Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pieces of the Collection

Here is the latest in my new series of items from the past.  I just randomly pulled out some of the hundreds of baseballs I have, and I will include a little blurb about each.  As I have said in the past, when Petco Park first opened I had the mini 20 game season ticket package with my friend so there was a lot more added to the collection during those times.  Then a family happened so of course I don't have the time or frankly, the desire, to spend as much time on my hobby.  That's why organized paid events seem more appealing to me now.  Let's get to it.

This is one of those matted photos you can buy with the name plaque of the player already built in.  At the time, these types of photos went for about $20 a pop, so needless to say I didn't buy a whole lot of them.  I got this one signed either the night Trevor Hoffman got his 400th save or shortly thereafter.  At one point, I was tempted to have a photo collection of 400, 500, and 600 with the date.  I haven't gotten the others yet but this is a pretty cool piece.

This is a Brian Giles ball that I probably got during a batting practice session at some point.  I actually have three of these so if anyone is interested in trading for it, I wouldn't ask for much.  Brian was actually always pretty darn fan friendly and stopped to sign while leaving the ballpark quite often.  The "Hall of Fame" of Padres players that autographed a lot during the mid 2000's was Trevor Hoffman, Jake Peavy, and Akinori Otsuka.  All of whom stopped quite often after games to sign for fans.  Speaking of Peavy...

This is also one of many baseballs I have signed by Peavy, but the only one he inscribed on.  I attended the game the night he set a Padres' record for strikeouts in a game, and he was nice enough to put the date and the total K's on the ball.  At the time I thought it was pretty cool, but I wish I had later tried getting him to sign a ball with NL CY on it.  Oh well.  In case anyone is interested, I'd trade one of these as well, just sans inscription.



Here is the ball signed by Aki Otsuka.  As you can see, he signed in both English and his native language of Japanese.  Aki was always so friendly that if he declined to stop and sign autographs on any given night, everyone was a bit surprised.

Moving away from former Padres, I go now to a slugger of the Philadelphia Phillies that used to hit some big time homeruns and was built like a lumberjack.  I obtained this autograph during batting practice at Petco Park probably during the 2005 or 2006 season.  It ended up being a solid night of autographs as I got Jimmy Rollins on a 2002 All-Star Ball as well as Jim Thome on the sweetspot of a ball on the same night.  This ball, however, is signed by Pat Burrell.

Before I started this blog last year, I actually went to an Arizona Diamondbacks game trying to get autographs, which of course was post game at Petco Park.  I took a chance on going after one of the young sluggers on their team that I felt might become a star.  It's risky business going after young prospects at times since many of them don't pan out and you end up wasting a baseball.  However, this gamble paid off as the young man was Paul Goldschmidt, who this season is the leading NL MVP candidate.  No, it is not a ball signed on the sweetspot.

Finally, I end this post with a player that most MLB fans don't even know.  He is a part time player on the Giants who does have power but doesn't get many at bats.  The reason I include it is because the story behind it is the epitome of why I am in this hobby.  Brett Pill hit his first MLB homer against the Padres at Petco Park in his first game.  I obviously wasn't down in San Diego with the intent of getting a Brett Pill signed ball, but when I saw him I decided to ask him to sign a ball with the inscription of his first homerun.  He was down on the street outside of the ballpark unlike the rest of the Giants who were taking the dreaded Omni Hotel bridge, and the reason he was down below was that he was looking for his family, who had attended the game to watch him play his first game.  His excitement was palpable, and he was quick to agree to sign this ball with his homerun inscription.  When his family finally found him, their greeting was one I had never experienced.  Listening to the dialogue between a young MLB player coming off his first game and homerun and his family was an awesome experience.

Thanks for reading and check back soon for another post.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pieces of the Collection

In continuing with my new idea to post some photos of items I have in my collection that would not necessarily have gotten into my blog without it, here are a few more items I deem to be of interest.  I will include a quick little blurb about how I obtained each item as I see fit.  The first is a LaDainian Tomlinson signed jersey I got signed during the off season after the season in which he won the NFL MVP. It was a signing at a Field of Dreams store in the Fashion Valley mall in San Diego, a store that no longer exists.  It is one of the more valuable items I have in my collection.


