Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nomar Garciaparra Autograph Signing at Glendale Galleria (12/13/14)

If there was one baseball player's autograph that I had wanted to acquire all year long, it had to be Nomar Garciaparra.  Prior to the FanFest held in February, I had bought a Nomar Garciaparra 8x10 in hopes of having him sign it.  After all, I was being realistic over the autograph tickets that I would buy or at least were available.  Sadly, the Nomar autograph ticket was sold out as quickly as I could have cursed over the tickets selling out in quick fashion.  If you remember from my FanFest post, I did at least get a Shawn Green autograph, which was my other priority.  Nevertheless, I was a bit frustrated that I could not have gotten a Nomar autograph before they sold out, which forced me to properly store the photograph in one of my drawers.

Flash forward all the way to last Saturday where the possibility of getting Nomar's autograph was finally achievable.  I had discovered in November that the Dodgers were going to continue the tradition of the Mall Tours, where former and (possibly) current players would attend for autograph signings.  However, the Dodgers had posted only two Mall Tours, which really bummed me out even more because I wanted to complete my projects on the 1981 World Series MVPs and The Infield as soon as possible.  Oh well, I still had my hopes as high as possible as the 8x10, that I would sometimes take out throughout the year and inspect, finally saw the light of day in being signed.

I had arrived at the Glendale Galleria about twenty minutes prior to the start of the Fernando Valenzuela signing.  My mindset was that if I had arrived before Fernando started signing, then my chances of acquiring Nomar's autograph would increase.  I was not the only person that was also doing the same strategy in getting Nomar's autograph, as many people knew they had a better shot at him than with Fernando.  The line was very unusual to me, as it had really extended to the parking lot, so no autograph seekers would impede the flow of shoppers walking all around the mall.  One security guard informed me to get in the back of the line simply because whoever got cut off from Fernando would start the line for Nomar.  Just as another security guard was about to mess up and start a completely different line for Nomar, a Dodgers representative confirmed that it was fine standing in line as whoever got cut off would definitely start it. 

Having calmed down from that experience, all I had to do was endure the long in between break from Fernando's departure to Nomar's arrival.  I'm not going to lie, the wait tired me out and I was a bit disgusted over the parking lot, as many people from before had just littered their food onto the floor.  There were even moments in which I just did not want to sit down on the pavement that looked like it was filled with oil and bacteria, but I had no other choice as my back would kill me in the long run.  Thankfully my experience was gradually becoming more bearable as I came across a fellow instagram user, icollectdodgerautos.  We both had a conversation previously about how the event would possible be organized and continued discussing about the event.  I guess it really is a small world after all.
As you can tell from the pictures, I had a long way to get through.  The line had me spiral twice before I can even get close to the inside structure of the mall.  Like I said, merging the people getting Fernando with the ones acquiring Nomar helped me out as I was not too far away from the entrance of the mall when Nomar arrived.  When I was getting near to Nomar, I had a lot of stuff in my mind, ranging from actually getting the autograph after a year's worth of waiting to finally getting something to eat. 
Once I got extremely close to Nomar, that's when the sense of accomplishment started to kick in.  I knew that I can knock off another Dodgers great from my list.  I should note that the mother that was in front of me asked if I would like an additional autograph.  I gave her a baseball that was filled with previous autographs so Nomar can sign it.  I did, however, scolded myself for not even trying to bring the Nomar bobblehead that I had in my collection, but it would have required more effort on my behalf to be cautious. 
Nomar was definitely a pleasant man to meet.  Upon handing him the photograph, I asked him how he was doing.  He happily replied that things were doing good for him, except that he was a bit under the weather.  Therefore, when I offered a handshake, he had no other choice but to inform me of his condition and we fist bumped.  I was happy though that the experience was well worth my time and effort.

