.

Phillies autographed cards
Much like the rest of the Phillies, Jimmy Rollins was surprisingly nice and signed a lot of autographs over the course of the series. I was able to come away with three Rollins', my favorite being this 2001 All-Star baseball.

Jimmy Rollins autographed baseball
I was also able to get AJ Burnett, who signed a baseball on the sweetspot with the date of his No-hitter back in 2001.

AJ Burnett autographed baseball
And finally, maybe the best IP autograph that I've gotten all season long, I was able to get Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg on a Rawlings Gold Glove baseball along with the inscription "9x G.G.'s".

Ryne Sandberg autographed baseball
But wait... There's more:

I got word at the very last minute that Josh Hamilton would be doing a private autograph signing with MLB Alumni Marketing. Hamilton has become one of my favorite players since joining the Angels and I had been planning on sending in a jersey the next time he did a private signing. I may have spent a little bit more than I originally wanted to, but I'd say in the end it was well worth it...

Josh Hamilton autographed & inscribed jersey
...and yes, there's still more. I was able to pick up this Mark McGwire ball and some cash in a trade with my friend Spencer. I was bummed after getting skipped by Big Mac earlier in the month but quickly recovered by getting this sit-down quality signature.

Mark McGwire autographed baseball
For the final adventure of the summer, I decided to go down to the OC Dugout for their fan appreciation day. The Dugout raffles off autographed items every so often at these events, and after gathering up enough tickets I decided to give it a shot. Unfortunately I did not win the grand prize, which was a Mike Trout autographed bat, but I was able to come away with this CJ Cron autographed baseball with "MLB Debut" and PSA/DNA authentication.

CJ Cron autographed baseball
And to wrap things up, I was able to get Bronco legend Terrell Davis to sign an official NFL football along with "SB 32 MVP" thanks to my friend Greg, who hooked it up with some last minute information.

Terrell Davis autographed football
That should get me up to date as far as posting goes. I apologize for the recent lack of posts, but I encourage you to continue checking in over the next month or so, as I will have some pretty amazing items coming in. I won't give away any names, but I will say that they involve an NBA Rookie of the Year, a Home Run King, a guy nicknamed "Iron", and a guy who threw a post-season No-Hitter. So make sure to check back in soon, you won't be disappointed. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Updated Sale/Trade List!!!

For those of you interested in acquiring some new autographs, I just recently updated by Sale/Trade list, which can be found by clicking on the "Autographs For Sale/Trade" tab at the top of the screen. I updated the list with over 80 autographed items including baseballs, photos, bats, footballs, and more! If you are interested in any of the items, please feel free to email me at MatthewCourville24@gmail.com, or DM me on Facebook at MC's Autographs if you are looking for an even faster response. Thanks for reading and make sure to check out my new Sale/Trade list!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The X-Factor: 7/21/14

Several years ago I attended my first ever baseball game at PetCo Park in San Diego. I remember three things from that game: the Padres lost to the Diamondbacks, I was getting annoyed by the group of D-Backs fans sitting to the right of me, and David Eckstein. I remembered Eckstein specifically from game 5 of the 2006 World Series, the first ever baseball game I actually sat down and watched. Ironically, I remember three things from that game as well: Adam Wainwright getting the final save, the players dog-piling on top of each other, and Eckstein winning that bright yellow Corvette. I apologize if I nearly bored you to death with that story, but I'm hoping that it puts an end to all of the "why?"'s when I say that David Eckstein is my baseball idol.

David happened to visit Angel Stadium this past home stand with his brother Rick, who is now a coach for the Angels, and I was finally able to get him on my 2006 World Series baseball that I had been carrying around for years.

David Eckstein autographed baseball
It was a great experience being able to talk to Eckstein and tell him how much of a fan I am. David has also hinted that he wouldn't mind becoming a coach for the Angels in the near future, so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that the "X-Factor" will once again return to the field full-time. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Jose Bautista: 7/8/14

Over the past five years, nobody has done a better job at making pitcher's pay than Jose Bautista. Bautista has lead Major League Baseball in the longball category for two of the past four seasons, and has been an All-Star for five consecutive years since his claim to fame in 2010. Of course, he is the main target for graphers whenever the Toronto Blue Jays come to Anaheim for a rare West Coast visit, and 2014 was no different.

Bautista ended up keeping his promise that he'd sign on the second day of the series, as he picked up a pen after BP and signed continuously for a good ten minutes. I was one of the few lucky ones to get Bautista on a ball before he switched to Sharpie and started signing only flats, and thanks to some good graphers in the front row, I was able to come away with a Joey Bats autographed 2014 All-Star baseball.

Jose Bautista autographed baseball
It was nice to get a replacement Bautista after I had a major pen fail while getting his autograph last year, so now I can forget about that one and replace it with this beautiful baseball. A big thanks to my friend Jeremy for letting me jump in his spot after he got his signature. It's always nice to have friends who think of others in the frenzies like this. Thanks for reading!

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!