03-14-2013, 11:55 PM #1081
Went to the sixers event tonight. Overall I had a good time, but I was somewhat disappointed at the turnout, especially for how crappy the team has been.
I hung out extensively with mike philly4for4 and he was awesome. I owe him pretty big time for some stuff he's helped me out with.
We got there early, and right off the bat we heard from a handler that Bynum would not be showing up. GREEEAT. The bum can't even show up for the fans. So the biggest guy on my want list didn't show. Also, Doug Collins didn't show (™™™) and Dr. J (who works for the team) didn't show. Pretty crappy list of players.
I made the best of it. The way it was set up was kind of a crap show. The players were rotating between photo booths and autograph stations. However the times and places they were going were random, so you might wait in line for holliday for a half hour and then he would move and it would be Thad young or ivey or moultree in the seat when you got there. Also, the players came in two shifts, the starters and the backups, pretty much.
I managed to get everyone that was there, coaches and players. Also, I got Adam Aron the CEO as he was standing around talking to the crowd. I was talking to him and commended him for changing the image of the team. He said "Yeah, it all worked really well, except bynum."
I said, "Hey, I work at jefferson hospital, were we the doctors that screwed up his physical?"
He replied, "No, that was main line health system (another local hospital)."
The other funny thing that I had happen was when I was in line for Jeremy Pargo (who?!). He was signing my team floorboard, which has been done by everyone in blue. He was running with a black. I asked him to use blue to match everyone else.
He said "you only want me to use blue because you're selling this."
I said, "uh, no I'm not, I just want it all to match and blue shows up better."
He said, "No you're not, you're selling."
He still took the blue and signed it.
Kwame Brown was next to him at the station, and I said as he signed for me "Your boy is giving me ™™™™ over here, do you hear this?"
Kwame looked over at him annoyed and said, "He isn't my boy, I don't even know this guy." Seemed really cool about it and was equally appalled at that reaction. I wanted to say to Pargo "You really think I'm getting rich off your sig?"
Kind of frustrating to get that reaction from a scrub, but what can you do?
The only bittersweet moment for me came right at the end. Mike is a temple fan and loves lavoy allen. Strangely, Lavoy was never in an autograph booth. When we realized he wasn't going to be in an auto booth, we got in his photo booth line to try to get him to sign autos in the photo booth (He was signing for other people). We were getting close to the front of the line at 8:30. The event was advertised as going until 9:00. Suddenly, Lavoy just cuts it off and starts to exit the booth.
I, along with a dozen or so other people, bum rush him for graphs. He signs 3-4 for little kids, then his handler announce he is going to "take a 5 minute break, and can't sign anymore."
As he passes me I say really loudly "Lavoy I need you as the last one to finish this team floorboard piece can you please sign?!"
He signed for me and me alone, and darted off. Mike didn't get him. And the "5 minute break" turned into "All the players are done signing for the night."
What gives- we really can't get Lavoy Freaking Allen's autograph at this event when your best player, your coach, and your hall of famer in the front office can't bother themselves to show up? Horrendous. Still, I enjoyed the night, I got free beer, food, coffee, and a bunch of graphs for a few bucks admission.
Here is my haul:
A 50th anniversary floorboard signed by almost the whole team:
Signed by: Aaron McKie (coach), Lavoy Allen, Jrue Holliday, Kwame Brown, Spencer Hawes, Royal Ivey, Charles Jenkins, Arnett Moultrie, Jeremy Pargo, Evan Turner, Damien Wilkins, Thaddeus Young, Nick Young, Dorrell Wright
Names missing to finish the official 2013 roster: Doug Collins (Coach), Andrew Bynum, Jason Richardson
Hopefully I can someday knock off those last 3 names for the "50th anniversay" team piece.
Also, I got a bunch of 4x6 photos signed, which are for sale/trade (I have a bunch of these)
All in all a fun night, and great meeting up with people from these forums as always!
03-15-2013, 12:40 AM #1082
Some good stuff. And being from Cleveland, i know about Pargo. He's was actually a really good signer for our team but I never went to him (mostly cause after he scored like 30 against the sixers one game, didnt think the Cavs would cut him and I had time). Pargo was cut due to the Mo Speights trade and was gone...I actually liked him, however I followed him on twitter and from what I saw...he seemed like a tool. Your post makes him seem even more like it. But also understand that there's a lot of people who do floorboards and sell them in Cleveland. They don't even hide the fact, they tell the players it to their face sometimes. Probably why I stick to cards. But the board does look sweet!