If you notice, there is a LaDainian Tomlinson Authenticated hologram in the bottom right corner of the "2" on his jersey.  I know this is an authentication tactic that is more commonplace than it was at the time of this signing.

Next is a Miguel Cabrera 8x10 I had signed.  It is an MLB photo commemorating a big homerun he hit during the 2003 National League Championship Series.  It is still a goal of mine to get Cabrera to sign a Major League Baseball since I prefer that to photos, but the Tigers rarely make it out to San Diego and I have never "graphed" up in Anaheim.

Finally, here is another 8x10 photo I had signed, this time by Issac Bruce.  I know Bruce is starting to get affiliated with the GTSM sports marketing company, which has several big shows around the country every year, with an emphasis on football players.  If that sounds like something that interests you, I encourage you to check out their website to look at all of their upcoming shows/guests.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, and I am thinking that my next post will be one in the "Random Ponderings" category.  The Padres have series scheduled at Petco Park over the next couple weeks with the Mets, Pirates, and Cubs.  I'm debating on whether or not to attend these series as I already have McCutchen, would really only want Harvey from the Mets (Wright is out), and the Cubs have a lackluster roster.  I guess we shall see...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Shaq & Dr. J- Frank and Son's 8/10/13

Every great once in awhile, you hear about an event that as a autograph collector you absolutely need to attend.  Today was one of those events, when both Julius Erving and Shaquille O'neal appeared at the Frank and Son's Collectible Show as part of a joint signing event hosted by the OC Dugout as well as Honabach and Sons.  Granted, the cost of getting items signed by these guys was kind of pricey, but when you consider that Shaq has NEVER had a public signing appearance, sometimes paying for an item or two is well worth it.

Personally, I had never attended Frank and Son's at any point, so I was really looking forward to what all the hoopla was about.  Let me tell you, this place is nerdvana.  They have collectibles in just about every type of comics, sports, and action figure genres imaginable.  It is quite literally a giant warehouse with seemingly a hundred vendors lined up.  They also often have athlete (and actors, comic writers, etc) signing appearances.  Here is the link to their website in case you are so inclined to scope it out.. http://www.frankandsonshow.net/.  It is the type of place you would fully expect to find Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstetter.

Upon arriving, I headed directly towards the desk to pick up my will call tickets fro the signing, and got into line.  Here is a picture of how they set up the signings.


This was pretty much my view for the next 45 minutes while we waited for Mr. Erving to show up and start signing.  One of the underrated bonuses of these types of events is you get to talk to and meet new people who are obviously really into the same hobby, and many of them have interesting stories to tell.  Mr. Erving arrived, waved to everyone when he received a loud ovation, and started signing away.  I came prepared with an 11x14 photo for him to sign.
 Mr. Erving was cordial, and shook the hand of everyone who he signed for as well as made small talk.  In big events like this, the company provides the star with twenty different options to sign with, and the person with the autograph ticket can choose what they want their item to be signed in.  I chose a silver deco paint marker, and it came out fantastically.  After signing, Mr. Erving thanked me for making the trip and for being a fan.  As Stephen A. Smith would say, he was "class personified".
                                                                   Julius Jay Erving
After I got my item signed, I went to the PSA/DNA booth and had them authenticate it, which is something I highly recommend since it adds a lot of value to the item.  Since they attended the event, the authentication counts as "in the presence", meaning they can guarantee the item as authentic as opposed to just lending their opinion.  I touched on this subject in an earlier post on this blog if you want to refer back to it.  For the purpose of practicing, go to http://www.psacard.com/DNACert/ and enter 5A42890.  If it is not found, then PSA hasn't entered the number in their database quite yet.

Shaq's appearance wasn't for another hour at this point, and I had one of the VIP fast pass tickets so I did not have to wait in line right away since I was guaranteed to be one of the first 50 signatures.  As such, I decided to look around at all the different booths and really enjoy my time.  I of course focused on the sports memorabilia side of things since I know about that, but I can't stress enough to everyone that this is a place that a LOT of people would enjoy going to.

