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.
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...