Monday, December 8, 2014

My adventure at the 2014 MLB Winter Meetings 12/6/14

The 2014 MLB Winter Meetings are being hosted in San Diego, so I made a trip to see how they were on this past Saturday.

11:10 Left home for San Diego.
12:40 pm Arrived in San Diego’s Gas Lamp area where the meetings will be held.
12:45 pm Found parking at a local lot for an unreasonable cost of $10 to put my car in an empty lot that isn’t covered by a structure.
12:50 pm Made way to the Marriot Marquis and cruised the conference area, overlook of the pool bar and lobby for anyone of interest. Saw nothing beyond a pool fight between a family on vacation or some very comfortable strangers.
1:00 pm  Left Marriot Marquis and walked a half mile along the bay front  which will host the largest number of meetings.
1:05 pm Investigated the meeting and conference rooms on various floors of the hotel to find a possible points of interest.
1:23 pm Found possible meeting of MLB executives at 5:00 pm.
1:25 pm Setup camp inside lobby to await any possible arrivals of baseball figures.
1:28 pm - 3:26 pm See various minor and major league office members including Padres partial owner Alfredo Helu arrive and begin to interact with one another.
1:28 pm - 3:26 pm Be bored and make progress on work utilizing my laptop while keeping watch for MLB personalities to arrive.
3:27 pm Other graphers arrive and also set up camp inside the lobby
3:33 pm Other graphers leave for site unknown.
3:33 pm Lose interest in wondering where other graphers have disappeared to and go back various work projects and people watching while realizing a complete strikeout for my own day is highly likely.
3:51 pm Watch a wave of obviously baseball related people arrive at the hotel and exchange greetings with one another while wearing team gear. Subtly is obviously not a trait concerned about when the entire hotel is about to become dominated by baseball lifers and future hopefuls.
3:56 pm Alternating current of expensive sports cars and SUV’s starts to gain airport super shuttles and more minor league or low level MLB employees arrive.
4:00 Hotel employee in a suit who had previously been helping with baggage starts to take a more authoritative role directing hotel patrons. Assumption: hotel management will start to take a more active role with the heavier arrival of MLB and MiLB employees and executives.
4:04 With the only meeting I’m aware of approaching my head is on a constant swivel despite the suit obviously paying me more attention. I also see a man walk by with a ridiculous mustache.
4:06 Warning of official looking suit sent to my fellow graphers on their way to the meetings. Incorrect directions sort of sent since apparently my mastery of left and right abandoned me temporarily.
4:09 Lobby fills up more and becomes hard to track with the let out of a Minor League meeting. Participants seem to range from brand new first job out of college to those who are supplementing their retirement funds. Gift bags must cover significant age range appeal. Everyone likes lanyards.
4:12 pm Baseball player looking person arrives at hotel. Bag has Rawlings on it. I have no idea who he is.
4:14 pm Rollie Fingers look alike arrives and serious internal debate is being had over if it’s him. Hair and mustache correct but doubtful didn’t have a good look at front profile for a few minutes. Determine it isn't him.
4:16 pm Fellow graphers arrive and give my surveil of the hotel report. Take quick tour of the hotel and see meeting previously posted is now removed from the posted schedule of hotel events.
4:26 pm Reestablish set up in different spot in lobby to wait for  5:00 meeting. Random minor league players arrive, no one of note.
4:37 pm Other graphers return to hotel lobby.
4:45 pm Made way up to the potential meeting, MLB related officials go into conference room, but no one of note arrives.
5:15 pm Go back to hotel lobby.
5:31 pm Call it a day and head back home.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Autograph Opportunity, Steve Sax 12/6/14

Upcoming to start off December will be another Southern California autograph opportunity at the practice of Dr. Alex Corbin Liu. Anyone with a little baseball season withdrawal should enjoy this offseason appearance. Dodger great Steve Sax will be appearing at his practice and the 2-time World Series champion will be signing to benefit the Steve Sax foundation for an affordable $20 on any item. The signings at Dr. Liu's are great and worth checking out if you haven't been able to yet.