I got in line after about 45 minutes to an hour of looking around, and Shaq came up to the front to raucous applause.  Someone yelled "Can you dig it..." which prompted a response from the Big Diesel.  I know this is not exactly a Mensa level comment but Shaquille O'neal is huge.  As in massive.  As in he could probably pick me up and dunk me if he felt so compelled.  I included this picture for the simple reason of providing some comparison to a man that was slightly shorter than me and who took a photo with Shaq.

The second photo above is when I got to the front of the line, and I particularly liked his choice of shirts.  I think he was making an ode to himself as well as to the building to which he was in.  I had Shaq sign an 11x14 photo as well.  Again, I think the picture came out outstanding.  It's real sharp and Shaq filled up a lot of space with his signature.



I thanked Mr. O'neal for his time, and he thanked me back.  I lingered long enough to hear a kid behind me ask him if he really fit into the Buick in the commercial, to which Shaquille laughed pretty loud.  He genuinely seemed to be in a great mood, with a great personality.  He was kissing babies in photos as well as fake wrestling little kids.  It was a unique experience to see a man that famous act that way with his fans.

I will be attending Frank & Sons again, no questions asked.  The signing event went smoothly, and I added two awesome pieces to my collection today.  I would recommend nerds, dorks, and goobers of all shapes and sizes to check the place out if they haven't already.

My thanks to Shaquille O'neal and Julius Erving as well as the OC Dugout, Honabach and Sons, and the Frank and Sons Collectible Show for hosting this fine event.  And of course, a big thank you to all of you readers out there who take the time to humor me and read this, or honestly enjoy doing so.  A new post will be made shortly...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Baltimore Orioles Postgame @Petco Park 8/6/13

Since the Baltimore Orioles are a team that rarely has a series against the Padres here in San Diego, I decided to head down to Petco Park with my friend Lawrence after work and try to add some of this team to my collection.  The Orioles have quite a few good targets to use my baseballs on, like Jim Palmer (works for the Orioles broadcast), Manny Machado, Chris Davis, Adam Jones, and Matt Wieters.  Upon arriving at the ballpark, we realized very quickly that it was not going to be a normal night of trying to get some memorabilia signed.  There were probably around 100 people waiting outside of the park, at various different locations players may walk out.  To compound the problem, the Orioles were staying at a hotel closer to the bay, meaning no one really had any idea which route they might take, or if they might just ride the bus.  Turns out, a few players walked out the normal way, but only a couple signed.  Chris Tillman was with family so declined, and Brian Matusz was talked into signing by his family.  Unfortunately, I was too far away watching another exit to get him.  I did see Brian Roberts walking out an unusual exit, and he stopped to sign for four or five people.  He signed a Topps card for me.
I did not see any of the players I wanted to sign a ball walk out, so needless to say it was a pretty slow night for me.  Manny Machado is the brother-in-law of Yonder Alonso of the Padres, so they drove out together at some point.  When the Orioles team bus left, there was probably about 20 people on it so we never really could judge who was still in the clubhouse and who had left.  Lawrence and I decided to head to the Padres parking lot to see if we could at least add a few of those to our collection, but just about everyone had left.  While waiting, Buck Showalter walked out and took a cab, but I had nothing for him to sign.  My total tally for the night ended up being the card above, which is a far cry from the successful trip I had getting the Reds.  I know this guy only played a short while with the Orioles, and I actually got his autograph when he played for the Phillies, but here is a photo of a Jim Thome autographed baseball I got in 2004 outside of Petco Park.
Thanks for reading, and this weekend there will be a cool post about the event going on Saturday at the Frank and Son's Warehouse up in the City of Industry.  Shaq and Dr. J anyone?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pieces of the Collection

Since I haven't really been able to get down to Petco Park as much as I used to or would like to, I realize that my posts haven't maybe been as frequent as they could be or perhaps even should be.  To help mitigate that, I've decided to post more often about items I have collected in the past, as well as do more of the "Random Ponderings" posts in which I delve into some of my thoughts about the hobby, and how I disagree pretty vehemently with the way a lot of the other collector's act/do things.  For today's post, however, I am going to focus more on the former idea in which I just show some pictures of things I've gotten in the past.