Now I am definitely most proud to say that I have added two Nomar autographs to my collection.  I am also happy to add Nomar's photo to my Dodgers Wall of Fame, knowing that I am more relieved more than ever.  Is there a moral to this experience?  Yes, the most tiresome of experiences can bring the most reward.  Also, I just finished my first semester of college, so I'll make sure to get back into writing more posts.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Davey Lopes Autograph Recap at Frank and Son (11/01/14)

The day after Halloween, Frank and Son scheduled Dodgerfest, which provided numerous signing opportunities for fans to take advantage of.  Overall there were a lot of signings that I should have prepared for, but I was not in a hurry to fill up too many on my autograph list that required me to pay for.  The only autograph that I really needed was Davey Lopes.  I already had gotten Bill Russell in a free signing at Frank and Son in April and I have a hunch that I will eventually get Garvey and Cey for free in some sort of public signing.  Davey Lopes, on the other hand, would normally require me to head to a game and be lucky enough to get his autograph.  With my average attendance at 2 games a year, I had to take advantage of the paid signing to guarantee myself an autograph from him.


My family and I arrived at Frank and Son early, knowing well that parking would fill up quickly.  I had purchased my ticket soon after the event holders let everyone enter the stage area.  I only had to endure a tiring two hour wait before his signing started.  Davey Lopes arrived early and started signing autographs.  Luckily, I waited long enough before his signing to be near the front of the line.  Davey Lopes was pretty much a pleasant man to be in front of as he signed my 8x10 of The Infield.  He was especially friendly to a child that was in front of me, so the wait was worth it.

Frank and Son succeeded in providing a signing that was organized and bearable to go through.  I am also happy that I managed to get my Infield phtograph halfway done.  Now I just hope that Garvey and Cey do some signings in the Mall Tour just like in years past, so I can complete this project as soon as possible.  Roberto from VinScullyIsMyHomeBoy and the Dodgers website have confirmed that the Mall Tour will continue, so I can only anticipate that this project will be completed.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

One Successful Bobblehead Haul (09/07/14)

College has really started to take its toll on me.  I have been trying to find some time to blog about the bobblehead haul that occured a day after the Pederson signing, but I was too preoccupied to write about it.  Thankfully, I now have time to mention my recent bobblehead acquisitions.  Without further ado, it's time to talk about the bobblheads I got from the image above.

A day after the Pederson signing, I had gone with the family to the Bassett High School Swap Meet to look around what treasures might come across me. There really wasn't much right when we got there, until we walked down around a corner and I just happen to spot a guy with a ton of Dodgers bobbleheads.  I asked him how much they were individually and he revealed that he was putting them all up for sale for $10 each just for than one particular day.  I had a little more than enough money on me, so I definitely knew I was going to buy them.  I didn't buy them immediately as I wanted to walk around and see if there were more vendors with bobbleheads.  There wasn't as I walked all around the swap meet for about thirty minutes before returning to buy six bobbleheads.  The seller had a ton of bobbleheads that I already had, which left me to narrow down which ones I didn't have.  The six bobbleheads that I ended up buying were Rick Monday, Lasorda and Alston, Greinke, Curtain Call Manny, 2013 Hideo Nomo, and James Loney. 

I was really contempt with the new additions.  Most of these were definitely going for at least $15 - $20.  I had not only saved myself a significant amount of money, but also increased my collection where it is now near the half way mark.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Joc Pederson Autograph Signing at Frank and Son (09/06/14)

Today, Frank and Son had an autograph signing that I needed to attend.  Joc Pederson was scheduled to sign from 10-11 in the morning.  With all the accomplishments he did in Triple A, I just had to take the chance in buying his autograph while it was still cheap.  I've heard stories of how Puig's autograph costed $40 months before he got called up and tore through the majors.  I even remembered through other blogs how his autograph costed more than $100 at Frank and Son. 

Since Joc Pederson's autograph is important to acquire, I also decided to get my item PSA/DNA for the first time.  The event was packed with Dodger fans, but the wait was surprisingly manageable.  Joc arrived on time for the signing and the VIP line pretty much went by fast.  The regular line then smoothed progressively as I wasn't far behind.  I handed Joc my 8x10 and he went ahead and signed it in silver. 