Also, is the middle pic above the turner/below the Hawes of Jrue? I may be interested in trading for both Hawes and/or Jrue or both. hit me up.Reached 100 autos by 2012 (Actual number achieved=200)
500 New Autos by 2014: 44/500 completed
Most Recent: Amare Stoudemire, Michael Morse, Steve Novak
03-16-2013, 12:09 AM #1083
I head out for Arizona on Sunday, and I got a good omen for the trip in the mail today- my first TTM success of the spring.
Bill Hamilton! My favorite prospect- signed a sick chrome card in an even sicker gold metallic marker. Kudos for knowing the right marker to use, Billy.
Here's hoping this is the first of many spring successes in the next few days, the rest being in person!
03-16-2013, 07:55 PM #1084
Wow I need to send him!
03-19-2013, 04:48 PM #1085
How's ST going? Hope you're cleaning up. Look forward to reading about your successes!
03-21-2013, 01:08 AM #1086
03-23-2013, 03:28 AM #1087
I am currently laying in my hotel room, on the last night of my trip. I really cannot believe how well this trip went. Early on, I was overwhelmed by learning a new place for graphing and all these new teams, but I got some great help from these boards and elsewhere, and was able to have, quite frankly, the best week of graphing I've had in my entire life. My collection has probably doubled in value the last 4 days.
Even more remarkably, I did not autograph from morning until night every day. In fact, less than half the time I was here did I actually graph. My fiance and I made it a point to do cultural things around here, and saw the grand canyon on one day, the red cliffs of sedona another day, things like that. So I spent less time graphing and got even more results.
I will post pictures following this post, and give you a day by day breakdown of what I did and who I got, complete with some storytelling (I know some of you like to hear stories from the trenches). I will say again- this was the most fun I've had graphing, pretty much ever.
Before we start, recall that my only 2 main goals in coming down here were to get Kemp and Pujols to sign, 2 of my white whales.
Sunday/Day 0. Starting with a whimper:
We had an uneventful flight and landed in Phoenix at about 2pm. Our hotel is in Tempe, 5 minutes from the Angels ST facility, Tempe Diablo Stadium. So after consulting the schedule we decided to head over to the park, to try our luck with the parking lot after the home game for the Angels, as well as to get the lay of the land for the rest of my trip.
We arrived to a mob scene. About 20 people gathered along the fence where the guys walk to their cars, and about 10 more by the driveway entrance. We waited about an hour, as the guys filtered out after the game. Trumbo began signing over by the fence, but since we were by the driveway, we didn't feel like fighting our way in, and we missed him.
Cameron Maybin drove to the game, and he pulled out from the home team's lot (strangely). He stopped his car and signed. I got him on the sweet spot of a junk ball. However, the crowd of people that bum rushed Maybin's car got really big. Just then, Trout pulled out in his car. However, he saw the huge crowd, and rather than drive through it and maybe sign, a security guard motioned him out another exit, away from us. Shortly thereafter, Albert left through the same exit. A few minutes later Hamilton peeled out in his red Mazzerrati.
So our first day we got no autographs. I had a pretty horrible feeling about the week then. I told my friends I regretted going to AZ, rather than Florida, because the graphing seemed so hard here. We shall see if I felt that way at the end of the week.
Monday/Day 2. No graphing, just photo-graphing at the canyon
Our original plan was to hit a local attraction, and then hit a night game for autographing. However, over lunch we decided instead to devote an entire day to seeing the grand canyon (It's a 4 hour drive from Phoenix to the canyon). It was worth it! We got some great pictures and had a great time, but that's not why you're here to read about my home movies.
Tuesday/Day 3. Angels in the infield.
I hit up Angels morning practice before their road game. I got there at 9:15 for a 10:30 practice. By the time I got there, there were about 20 people there waiting, not too many. Plenty of spots along the fence on the front row. I found a decent spot, and got into position. No sooner do I get into position, then a loudmouthed mother and her husband start bullying me. They say "Yo buddy, if you think you're going to stand there and cut in line in front of the 20 people who have been here since 8:30, then you're crazy! You gotta get to the back of the line!"
I said, "There is no line, I'm not in anybody's way. If they were here since 8:30 then they'd be in a spot."
They weren't having it. Other people joined in, and made me go to the end of the section, 20 yards from the tunnel. I knew that as soon as a player came out a mob scene would ensue, and their "line" would go to hell, so I decided not to push the issue and just waited. Over time the players came out and started practicing.
After practice, Pujols began to walk off. He did his usual trick- he took a wide angle far from the fans, to avoid us. However just as he was about to pass us at this large distance away, some kids called out to him. Sure enough, he came right over to the kids and started signing. It took some reaching over the crowd, but I got him! I couldn't believe it. I heard he only signs at practice like that 3-4 times per spring, and I got him the first pass.
