Monday, July 23, 2012

Colorado Rockies pregame @Petco Park 7/20/2012

As an aside, let me first say that this was the first attempt my friend Lawrence and I have made to get autographs prior to BP at a Padres game at Petco Park.  We have been collecting autographs at Petco Park both during BP and post games since Petco's inception in 2004.  After trying our luck against the Astros both during BP and post game on 7/16/12 and coming away with only a Bud Norris signed Topps 2012 card, we decided to get the Rockies coming into the ballpark for the first game of a weekend series.  We had been given the good tip by fellow collectors, and it proved a lucrative decision.

We arrived at approx. 12:15, and waited on the corner across from the Omni Hotel, adjacent to Petco Park, and right up against the parking structue, which enabled us to have a view of any player/coach coming from any one of three ways.  The first player we spotted was Jeremy Guthrie, who oddly enough had been traded the night before to the KC Royals and was cleaning out his locker.  Jeremy was a nice guy and signed despited being on the phone.  He signed my 2012 Topps card.   
The first person to have Jeremy sign gave him a red Sharpie, which he signed everyone's items with.  Even though most autograph seekers prefer the blue, black, or silver, I believe that in this hobby you be happy with what you get.  A few more players walked in and signed over the next half hour, but they were not players I had anything for, which tends to happen when a team has a lot of call ups and injuries.  Carlos Gonzalez pulled up in a cab, and signed for everyone waiting, which at this point was around ten to twelve people.  This was the main guy we wanted, and he signed a Rawlings Official Major League Baseball on the sweet spot for me.
Later on I saw Carney Lansford walking in, and asked him to sign a ROMLB on the sweet spot for me, as did Vinny Castilla, who has been assisting the Rockies as a consultant. Needless to say it was a surprise to see him there with someone I believe was his son. 
Closer to three in the afternoon, both Rex Brothers and Jordan Pacheco walked in together, and both were kind enough to sign the Topps 2012 cards I had for them.  In Pacheco's case, it was his Topps rookie card.
 Finally, in a group of three players, I tried to get Eric Young Jr to sign his Topps 2012 card for me, which he did.  I did not have the cards of the other two players in his group, and didn't really want to use a ball on them either.

Lawrence and I received a tip from some of the other guys standing out there that Jason Giambi rides the bus to the ballpark every game, and that he signs multiple items for each collector if you wait for him out there.  At this point though, we'd been out there for three and a half hours so we decided to call it a day.  All in all about 17-20 members of the Rockies organization signed while we were there, which is an astoundingly high success rate.  In addition to the players I mentioned and got autographs from, I'd like to thank Wilin Rosario, Matt Belisle, Dexter Fowler, Jeff Francis, Jim Tracy, and Tyler Colvin among others, who all took some time out of their day to sign for fans.  It was a great day for collecting, and it was helped by a class team. 

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