Thursday, August 9, 2012

Jered Weaver signing @Pechanga 8/9/2012

As I alluded to in my last post, today was the free signing of Jered Weaver at Pechanga Resort and Casino.  One thing is beyond any shadow of a doubt, and that is a star player plus a free signing plus good publicity equals a BIG line of fans.  I had heard rumors that people would be lined up as early as noon, which turned out to be very inaccurate.  Fans had actually arrived twelve hours before that.  I had in my mind decided to show up around 4pm and see what the line looked like. 

I left my house around 3:20, and for the first time ever, my wife decided to go along with me.  Since I knew this signing was one item per person, I brought two baseballs and asked her to wait in line with me when the time came.  We arrived at Pechanga at 4:10, and when we walked up the stairs to the Silk club which was where Jered was signing, we noticed that there was probably around 250-300 people already there.  Feeling a little pessimistic about the whole thing my wife and I decided to head down to play some slots, eat a little something, then check back with the line.   Since we checked back at 5:10 and the line hadn't grown a whole heck of a lot we decided to give it a shot and got our place in line.  One thing to realize at events like this is that the amount of people who get something signed is at the discretion of the athlete and the event staff.  That means you could wait in line for a few hours and get nothing.  I tried to take a picture of the line as it looked at 5:15...
What you can't really see is that the lines are three wide and three times as long as what you see in front of the camera, with a lot of people not seen due to sitting down.  Anyway, it was said that Jered was actually in the adjoining poker room and would actually be signing early (the scheduled event was from 7-9).  He actually began taking the front of the line at about 5:50.  The mere fact that he started over an hour early almost assured me that my wife and I would be making it in time. 

The line moved at a decent pace due to no photos being allowed and the one item per person rule.  I have to say that Pechanga's staff did a very fine job of keeping the line moving at a pace that allowed for as many people as possible to meet Jered.  My wife and I got to the front of the line at about 8:00.  I had heard that he wasn't doing inscriptions, but I saw that some people were walking out with items signed with his no hitter of 5/2/12.  I had my wife ask for the inscription since she is far prettier than me, and Jered obliged.  He was very polite and took the time to sign both of our baseballs neatly and on the sweet spot.  We thanked him, shook his hand, and wished him well on the rest of the season....

When we left, the Pechanga staff had put an end to any newcomers in line, but Jered had to sign at least 800 items for people today as he signed for easily over three hours.  I would like to thank Pechanga and Jered Weaver himself for being a class act and treating his fans with respect.  I saw a lot of smiling faces coming out of the room he was signing in today, which is a testament to Jered Weaver and his interaction with the fans. 

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