Afterwards, Hamilton walked off the field. He started doing this crazy thing where he would take an item, walk up and down the line, then give the item back and move somewhere else and take another. He was trying to prevent double dipping. So it's nearly impossible to get him, as he doesn't move in an orderly fashion. Even so, he signed 50-100 graphs that day, and I got him eventually on the SI cover. How's that for a first practice! Albert and Hamilton.
After that, I went to the Rockies @ Royals game in Surprise AZ. I got there late bc of traffic so I missed pregame graphing. So during the game I set up shop next to the tunnel for tulowitzki after he got lifted from the lineup. However, he still snubbed me as he passed. Oh well, hard to be mad when you get albert and hamilton in a day!
Wednesday/Day3. Dodger Dog.
I had always heard good things about Dodger camp, so my fiance and I decided to hit up morning practice at their facility. She only graphs with me sometimes, but is a major help when she does, as will become apparent as the week's story unfolds. We got there for the 9am opening of the field, and set up shop by the clubhouse entrance.
We waited about an hour before practice started. Players came out then, but none would sign on the way out from practice. That was, of course, until Mark McGwire came out and started signing. He signed a lot of autographs, and my fiance and I were both lucky enough to get him. She got him on an 8x10 for a user on these boards, I got him on SS ROMLB. Awesome.
Sometime during practice Kemp snuck off the field and didn't sign, but I didn't see where he went. I missed him as a result. Doh! The pain didn't last long, though, because Mattingly came out. I got him on the SS ROMLB, my fiance was further down the line out of earshot in the crowd, so she was only able to get him on a blank (it was all she had).
Shortly thereafter, Kershaw comes off and starts signing. I got in line. He skipped me over. I got in line again. He skipped me again. It seemed like he was only signing for kids and women. Fortunately, I brought a woman with me, and my fiance was able to get him on an 8x10! Unbelievable!
I also got Capuano, Brandon League, Kenley Jansen, honeycutt during practice.
Practice was over at that point, so I ran to the Dodgers @ KC game. The dodgers were uber late for the game, arriving at like 12:45 for a 1:00 game, so no one would sign in the tunnel. I ran down the line to try to catch kemp after stretching. As he was stretching 3 kids chanted in unison "BEAST MODE!" and he turned and waved at them. I knew that was where he would come and sign, so I stood there. Sure enough, he came over and signed. I kept trying to get him but he wouldn't grab my ball.
Finally, he said "Yo man, you see all these kids man? Gotta wait your turn." So I did, but after him saying that I thought I was screwed. However, he did finally take my ball and signed it SS. I am glad he goes out of his way to get kids, but I'm also glad that I got him.
After getting my 2 targets, Kemp and Pujols, in my first 2 days of graphing, I decided to leave the game at 1:15pm and quit graphing for the day. I spent the rest of the day with my fiance sightseeing.
Day 4. Worst to First.
This day started off EPICALLY BAD, and wound up being the best day of graphing I have ever had (possibly). We spent the morning sightseeing, and I had planned to go to practice for the Angels at 2pm, and then to Angels @ rangers night game @ 6 pm. So when I got there I saw an empty complex. Turns out, the Angels weren't practicing. I then decided to go to the Rockies practice for THEIR night game, 25 minutes away. I got there and THEY weren't practicing. UGH double fail. As I was looking for practice I came upon a minor league game where Doug Drabek, former major leaguer, was coaching. I got him to sign a junk ball, and he added his cy young inscription. Not too shabby I guess as a consolation prize.
So finally I made my way to the night game and watched batting practice. I got hamilton coming off the field after BP. He was doing that same "grab an item and move around" thing, but once again signed 100+ graphs that night. He really is a champion.
I got in position for trout at the tunnel, only 3 of us there graphing. He came back in from BP to the tunnel, and only signed 1 graph, for the guy next to me. Okay, fine, I'll get him on the way back. About a half hour later, Trout comes back out. We ask him to sign. He says sure. He signs for the first guy in line, then he signs for the 2nd guy in line (the one that got him before), then when he gets to me HE CUTS IT OFF AND STOPS SIGNING. So the guy next to me got him twice and I got him 0 times. What gives?!
I was really mad about this, but the guy that got trout twice knew what he was doing (a dealer, probably), so I decided to follow him, in case he was going for Nolan Ryan (I heard a rumor he would be at the game). The guy set up shop at the Rangers dugout. So far so good. As we were waiting for Nolan Ryan, I saw him call a coach over for a graph. It wasn't nolan so I figured it was a scrub that I didn't need. Turns out it was GREG MADDUX, and by the time I realized it was too late and he wouldn't do it. I missed him because I was so effing stupid! HOW CAN THIS NIGHT GET ANY WORSE?! Just wait, it does!
