Monday, July 14, 2014

Autograph Recap, Inland Empire Celebrity Bowling 7/14/14

I went to a new charity event, Inland Empire Celebrity Bowling hosted by Denver Broncos safety Omar Bolden and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner. To be honest the event wasn't exactly great for myself and fellow graphers.

The primary goal and what really sold us on going was news that Bobby Wagner's teammate Russell Wilson was supposed to be in attendance. The handler at the door was apparently from his passing camp and said he would be coming to the event latter on so we happily made our donation and went inside.

Now here's where things get a little murky. The event was great in that it had all you can eat ribs, chicken and sides and unlimited cocktails with a decent DJ. Everyone seemed to have a good time. In attendance to begin the event with Bolden and Wagner was Broncos safety Duke Ihenacho and Steelers linebacker Chris Carter. Bolden, Duke and Carter were great being really social, very funny and generally everything you would expect from celebrity hosts at a charity event.

I started the day off getting Omar Bolden's autograph on my 8x10 photograph. It was great to meet and talk to him since I'm a big Bronco's fan and he had a great season for us.
After Bolden I got his fellow Broncos' safety Duke Ihenacho's autograph on an 8x10. I'm not really sure why but he signed it "#27" so maybe he's changing his number next season? But it doesn't make much sense since the photo he signed has number 33 on his jersey. It was that kind of day.
After Inhenaco signed not much action happened besides taking photos and goofing off with really awesome guy Chris Carter. He was one of the highlights of the event hanging out with us but we didn't bring anything for him. That was until we got Bobby Wagner's attention. Wagner came over to sign for us and he wasn't happy about it at all. He was short with us, seemed irritated we had different color pens for our different photos and would only sign one item each. I understand we didn't spend thousands to be there like some of the participants, but we made a donation just like every other person who was inside. No one tried dropping more than 2 items on him it just seemed unnecessary for him to come off like a jerk to us and to give us a rough time.
I'm not really sure what's the real difference between us asking him to sign our photos and other attendees asking him to sign their tshirts. We came prepared to meet the host of the event and wanted a nice item from the event. We donated just as much as some of the other guests who were treated much more politely. Maybe Bobby didn't want us at the event and it shows, but you signing two photos and not glaring when I ask for a photo together makes this a better event that draws more graphers. Yeah you'll have to sign more but you'll make more money in donations for the American Heart Association. I thought that was the point.
Matt didn't have anything for Wagner so he helped me out and got my other Bobby Wagner photo autographed. As you can see theres a random mark under the "B" because Wagner marked the photo with the sharpie before signing it. I appreciate the help in getting it done, but come on Bobby. Really? Regardless I'm glad to have both my photos done so I'm finished getting Bobby Wagner's autograph and have a Superbowl Champion's autograph in my collection.

Russell Wilson never ended up showing up. Twitter showed us he went out to dinner somewhere by the beach instead of showing up to his teammates event. A teammate who had just gone and spent time at Wilson's own camp the day before. Nice support right?

Someone who did have a lot of support was Darren Collison. As the event was wrapping up and we were walking out the door I literally shoulder checked Matt to stop walking as Collison walked right through the front door inside past us. He made the drive from LA to Rancho to spend maybe 25 minutes saying hi to the guests still in attendance taking photos and signing for everyone who was left and asked him. We overheard him saying he didn't realize that the event ended so early and he seemed genuinely surprised. But it was great to see him come by and immediately make himself available to fans.
I ended up getting this Darren Collison 8x10 photograph autographed as the best autograph right at the buzzer to make the day worthwhile graphing wise. I'm sure Clippers fans will agree with me saying it'll be rough seeing him in Sacramento playing for the Kings now instead of in Los Angeles.

Now don't get me wrong. I had come to the event from a long weekend at work. I got my moneys worth from the catering and had a good time meeting players on my favorite football team and getting a few autographs. But the attitude Wagner had and the handler telling us Wilson would come only for him to skip out on it was really disappointing. I'm down to support good causes but I'm not sure if I'll be back next year.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Autograph Recap, Bernie Nicholls at the Offices of Dr. Alex Corbin Liu 7/12/14

Well as previously posted Dr. Alex Corbin Liu had an appearance scheduled with former LA kings great Bernie Nicholls at his practice in Rowland Heights. It was only my second time going to a signing held by Dr. Liu and it was a great experience for me once again. The line this time was longer than the Reggie Bullock signing, but it wasn't too bad especially considering the hype around the Kings winning the Stanley Cup this year.

First off I made a untypical mistake and printed out the wrong quality photo and didn't discover it until it was too late to arrange for another print. I went into Dr. Liu's office and was happy to see a variety of high quality items available for purchase at the event. There was a selection of 8x10s, 11x14s and different pucks all for a really reasonable price especially for being sold with the autograph included with purchase. I was honestly really impressed as I've seen other places host signings and player appearances with no items available or a poor selection of poor quality, but this is the second time I've seen nice items available at Dr. Liu's office.