Make sure to check out the chance for a 5-time All Star, NL Rookie of the Year and 2-time World Series champion. The autograph signing will be December 6th at:
The Optometry Practice of Dr. Alex Corbin Liu
19735 E. Colima Rd.
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

Sunday, November 16, 2014

RBI (221) Andre Reed at Dr. Alex Corbin Liu's 11/16/14

As I posted before, Dr. Alex Corbin Liu held an autograph signing with NFL Hall of Fame receiver Andre Reed at his practice. It was a great signing with everything affordable, well run and moving along quickly. 
Reed played most of his career for the Buffalo Bills and a lone season for the Washington Redskins. He's been inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame and the Bills Hall of Fame for his service. He is a 7-time Pro Bowler and 4-time AFC Champion. His 951 receptions went for 13,198 yards and were good for 87 touchdowns.

It was a nice day running into a few friends and I was more than happy to get this Andre Reed autographed 11x14 photo.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Autograph Opportunity, Andre Reed 11/15/14

Anyone looking for that rare opportunity to graph football in the Southern California area should be sure to take advantage of the upcoming signing at Dr. Alex Corbin Liu's practice happening November 15, 2014.
I've been to previous signings at Dr. Liu's and am looking forward to the opportunity to add an NFL Hall of Famer to the collection at an affordable price. Smalls are only $30 while larges are $40 and both include the "HOF 14" inscription from Reed. I think they're both a good deal considering average current players are signing for comparable prices as the Hall of Fame Bills receiver.

The autograph signing will be at:
The Optometry Practice of Dr. Alex Corbin Liu
19735 E. Colima Rd.
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

Thursday, November 6, 2014

RBI (220) Alec Martinez...

I made another pretty random purchase recently. My family has never been the biggest fans of hockey but the past Stanley Cup caught some serious interest at my house. The Los Angeles Kings were Stanley Cup Champions with the final game winning goal scored by defenseman Alec Martinez.

I knew I was going to be in the area of a signing he was having and in case I had time I put it in my car. I ended up having just enough time to make my way there and I got my copy of the Alec Martinez Sports Illustrated autographed.
Martinez gave me a head nod when I said hello and offered my hand to shake. My interaction with him literally lasted less than 10 seconds from nod to signature to him moving onto the next person he was signing for. Glad I was doing this just because instead of being the biggest fan or I'd have been pretty disappointed in his personality.
I shelled out the extra few bucks to have my Alec Martinez Sports Illustrated authenticated by PSA, I figured he has a simple enough autograph that if I had the option and convinence for a few extra dollars I'd prefer to have it done.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

RBI (219) Jason Grilli...

It took a while, but I got a late spring training return that I had written off and assumed to be gone. I mailed Jason Grilli his Sports Illustrated when he was still a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and after he got sent to the Angels I didn't think I'd get it back and it'd be lost in a box in the Pirates clubhouse. I was pleasantly surprised to open my mailbox and find my long lost return waiting for me.
Not only did he sign the magazine for me after Jason Grilli autographed his Sports Illustrated he inscribed "Grill Cheese" as well for me. When he was a member of the Halos it took a while for me to finally get Grilli's autograph but he was a nice guy and when he did sign he made sure to sign for literally as many fans as possible for half an hour at a time. Putting this Sports Illustrated of the former All Star closer in my collection is a nice pick up and I appreciate him following through on his mail requests 9 months latter.

RBI (218) Liz Carmouche TTM...

Recently I was browsing through the card section of a local big box store and saw a new product on the shelves UFC Champions. I decided to pick up a pair of blasters just to see the product and take a peek at the guaranteed hits. The hits themselves are fairly weak, there are supposedly relics in every box but the two that I got were manufactured belt replicas of former champions. The cards themselves looks cool but the hit guarantee was misleading.

Regardless, I do like how the cards are designed and the quality photos they use from the fights. As a UFC fan I'm always glad when I can put a fighter in my collection, but honestly the UFC roster is so big and fighters success varies so quickly printing 8x10's for everyone and sending them is a little pricier than I'd want so I wanted a staple of cards available if I could get a chance to graph MMA. I pulled a card I knew I could get signed pretty quickly since I sent ttm to her previously, Liz Carmouche.
Liz Carmouche autographed my 2014 Topps UFC Champions card and I'm actually really impressed with how it came out. Liz used a gold marker to sign in a dark spot and I think it actually came out really really well. She signed my photo nicely also so it's always great to confirm that someone cares about their fans and their autograph.

Carmouche signed and returned the card to me in 6 days.