Overall, the signing was one of the best I attended.  I didn't feel any fatigue whatsoever throughout the wait.  More importantly, I left the event happy knowing I knocked down a hyped prospect right off the list.  A big thanks to OC Dugout and Honaback and Sons for organizing this event.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Autograph Recap - Yeager, Mota, and Johnstone at Warehouse Shoe Sale

Today was the grand opening of two Warehouse Shoe Sales in Los Angeles and to cap those stores off, they had their own separate autograph signings.  The WSS by Sunset and Western were scheduled to have Fernando Valenzuela, Ron Cey, and Jaime Jarrin.  I already have Jarrin and Valenzuela in my collection and wanted to try in acquiring Cey's, but with the constant demand for Fernando, I opted for the other store down Pico and Western.
This store scheduled for Steve Yeager, Manny Mota, and Jay Johnstone to sign.  I thought that it wouldn't hurt to get Yeager considering I needed him on the '81 World Series MVPs picture that I already had Guerrero sign in May.  My parents took me and my little sister to the signing and upon arriving were shocked to see how empty it was at that moment, or 8:20 to be exact.  Anyway, once the store opened, my parents bought us shoes so we can get in the VIP line.  We spent a little over $80 to not only ensure me an autograph, buy my parents as well.
Me and my parents were at the front of the VIP line followed by a small group of people behind us and the regular line across as seen in the picture.  There were only two things coming into play during this autograph experience: patience and the sun.  I had seen Steve hanging around while he was waiting for the remaining two signers to show up.  They all arrived at their tent about ten minutes after 11 and ,once settled in, invited us to start signing. 


I had Steve sign my '81 World Series MVPs 8x10 in black sharpie as a way for it to stand out in contrast to Pedro's signature.  I had Manny Mota sign an 8x10 I received in one of his previous signings and gave Jay his card.  Meanwhile, I had my parents have the three sign two completely different baseballs.  One of it had only the three while the other included some signatures from my past signings.  I pretty much thank my parents for taking the time to take me and myself as I had to convince my consciousness to go with what was simpler.  This signing was a peaceful one in spite of the weird weather conditions that plagued upon me.  I just can't wait for another Cey event.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Vin Scully 2012 Bobblehead Acquisition

Last week, I once again ventured to the Vineland Swap Meet in hopes in finding something to add to my baseball collection.  There were pretty no signs of anything baseball related that interested me until I saw a vendor with a Vin Scully bobblehead.  I asked the vendor how much it costed and he responded $15.  There was no box in sight, but this was a whole lot better than the prices I see on Ebay and Craigslist.  I paid him and with that my search for a Scully bobblehead was over.... for now.  There is still the one from 2013 and,if I'm that crazy, the limited edition for season ticket holders that is in need of purchasing.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Congratulations to Dee Gordon on His All Star Selection

Of the four Dodgers that made the All Star team, Dee Gordon is the one that really deserves a round of applause.  He spent a large part of last year honing his skills in order to win back the hearts of both management and fans alike.  A lot of fans, especially myself, started to doubt if he ever was truly ready to be an impact player in the majors.  Now I can say that I was wrong in doubting his style of play.  Dee has finally moved on from being the rookie that everyone had high hopes into the All Star we all wished he would transform into.  I just hope he can repeat those numbers in the second half of the season so the Dodgers can have a comfortable run in reaching the playoffs.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Dodgers Pregame Autograph Signings (06/29/14)

Prior to the Dodgers' final game of the Cardinals series, I had taken the opportunity of the autograph signings to grow my collection.  I made my way to Viva Los Dodgers first.  I had prior knowledge that Lee Lacy was signing autographs next to the stage.  What I didn't know was that Fernando was also going to sign.  For me, this was a bit of last minute news to me.  My only guess for why he appeared was because of the anniversary of his no hitter against the Cardinals in 1990.  I was already in the back of the line for Fernando, but opted to just get Lacy considering I already have Fernando's autograph.

Lee Lacy was just on time to the signing, but we had to wait until Fernado showed up in order to start.  Fernando arrived about 20 minutes later and exchanged greetings with Lacy.  I was second in line for Lacy, as there were only two other kids in the line.  I had Lee sign my baseball on the side right next to Al Ferrara's signature. 

Afterwards, I strolled around the Viva Los Dodgers event.  Nothing really caught my attention except for two things.  I remembered the Dodgers website mentioning the mystery autograph baseball in a bag being sold for $40 of donation.  As much as I wanted to risk getting one, I just didn't have enough cash to get one.  I also saw Tony the Tiger hanging out, so I took a picture with the big cat.