To start, here are some photos of cards I had signed over the course of a couple of years of attending what used to be the Stan Humphries Celebrity Golf Classic and which has now fallen under the name of Drew Brees.  I'm not going to really elaborate on the stories behind each card...this post is more to deal with the items themselves.




As you can see, most of these were signed in black because at the time, I wasn't as prepared as I should have been.  Thanks for reading and keep checking back for new posts.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cincinnati Reds Post Game @ Petco Park 7/30/13

Last night as I watched the first couple of innings of the Padres/Reds game on TV, I decided on a whim to try and go downtown and get some of the Reds after the game.  Over the past couple seasons I had gathered information from various sources (mostly other autograph collector blogs) that the Reds were relatively high from the aspect of star player to signers ratio.  In other words, the Reds are a team that has a pretty good roster full of autograph targets that also signs pretty well.  During the next couple of innings, while keeping one eye on the game, I did my prep work in which I go over the roster and look up pictures of the guys I don't think I would recognize.  I also grab different items I want signed and formulate a game plan in my head of who I want to go after and what I want them to sign.  I'm happy I made the last second decision to go as it ended up being a solid night.

When it came time to park downtown, I was listening to the game when Chris Denorfia of the Padres hit a walk off homerun to win the game in the bottom of the ninth.  Even though I'm a Padres fan, this pissed me off a little bit because the mood of an entire team can change when they lose in such a fashion and it can definitely negatively affect the amount of guys that are in the mood to sign.  Sure enough, the first Reds player I notice walk out was Aroldis Chapman, the guy who blew the game.  He casually strolled past every collector without saying a word, which to be quite frank was pretty predictable in that sort of situation.  As the Reds filed out of the ballpark, no one was signing so my bad feeling was coming to pass.  Guys like Mat Latos (whose wife has an interesting take on autograph collectors found here: http://dallaslatos.mlblogs.com/2012/03/14/on-autographs-and-other-fancy-things/), Joey Votto, Brnadon Phillips, and Todd Frazier walked out without signing.  Fortunately, Bronson Arroyo walked out and took the time to pose for photos with everyone as well as sign items for everyone.  Arroyo to me was a borderline guy to get on a ball (they are expensive) but at this point I was getting shutout so I had him sign a ball for me, though he did not sign the sweetspot.  I refuse to ask players to sign on the sweetspot.
Feeling a little better that my time wasn't a complete loss, I wandered down towards the Omni Hotel since many times players go out to dinner and such and you can catch them coming back.  As I was standing there, a small group of us noticed that Jay Bruce was heading towards the hotel from the ballpark, as he was apparently one of the last players to leave. I hear that Bruce can be tough to get, but this was my first experience with him and he stopped and signed for everyone.  That being said, he did happen to sign the ball I gave him in the oddest spot I have seen someone sign a ball, as you can see in this photo...
As I have repeatedly stated in the past, I'm not one to get all fussy about players not signing the sweet spot, I'm always just happy to have the interaction with these guys and add them to my collection.  Jay Bruce is one of the best young power hitters in the game so I did not mind that this ball is not as aesthetically pleasing as it might otherwise be on the sweetspot.  The signature itself is actually quite crisp and clear so I am not too worried about it.  Some of the others were trying to trade their ball away for a new ball, but that is their deal and if they only want balls signed on the sweetspot that is up to them.

I lingered around for another twenty to thirty minutes, excited about getting both Bruce and Arroyo, when I noticed Joey Votto heading back to the team hotel from whatever it was he was doing.  He was easy to spot since he was wearing a salmon colored dress that in the dim light actually made him look a little like a Creamsicle.  He had originally denied all requests, but as often is the case with Mr. Votto, he stopped and signed for those of us that were still waiting.  Joey Votto is a pretty darn fan friendly superstar, one of the elite players in baseball, and someone I was thrilled to add to my collection.  We all thanked Joey for his generosity, to which he thanked us back for being fans, and he was on his way.  Here is the ball that he signed on the sweetspot, and you can see how it does look better than the Bruce ball above...
After getting Bruce and Votto, by far my two main targets heading into the night, I basked in my geekiness for a bit with some of the other guys before heading home.  This was most assuredly one of the better nights at Petco I have had for some time.  Thanks to all the other "graphers" who stand out there with me and keep me entertained, as well as to Bronson Arroyo, Jay Bruce, and Joey Votto for taking time out of their night to appease their fans.

