I found out from one of the guys waiting (a nice fellow who was visiting from Florida) that the Dodgers were staying in the Omni Hotel, which is actually connected to Petco Park by a bridge that visiting players often use to circumvent the autograph hounds that wait below. This was a little disheartening at first, until I also found out that most of the dodgers actually walked out at ground level the night before. All in all there were only about ten or so "graphers" waiting, as opposed to the rumored forty the night before, so the potential for a good get was obviously there.
On this night, I was focused solely on getting a few baseballs signed by a select few of the stars the Dodgers roster has this season. My targets would be Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke (though he is as tough a get as there is), Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Hanley Ramirez (if he was on the trip) and possibly Andre Ethier if it was a slow night. Also, I wanted to try and get manager Don Mattingly or hitting coach Mark McGwire. As such, I skipped on trying to get cards signed by the non stars so I could focus on the many potential targets to get a ball signed by.
The first Dodger out the door at street level was Clayton Kershaw, who politely declined all requests. Josh Beckett was next and declined as well, however, he was more polite than I had ever witnessed. He even put his hand on the shoulder of a kid who asked and informed him he had signed a lot the day before and apologized. Greinke came out shortly after but we may as well have been ghosts the way he just blows by people. He actually walks right by as if no one exists. I feel like Patrick Swayze in Ghost when Greinke is around, and since I don't have my own Oda Mae Brown to make contact with Zack, I have just about given up ever getting something signed by the guy.
Various other players walked out over the next ten to fifteen minutes, until Adrian Gonzalez came out and signed for the group outside waiting for him. He was kind enough to sign a ball for me, though not on the sweet spot...
Thanks for reading and I will be posting again soon!