Nicholls arrived early and spent some time inside chatting with a few guests before starting to sign for those in line. After he really started signing the line started to move pretty well and he allowed fans to take a photo with his ring from being on the Kings Stanley Cup championship.
Bernie Nicholls autographed this 8x10 photograph and inscribed "70 Goals 80 Assist 150 points" on it for me. I think it came out really well and I really like the vintage jersey he's wearing in it. Definitely a well chosen photograph to have available for people attending the signing.
This one wasn't as popular a choice with the Kings faithful but I also was able to get this photo of Nicholls playing for the New Jersey Devils signed.

Overall it was another great event run by Dr. Liu and his staff and I'm glad to have made the trip out to meet Nicholls. This has been a recent way for me to find autographs in the Los Angeles/Southern California area and I'm definitely liking how they're coming out. I'll be keeping an eye out for the next event and will be posting any information I find about a signing and recommend making your way out that way as well.

RBI (215) George Springer...

Everyone's looking at the upswing the Astro's are on and a big part of it is from the big bat of George Springer. He's taking the game by storm with his power and helping the typically struggling Astro's stay loose and swing free. With top prospects looking like they're going to start paying off the Astro's are finally at the cusp of not being perennial sellers and may start being buyers in a few seasons.
I've already gotten him on a baseball so I made sure to join in the fray after it came out and got this George Springer autographed Sports Illustrated done. It's a nice cover shot in the vintage Astro's uniform and I was really happy to get it signed with a reasonable Springer autograph. With a ball and SI signed now I don't have anything else for Springer unless I decide to knock out a photograph so it'll be nice to refocus on getting my 2014 Heritage set done when the Astros are in town.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

RBI (214) Paul Goldschmidt...

I went down to San Diego to see the Padres play against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was a reasonably successful trip with me getting a handful of autographs for my 2014 Topps Heritage set and the highlight of the trip was America's first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

He was an unassuming pick taking by the Diamondbacks in the 8th round of the 2009 MLB draft. The under the radar star had a massive breakout 2013 campaign and is productively repeating the success. He's already been an All Star, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner and lead the National League in RBI's in 2013 while being tied for the Home Run lead.
Paul Goldschmidt autographed my 2014 Topps Heritage card for the complete set I'm slowly trying to assemble. It's a big one to cross of the list as I think he'll stay productive and popular for years.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

RBI (213) Aubrey Huff...

For the 4th of July I went to San Diego with my buddy David to get some holiday graphing in. The Padres were playing the San Francisco Giants so were hoping to get some of the their stud pitchers and position players. Unfortunately we didn't have the best of luck with the Giants but we made the best out of it. We were watching the game and ran into former Aubrey Huff in the stands.

Aubrey Huff played from 2000-2012 as a reasonably successful player as a first baseman, third baseman, and outfielder. While with the Orioles he served as their regular DH and won the 2008 Silver Slugger. He moved on to the Giants where he was instrumental in helping them to win the 2010 World Series Championship and played a smaller role on the 2012 World Series Championship team. He retired with a .278 career average, 242 Home Runs and 904 RBI's driven in.

I got this Aubrey Huff autographed baseball inscribed "2x Champ" and it was the best pick up I got on the day. An unexpected pick up but it came out really clean and I like the inscription on the unexpected World Series winner.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Autograph Recap, Angels Mystery Bags 2014

Well it was that time of the year again when the Angels girlfriends and wives host their annual mystery grab bag fundraiser. Each bag costs $40 and proceeds go to support the Special Olympics. You have the chance to pull a baseball autographed by a participating player and if you're exceptionally lucky you can find a gold ball that gives you the opportunity to go on the field before a game to meet the player.

I waited in line with some friends and took my shot at the chance for the opportunity. I ended up pulling a Kole Calhoun and two Howie Kendrick baseballs. I traded one of the Howie Kendrick's for a Josh Hamilton baseball and then traded that Josh Hamilton for a Jered Weaver.
To say I'm happy with this is an understatement. A Jered Weaver autographed baseball in blue on the sweetspot is more difficult to get than I'd care to even really think about. The fact that it has paperwork from the Angels certifying it makes it even better. It'll look extra great next to my other Weaver autographed ball inscribed with Weaver's no hitter.
The Howie Kendrick autographed baseball is a nice full signature so I'm reasonably happy with it.

The Kole Calhoun I gave as a present already so I don't have a photo of it, but Kole's actually a bit tough so it was nice to get the ball so I could focus on other graphing instead of chasing him. Overall it wasn't a bad haul for me and it could have gone much worse. The Angels also were kind enough to learn from bad experiences the past few years and the players gave out nice signatures on the sweetspot in good blue pens. Every fan I saw may have wished they had pulled a Pujols or Trout autograph, but I don't think close to everyone left with a quality signature from their player.

Autograph Opportunity, Bernie Nicholls July 12, 2014

Go Kings go.  At Dr. Alex Corbin Liu's practice in Rowland Heights there will be an appearance by NHL legend Bernie Nicholls for an autograph signing on July 12, 2014. The first 50 people in line will receive a free autograph so Kings fans looking for an autograph be sure to line up early.
I went to the last event when Reggie Bullock was at Dr. Liu's practice and it was a great well run event. I definitely recommend anyone looking to add an NHL autograph to check out the appearance. And if you're not in Southern California but still looking for an autograph contact him by email for mail order inquiries.