PS for all of you autograph collectors who don't mind spending money on certain players, there is a massive signing happening at Frank and Sons on Saturday, August 10th with two mega NBA legends.  I have my tickets and photos for that lined up already so there will be a post on that coming shortly, as well as possible New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles autograph exploits.  Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Over 2000 Views and Counting!

When I started this blog, I did so with the intent of providing myself an outlet to talk about my hobby, not knowing if anyone would ever actually stumble across it let alone read it.  Well, about a year later I now have a blog that has been viewed more than 2,000 times.  To be honest though, I don't even know if that is a high number, but it makes me enthused nonetheless.

I would like to thank the people who have tweeted, re-tweeted, and Facebooked my blog in the pursuit of, well...nothing really, other than my happiness.  A sincere thank you to all of you out there who read this drivel on a consistent basis and pretend to be amused.  Enough of the tomfoolery, and on to some autograph stories that I probably wouldn't get around to sharing in another post!

This first picture is of a ball I had signed by Yu Darvish last season when the Rangers were in town to pay the Padres at Petco Park.  This particular signing occurred during batting practice, when Mr. Darvish was waved over by some kids and began signing away.  I was lucky to get him to sign an MLB baseball on the sweetspot, though he did kind of sign in such a way that part of the signature touches the stitches.

 The next autograph is one I obtained when Greg Maddux was a member of the Padres.  My friend Lawrence and I went down to the annual Friar Fest the Padres host before the season, with the sole intent of getting a Maddux autograph.  At first, the event was so discombobulated that we were told to stand in the wrong line, but when we went to guest relations and explained we only traveled to this event to get to meet Maddux, they relented and allowed us to get in the back of the line.  Say what you want about the Padres, they have always been fan friendly.  You'll notice that Mr. Maddux's signature looks nothing like his name, but it's one of the better items I have in my collection.
The following ball is one signed by a player prior to the stigma that was attached to his name due to the Performance Enhancing Drug scandals that have plagued the recent history of baseball.  This ball was signed by Roger Clemens, though not on the sweetspot, as he was getting into a cab following a start he made versus the Padres as a member of the Houston Astros.  I had heard that Mr. Clemens often signed post game on nights he was the starting pitcher, so I gambled that that information was accurate.  It ended up being a solid night as I also got an MLB baseball sweetspotted by Jeff Bagwell, though for some reason I decided in my mind that Andy Pettitte was not worth a ball (?!?!) when he signed for people that night as well.  Here is the Clemens signed baseball...
Finally, here is a ball I had signed by Hall of Famer Andre Dawson before he was inducted into the Hall.  This was when he was a member of the Arizona Diamondback's coaching staff, and it happened pre-game at Petco Park while the D'backs took batting practice.  Mr. Dawson was kind enough to sign the sweetspot for me as well.  This night also saw me getting a Mark Grace signed sweetspot ball.  Here is the Dawson signed baseball...
I realize it is difficult to tell due to the lighting, but all four of the baseballs above were signed in my preferred and frankly more aesthetically pleasing blue ink.  All of the baseballs are in a UV proof case that my wife was actually kind enough to let me hang on the wall, and which consists of 48 signed baseballs.  Since I have close to 200 signed baseballs, it makes it difficult to decide which ones make the cut and get displayed in this case that is the first thing visitors to my home see as they walk through the front door.

In case anyone is interested, I have an Albert Pujols signed baseball (side panel) that I am willing to trade for a ball of someone I do not have yet.  I have posted a picture of the Albert Pujols ball in a previous post, if you want to see what it looks like.  If you also read that story, you'll know that I actually got two balls signed by Mr. Pujols at one time, so I have the extra to spare.  Please message me on here or email me at csl1583@yahoo.com if this interests you.