I then made my way inside Dodger Stadium for Lou Johnson and Tommy Davis.  Lou Johnson's line was short, but was moving at a moderate rate.  He was conversating with fans and taking pictures, which I didn't mind.  Lou was an extremely funny guy and I would rate him along Maury Wills as signers that know how to make signings a great experience.

I walked over to right field for Tommy Davis and was surprised to see that he had no line.  There was only one guy getting an autograph from him at the time I arrived.  The reason I am saying this is because Tommy Davis is a true Dodger legend.  He might not have Hall of Fame numbers, but did enough to help the Dodgers win two titles.  He was a two time batting champion and at one time had more than 150 RBIs.  Tommy Davis signed my photo and took the time like Lou to take a picture of me, capping off my day of signing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Shelves are Filled with Bobbleheads

I really haven't been blogging in a month.  A lot of factors come to mind as to why I have yet to do so.  This month has had me paying more attention to the aftermath of my graduation and the Fifa World Cup.  Don't get me wrong, I am still an avid baseball fan and I have watched the two no hitters that Beckett and Kershaw threw.  I just have'nt had enough time or a good story to blog about recently.  The only thing that I've done baseball related is increasing the amount of my bobblehead collection where it is now to the point that my shelves, as pictured, can't hold anymore. This post is pretty much where I'll be discussing briefly the new acquisitions from Magic Johnson to Brian Jordan.

Magic Johnson and Don Sutton were acquired in a single sale at Frank and Son.  I already mentioned Puig's bobblehead in the previous post from late last month. A day after buying Puig's bobblehead, I returned to Frank and Son to buy Hyun Jin Ryu as a way to keep up with this year's bobblehead giveaways.  Weeks after, I bought Eric Gagne, Fred McGriff, and Brad Penny at the Citrus College Swap Meet. I should note that I bought those three at different vendors, but for under $10 each.

Last Saturday, I bought Brian Jordan, but it came with a journey.  My family and I were in South Gate for our usual visit with our grandparents.  I found out on Craigslist that a garage sale with a 30 minute walking distance had bobbleheads.  I went walking to the place as I didn't mind going on foot while my family was watching the Fifa.  The only problem was that I noticed that there were about 20 blocks ahead for me to go through.  Thankfully, they were the small residential blocks that were bearable.  When I got to the garage sale, I immediately noticed Brian Jordan.  I asked the seller how much it was and he responded $5.  I was surprised that Jordan was at a low price, but he did not come with the box.  I noticed other bobbleheads, but they were far too expensive compared to Jordan.  Therefore, I only bought Jordan and I went off returning to my grandparents' house.  That's pretty much it as to the update of my bobblehead collection.  Not sure if I'll be as consistent from here on out, but I will make sure to give updates.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Yasiel Puig Bobblehead - Best Bargain Ever!

I am happy to say on this glorious Friday that I'm no longer searching the market for a Puig bobblehead.  I went with the family to the Vineland Swap Meet in search of any baseball items that I can add to the collection.  Throughout the swap meet, I couldn't find any baseball items that interested me as the Citrus Swap Meet did in previous visits.  I did discover some sports related biographies, but passed on the opportunity in order to search for something greater.  As we were getting closer to getting passed through the north side of the swap meet, I caught a glimpse of two gentlemen that had two Puig bobbleheads on their table.  I immediately asked the man how much they were worth.  He replied that they were on sale for $20.  I completely got excited after he informed me of the price.  Other sellers across the internet and Frank and Son were asking for an average price of $45, so for him to sell them at $20 was an extremely generous offer.  He did inform me that he was aware of the $45 average sale price and wanted to sell for at least $30, but he immediately went to $20.  After I bought the one Puig bobblehead from him, we shook hands and he told me that he might just keep the other one for himself.

