Sunday, August 10, 2014

RBI (216) Don Sutton...

I made the trip down to San Diego to graph the Atlanta Braves. I made a silly mistake and neglected to bring with me a card for the broadcast crew as there was Hall of Famer Don Sutton working for them. I was able to get ahold of a card down there from another grapher for a buck in case I had the chance to get Sutton.

Sutton pitched for the Dodgers from 1966-1980 and made his way to the Astros, Brewers, Athletics, Angels and finally back to the Dodgers for a final retirement season in 1988. His numbers are standout at 324 Wins supported by a 3.26 ERA and 3,574 Strikeouts. Throughout his career he was however only a 4-time All Star, though he was the MVP of the 1977 All Star game. His number 20 was retired by the Dodgers  in 1998 the same year he was inducted into the Hall of Fame as the only inductee into Cooperstown that year.
I got this Don Sutton autographed 1988 Score card by literally accidentally walking into Mr. Sutton in the street after the game. It was a nice surprise pick up and its always a good day when you can add a Hall of Famer to your collection.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Autograph Recap, 1st Annual Juglife Celebrity Softball Game 8/3/14

I went with my buddy David to Javale Mcgee's 1st Annual Juglife Celebrity Softball game held at UCLA's Easton Softball field. The game was an affordable graph costing only $15 to get inside, and all proceeds were supporting Juglife's bid to fundraise to support their efforts in 2015 to go build wells in Uganda to provide clean water. It's a great cause and McGee's doing good things raising awareness about an issue that may seem basic but is fundamental for life in that part of the world.
Before the game got underway I was able to get NBA center and surprise guest Andre Drummond's autograph on a floorboard piece after he was dropped off at the game. It was nice to get on the board after having struck out with Nick Young declining to sign for me on the way in.
After Drummond arrived I was able to get Denver guard Ty Lawson's autograph when he arrived to support his teammate's cause. Lawson showing up was awesome since he didn't come to play just to hang out and put his support behind Mcgee.
After Lawson showed up I went inside caught the rest of the game to watch the celebrities play ball. It was a blowout game and it even made the wire with Ray J making it on TMZ for blowing over Laura Govan on his way into 3rd base.
When the game wrapped up the Juglife crew set up some tables and the majority of the athletes came over and sat at the tables to sign autographs. John Wall and Nick Young had shown up to the event but they took off quickly without stopping at the tables to sign. Young only signed a few and Wall signed a bit before he came into the event, but I wasn't able to get either of their autographs.

At the tables Andre Drummond started signing but since I already got him and hadn't prepped for him I didn't get another floorboard signed. The next guy was the man himself, Javale McGee autographed two 8x10's for me. The first one was of him participating in the slam dunk contest.
The second 8x10 Mcgee signed was of him with the Wizards winning the tipoff against Yao Ming.
Next to McGee was Terrell Owens who autographed my 8x10 photo of him and Jerry Rice back in San Francisco.
Ty Lawson was signing so even though I got him on my photo I had him autograph a floorboard.
It wasn't a bad haul and there were even more celebrities in attendance than I had prepped for. Ray J autographed my ticket when I was walking out to my car. 
Omarion was in attendance with his wife, Damien Wayans, Laura Govan, and Doug Christie were also there. Those were the main celebrities that I recognized but a few minor celebs from vine, instagram, tv and music were also in the game.
Overall it was a great day getting a few NBA autographs and Terrell Owens who may go in the Hall of Fame in a few years. Javale's crew did a great job putting on one of the best charity events that I've been to in a while. He was really polite and donated a ton of items for the raffles that went on with nice prices throughout the game, and his guests were also great taking the time to sign for fans and come out. It's nice to see someone local bringing their star power to good use but still being accessible to fans. Bobby Wagner take notes, the Javale McGee softball event was how things are supposed to be.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Autograph Recap, Garrett Richards Eco Challenge Day 7/26/14

Gerrett Richards made an appearance at Angel Stadium for Orange County Eco Challenge Day. Participants brought in household waste, clothing and electronic waste to be recycled and were given a wristband for an autograph and the first 200 donators received either tickets to that nights Angel game or the Discovery center.

Richards is a difficult autograph to get at the stadium, he doesn't often sign so I had to take advantage of the opportunity to get his autograph. I arrived at the stadium and while I thought I had come early I was sorely mistaken and there was an impressive line of cars waiting ahead of us.
Eventually we were let inside to form another line next to the famous hats at the home plate gate to wait for Garrett to show up for the signing. 
Garrett arrived a few minutes early and promptly started signing autographs for those waiting in line. He was polite and was giving out nice signatures on everyone's items. The handler was more lax at the start so some were able to get two items signed but by the time I arrived to the front it was more strictly held to one per.
I was glad to get my Garrett Richards 2014 Topps Heritage card autographed to add to my set.
He's got a great signature and getting it done at a sit down setting made it look great. It was a quick signing that supported a good eco-driven cause.

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.