Again, thank you to all of you for reading and to anyone that has helped me get the word out there about my blog.  The last few months have actually accounted for 3/4 of my views, so whatever we are doing is working.

Until next time everyone...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Seattle Mariners pregame @Petco Park 5/29/13

First, let me wax nostalgic on this Seattle team.  I have had a very good history with this ball club dating back as far as the mid to late 90's when I first began my excursion into the realm of autograph collecting.  It's rather odd really, considering Seattle is an American League team one would not usually associate with playing the Padres, until you realize that the Mariners are actually the Padres "natural rival".  Being a natural rival in MLB essentially means you are in opposite leagues and forced to play an inter league series annually, which to me seems nothing more than an ill disguised attempt at contriving a rivalry out of none that exists.  Sometimes it works (see: Mets/Yankees, Cubs/White Sox), but in this case it does not.  That all being said, having the Mariners show up in San Diego has lead me to collect some of the biggest luminaries in the history of the Seattle ball club.  I'm talking Ken Griffey Jr, Alex Rodriguez, and Randy Johnson types...all of which I will post pictures of at the end of this post.

In terms of today's events, this was the first time I have done any pregame autograph collecting with any team this season.  My schedule has not been real conducive to doing so this season quite yet, so I was excited at the prospect of trying to get Felix Hernandez.  I arrived at the ballpark at my customary time of right before noon and camped out at the spot I like that allows me multiple views of possible entrance points for the players.  There was a surprising number of people already waiting (I'd guess between 20-25) which was unusual in that the Mariners are not a star studded team.  Too many people is not generally looked upon positively by people in the autograph "community" since it causes players to try and avoid the group more than if it was only a few.  I, however, don't mind as much because it just means more eyes to spot players that we might otherwise miss.

Having arrived in San Diego at 2:30 in the morning, only a few players and coaches straggled out in the first hour or so.  Among them were Alex Liddi, Danny Farquhar, and Raul Ibanez.  All three signed for everyone, though I only had something for Ibanez to sign.  He signed a Major League Baseball for me on the sweet spot...
Later on I was the only one to spot Justin Smoak, who signed a baseball on the sweet spot for me as well.
There was not a whole lot of action going on after this, though someone did spot Kyle Seager walking into the ballpark, and when they stopped him he signed everything everyone had for him to sign.  I happened to have a Topps card on me to hand him.  I made a rookie mistake by not checking the ink on it, thus it came out a little dry and pretty light.  It s what it is though and I still did not have him in my collection yet.
In the past I have made reference to a sky bridge that more and more players are starting to use as a means to get into the ballpark and pretty much circumvent all the autograph seekers below.  This unfortunately was a tool many of the Mariners were using to their advantage today, severely limiting the amount of chances any of us had of obtaining some more memorabilia.  I have included a picture of that bridge here so readers can see exactly why it makes it tough on us.
If you notice, there is a man that is standing on the right side of the bridge, and he happens to be an Omni Hotel security guy who escorts players across the bridge.  What you can't see is there is another guy on ground level who kicks any autograph seekers off the corner of the street, citing the fact that it's Omni Hotel property.  All of that is fine and dandy but lately the Omni security has actually been encouraging the players to take the bridge and avoid us below, even going so far as to walk them back upstairs and across the bridge after they were already on street level!  What makes it more flabbergasting is that the security guys then stare at us for minutes on end trying to perform some sort of pseudo intimidation on us or something.  A rivalry has developed between the autograph crowd and the hotel security...brace yourselves everyone!  I believe that hotel security is just happy to finally have found a crowd even geekier than they are...so congrats to you, hotel security men!  I bet you all can't wait for Comic Con.

That rant being over, there really isn't much else that happened for me in the way of autographs today.  I never even actually saw Felix Hernandez enter the ballpark, and left to beat the north bound traffic before I could even see what happened with him.  I'm hoping in a selfish way that I did not miss out on him signing due to my impatience, I guess I will find out another time.

