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.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

RBI (217) Brett Hundley….

For those college football fans out there I made a foray in that world of sports at the end of the summer. It's always fun branching out from just getting baseball autographs and adding to my limited football collection of one of the top college quarterbacks in the game right now who has destroyed Pac-10 records is a nice addition for me.

UCLA star quarterback Brett Hundley made it onto the cover of two Sports Illustrated issues over the summer of 2014 and I was fortunate enough to make it out to the UCLA open practices to meet Hundley. He was very down to earth and despite the UCLA staff being very wary of anyone who wanted an autograph Brett himself was great.
I was able to get Hundley's first Sports Illustrated cover autographed and hopefully will see him lead the Bruins to a successful rest of the season and expect him to be drafted somewhere in the first round of the NFL draft at the end of this season.

Autograph Recap, Kole Calhoun at Stadium Nissan 9/16/14

So it's been a while since I've been slammed with work but I wanted to recap a few things that I've been able to graph since the summer came to a close. One event I made it to was the Kole Calhoun appearance at Stadium Nissan. It was a well run event and Kole knocked out a fairly large crowd, but he was strictly one autograph per person.

I ran into my buddies Al, Matt and David and we had a good time hanging out in line even though it was far too early in the morning to be waiting in a line. I went through the line and got this Kole Calhoun autographed baseball, I had one before but gave it away to a friend and wanted to replace it for my own collection. I asked Kole to inscribe "Red Baron" but he declined saying he wasn't inscribing that day.
After I got my ball signed Matt was kind enough to drop my photo and get this 8x10 photograph autographed by Calhoun. Defense is a big part of his game to go along with the underrated bat so I'm glad to have this photo of him flying for a catch in the collection.
It was a good signing and didn't take too long to get out of there so I was happy with my progress on the day.

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.