I was reeling from these failures, so I took a walk up to the concourse above the section where I was waiting for Ryan. About 5 minutes later, I turn around and Nolan Ryan is standing 5 feet in front of me, 1 on 1, with him and his handler. However he looked like he was in pain, limping and leaning on his handler to get down the steps. As a result I felt strange asking him, especially since I heard that when he is at games he lets people down between innings to get signatures. So I decided to let him pass without asking. No sooner does he sit down, than his handler come up to tell the usher and myself "NO AUTOGRAPHS TONIGHT, NOLAN SAYS." NO!!!!!! I didn't ask him because I could get him later, but I can't get him later! FAILURE!
I was dejected at this point. So I just sat by the angels tunnel and watched the game. Fortunately my luck was about to turn around. After the 6th inning, Trout was lifted and came through the tunnel. I asked him to sign since I missed him earlier. He grabbed my ball and signed it. FINALLY!
So at that point my fiance was outside waiting to pick me up. However, I told myself that, not matter what, I would not leave this ballpark without asking Nolan for a graph. The worst he could say is no, right? So I walked over to his section, the lower level behind home plate. Fortunately, right as I got there it was the 7th inning stretch, and the woman in the seat behind Nolan had stood up to stretch her legs and take a walk. I snuck down into her seat, just inches away, and asked Nolan to sign my ball, since I saw him earlier above and didn't want to bother him. He didn't look happy at all, but he grabbed my ball and signed it. AHHHH!!!!! NOLAN M™™™™g RYAN!!!
I called this night worst to first, because it started so bad, and ended so epically!
Friday/Day 5. Do you believe in Magic?
My fiance and I had sightseeing plans at 1:00 pm, so we decided on our last full day we would go back to dodger stadium and try to get kemp again for my brother in the morning and then peace out before the game. The place was a zoo because the dodgers had a home game that day. No sooner do we get to the facility and get in our spot by the clubhouse but we hear chatter from kids on their iphones and ushers talking about twitter posts that MAGIC JOHNSON was in the building, because he was part owner. The crowd immediately got energized for the day.
Practice began as usual, and proceeded. No magic johnson. After practice was about halfway done I had all but given up that he would come out, figuring he would just stay for the game. I decided to take a walk over to Tommy Lasorda's table, where he lines fans up and signs for them. As I was walking to the table, I heard a kid cry out "HEY MAGIC!" I turn and look, and MAGIC JOHNSON is standing in the bullpen nearby talking to a reporter. I quickly ran to the guardrail, along with about 100 other people lol. Magic came out to the crowd and waved to us, said just to stay calm he'd sign for all of us. I was about the 10th in line, and I got him on the SI cover of him and kemp! I could have double dipped but decided to let the kids and fans get in. Oh yeah, that guy that got trout twice before me last night, got magic johnson THREE TIMES today- that guy kinda sucks.
I went back and met up with my fiance, who was staying in our original spot. I come back to hear from her that she got ANOTHER mcgwire on the sweet spot!
We were all but ready to leave, but then we realized that the Reds had just arrived for the game against the dodgers. We set up camp on the practice fields by where they come out and waited.
Brandon Phillips came over, and we both got him on ROMLBs (one side panel one sweet spot- my fiance forgot to ask him sweet spot- doh!).
Jay Bruce came next, and we both got him on ROMLBs (he said he was contractually obligated to side panel).
Dusty baker came next, and we both got him, her on a cheap ball, myself on a ROMLB.
As we were waiting for votto, I realized that I got Dusty baker on my last ROMLB- OMG! Luckily I had printed an 8x10 for votto, so when he came out, I got him on the 8x10, she got him on a cheap ball. It was an amateur mistake to run out of baseballs, but I was lucky I still had a decent item (8x10) for votto.
So we came to Dodger camp in the morning for Kemp, wound up getting MAGIC JOHNSON, and the ENTIRE REDS TEAM pretty much.
I am not trying to brag with this post, but I really can't believe how well this week went. I knocked out my 2 main superstar wants, and then added hall of famers, superstars, and many others on top of that! I feel as though we came, we saw and we conquered, and I got to spend over half my time sightseeing and seeing the area, so the amount of time I put in was reasonable. I had a great time, and hope you all enjoyed reading this! Let the comments begin!
Dusty Baker x2
Brandon League x2
Josh Hamilton x2
03-23-2013, 01:56 PM #1088
All I can say is wow!
03-23-2013, 02:19 PM #1089
nice success, I am hoping to get Kemp this season.
03-23-2013, 05:03 PM #1090