Here is how the bobbleead ended up looking after I opened it.  Yasiel Puig looks awesome just as he is advertised.  The only one very minor complaint I have is that there is an extra blue stain hovering above the Dodgers logo.  Overall, I am extremely happy that I got the one sought bobblehead for a bargain and this comes one day after my graduation ceremony.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Pedro Guerrero Autgraph Signing at Harry's Dugout (05/03/14)

Today Pedro Guerrero was scheduled to sign autographs at Harry's Dugout.  I needed to start my second project, which is getting the 1981 World Series Co - MVPs on this 8x10.  I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get Cey and Yeager in the future for free at some event, like the Mall Tours, but Pedro is rarely around the area for such a thing.  Therefore,  I needed to pay for this one in order to get a guarantee signature for him.  I arrived at Harry's Dugout at 9:30 and quickly paid for my ticket.  The line was not long as it only stretched to the last bit of shade from the side of the building when I got there.
Like I said, the line was not long and I was in the store at about 10:20. 

Pedro Guerrero was taking pictures.  Not sure though if he was taking a selfie or of the fans in attendance.  I hated how my finger was still able to get in the shot.

Pedro signed my 8x10 and we posed for a picture.  So after 20 posts, you now know what I look like.
I would love to thank Harry's Dugout for setting up a great event and Pedro for coming on out.  Now I just have to wait patiently as a free Cey and Yeager signing comes in the future. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dodgers Earn 10,000th Win on my 18th Birthday

What a birthday it has been for me today.  Today is my 18th birthday and the Dodgers just pretty much gave me the best damn present.  The Dodgers have defeated the Twins with a score of 6 - 1 in order to win their 10,000th game on a day that has so much meaning for me.  Now April 30 also is of significance to the entire world.  I share my birthday, April 30, with El Dia Del Nino, Hitler's death day, and among others.  Now I can add the resume of the Dodgers historic victory to the list of events that have happened on my birthday.  I'm am not sure if I'll be around should the Dodgers get to 20,000 considering it took them since their start in the late 1800s to achieve this feat.  I do know that I might just be around for a lot of good things to come in the future.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Clayton Kershaw Cy Young Bobblehead Giveaway Game Recap

Yesterday was finally the day that I was able to finally go to a Dodgers game.  This game was vital for me considering that it was the first bobblehead giveaway of the year.  My father and I arrived at the stadium just around 4 in the afternoon.  Parking gates opened at 4:30 while the stadium gates for right field opened at 5:00.  My father and I immediately headed for the food and drinks, but we did have trouble carrying the stuff to our seats.  Nevertheless, we quickly got over that mess.  While the batting practice for the Dodgers was underway a ball had bounced off the wall and headed towards me.  I was completely ready for the baseball as I had my glove and caught it easily.

That was the only ball that headed toward my direction.  After batting practice commenced, a former American Idol competitor sang the national anthem and Max Greenfield from New Girl threw the first pitch.  I didn't take a picture of him throwing the pitch, but I did take his picture later in the game when he was on the jumbo tron.

By the way we were sitting in  Section 308, Row F, Seats 15 and 16 so we were able to get close enough to see the action.  Here is my view from numerous standpoints.

Well anyway the Dodgers scored first on a two run home run by Juan Uribe at the bottom of the fourth inning.  However, it didn't take long for the Phillies to tie as they scored two runs in the fifth.  Pitching for both sides seemed to be good as both starters only allowed two runs and left with a no decision.  In the seventh,  Adrian Gonzalez homered a couple sections towards my right and the Dodgers got the lead.  Everyone went crazy and I pretty much thanked God for that home run. 

Both managers challenged individual calls by the umpire.  Don Mattingly challenged an out where Hanley was tagged at home because he thought he wasn't given enought room to slide.  Ryne Sandberg challenged a play where Uribe was safe at first.  Both calls stood as they were ruled by the umpires.

My father and I left after the eighth inning because of the fact that we wanted to avoid traffic as we headed home to Baldwin Park.  While we were driving, I was looking at the score on ESPN and found out that Brian Wilson and Jamey Wright each surrendered two runs.  That information was hard for me to process at the moment as it was really devastating.  I really wanted the Dodgers to win that game especially after all they did in order to make it close.  Well I just have to deal with it and move on as the season goes.  I really do have to thank my father for taking me as next Wednesday will be my 18th birthday.  I also made sure not to leave empty handed as I added the new bobblehead and batting practice home run to my collection.