Earlier I mentioned getting some superstars from the Mariners.  The first is a Randy Johnson signed baseball I got during batting practice at Petco Park while Randy was a member of the Diamondbacks.  He side paneled the ball and did his quick, ugly signature.  I don't care though, it's still the Big Unit...
The next ball was signed for me by Alex Rodriguez when he was a rookie.  I honestly don't remember much about the background story since I was a lot younger, but I know I got it during batting practice at Qualcomm Stadium, when I was hanging over the Mariners dugout.  You'll notice the signature is a lot different than the way he signs now.  This is actually on an American League baseball, before they went to one uniform ball for both leagues.
Lastly, this is greatest Mariner of them all.  Ken Griffey Jr. signed an American League ball for me when I was a kid as well.  This also happened at Qualcomm Stadium during batting practice but it happened down the left field line as "The Kid" was heading to his dugout to hit in the cage.  I am told that it is extremely rare to get a Griffey autograph, and even rarer still to get one on the sweet spot, but hey what they heck I was only a kid and did not know the importance of the guy at the time.  You'll notice some aging on this ball, which dates it a little bit.
Lastly, I would like to point all of you that made it this far down the blog to a cool Youtube page that deals with the genre of old classic video games.  A friend of mine, Aaron, and his friends work on this and it's quite entertaining and interesting if you're into the video game and old school game thing.  They are called RetroLiberty and here is the link; http://www.youtube.com/user/RetroLiberty.

Thanks for reading...

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Random Ponderings of the Collector's Mind

I thought I should share with those who live in the Southern California area that Orange County Sports Cards is having quite a few upcoming signing events.  http://www.ocsportscards.com/servlet/the-Autograph-Signings/Categories

I highly recommend this place, as I have actually had quite a few things signed there in the past.  It is a relatively painless process, you purchase the ticket for the type of item you want signed by the player you want it signed by, show up where the event is occurring (many times in the OC Dugout), and wait in line.  You get to meet many stars and have any type of memorabilia you want signed, so long as you are willing to pay some money.  Mike Trout is making his only public signing appearance this year with these guys, but there are many more players lined up with them right now as well.  Speaking of Trout, here is a ball I had signed by him last year...
A couple years ago, I attended a dual signing event at the OC Dugout where both Ervin Santana and Rod Carew were signing. The funny thing about signing events is that often times more people are going after the active player rather than the retired player, even when the retired guy is a Hall of Famer.  This is better for collectors like me that prefer the stars, it makes the process faster.  That being said, Santana had just recently thrown a no hitter so I decided to have him sign a ball with his no hit inscription on it, after I got the ball signed by Carew with his HOF '91 on it.  An interesting side note to getting the autograph from Carew was that I had my four year old son with me.  When it was our turn to meet him, Mr. Carew shook both our hands and struck up a conversation with my four year old. Mr. Carew asked him if he played ball and which team he liked to root for, and even told him that maybe some day he would wait in line to get my son's autograph when he became a ballplayer.  After this exchange, my son looks Rod Carew right in the eye and asks, "Are you a basketball player?"  Mr. Carew started cracking up and told my son "Why yes, I sure am". It's memories like these that make this hobby very fulfilling to me a sports fan like me.





















There was an event later that year at the OC Dugout as well in which Bert Blyleven was going to sign autographs, and I wasn't going to be able to make it.  I asked my brother to go for me since he was in Irvine anyway, and he did.  Thanks Cody...
I have attended three more events hosted by Orange County Sports Cards in which Eric Dickerson, Dennis Rodman, and Gary Payton signed autographs.  I know I have included the Dennis Rodman photo I had signed on a previous post in this blog, so here are the photos of the other two 8 x 10 photos I had signed by Payton and Dickerson.  If you notice, after I get a photo signed I like to find a matte that corresponds to the color of the jersey the player is wearing in the photo.  I believe that after adding the frame, the ensemble is quite appealing when on display.

Again, I can't stress enough how nice it is to have places like Orange County Sports Cards in the So Cal area that host events such as these.  I really recommend that anyone in the sports collecting hoby check these guys out as they often have some HUGE names signing.  Last year they had events for both Kobe Bryant (though it was a private signing and not a public appearance by Kobe) as well as Albert Pujols.  Names like these are often difficult to add to a collection so take advantage of what is out there.

Thanks for reading I should be posting about Petco Park autograph experiences again soon!