Sunday, April 22, 2012

Angels 2012 Fanfest

Well this is a bit of a weird post for me since I didn't take my camera in so it doesn't qualify as a photo series post, but I do want to give a recap of the Angels 2012 Fanfest at Anaheim Stadium.

It was a weird but good day overall for me. I was able to get a fair amount of autographs though Albert Pujols continuing to elude me despite my best attempts. The fanfest was organized into 5 different lines with a random pair of current Angel players at a table for each line. Last year I hear there was a section for season ticket holders, but this year they weren't given any perks. The whole experience was a luck of the draw sort of thing, as no one had any idea of which players they would get until the player actually sat down. If you didn't like who was going to sign at your line, you better have seen a friendly face who wanted to trade places in their line with you for their spot.

Speaking of friendly faces, I'll throw out a quick shout out to Josh aka. Dodger Bobble, Benson, and Dave who I spent much of the fanfest chatting graphing, baseball and the like with. If you like bobble heads and quality autographs, I recommend these guys' blogs. Anyways its always a good day when you get to graph with your friends.

Even though fanfest opened at 7:00 AM, the players didn't appear until 9:45 to sign. I'm not really sure what was the reasoning behind this. I know autographing wasn't the exclusive point of the event, but it was a really big draw and probably the most popular activity. Especially seeing as the Angels had several memorabilia dealer booths set up to sell Angel apparel and baseball collectibles next to the autograph lines for the casual fans to get geared up. I'm not saying they needed to cart Pujols down for 4 hours of signing (even though that'd be awesome) but maybe open at 8 instead of 7 since there's not really a big rush to eat some Famous Dave's at 7 AM or and I doubt anyone is there to buy Nitto tires. Maybe have the local Single-A affiliate 66'ers (who had a booth) send a few players to warm up the early crowd?

I was in the spot trader category, as I was able to trade Benson my Latroy Hawkins and Bobby Abreu spot for Erick Aybar and Macier Izturis. Bobby is always a high profile autograph and I've actually yet to get him on an individual item, but I was in need of Aybar and Izzy much more. Thankfully Benson was super nice enough to switch with me and let me get the pair of infielders.

I added Izzy to the 2011 Angels team ball that I've been working on and I'm currently only missing from my official need list Scoscia, Haren, Callaspo, Takahashi, and Aybar from the regular players with a few guys called up for only a few games missing like Michael Kohn, Francisco Rodriguez, and Garret Richards.

Erick Aybar signed this Spring Training-used Jersey I bought at the Angels Yard Sale last year. I've been trying to get this autographed by him for a while so it was nice to finally get him on it. I actually ran into him earlier in the week and while he signed a card told him about the jersey sitting at home. He laughed and said "Well today was your day man." When I walked up to him at fanfest the first thing I said when he looked up and recognized me was, "I guess today's my day." He smiled and said "See I told you man" before putting this nice signature across the number. Always nice to add a Gold Glover to the collection with an Erick Aybar autographed jersey.
After getting Aybar I moved over to see what the other graphers had been able to get signed. I thought about going after a few of the other current players, but have been pretty successful with everyone but Kendrys and by the time I got to his line I was too far back to score him. I found out after the current players left, that there would be Angel Alumni signing for the fans. I scouted out the main stage where they were being introduced and saw Jim Abbott, Clyde Wright, Mike Witt, Chuck Finley, and Garrett Anderson. Needless to say I was excited at the possibilities when I reported the news back to my fellow graphers in line.

I scored tough signer Mike Witt in my line and was pretty far toward the front of the line. He was really nice and it was easy getting Mike Witt's autograph on the sweet spot a baseball for me after I asked him politely.
I moved onto the next line and got Garrett Anderson's autograph on my souvenir from 2012 opening weekend, a certified game-used ball (Ervin Santana to Chris Getz foul ball) on the sweet spot. Can't complain about getting the full signature of GA so I'm happy to hang on to this Garrett Anderson autographed baseball.
The Jim Abbott line by the time I finished GA had no friendly faces and I just didn't think I'd have a chance to get him.  I probably could have gotten in the shorter Clyde Wright or Chuck Finley lines after getting GA, but seeing as I got plenty of Clyde through the season, and Finley a month prior I didn't want to take someone else's chance to get them and went into the stadium for the game.

All in all it was nice to see the Angels really rolled out the red carpet and got some great alumni to come sign for the fans; and they really were all pleasant and churning out plenty of quality autographs. The current player autographs were not really who people were hoping for though Bobby Abreu and Kendrys Morales are pretty quality autographs in my opinion. I'd have to give the 2012 Angels fanfest a solid B due to the great alumni signers and the free generously sized samples of BBQ pulled pork that got rolled out by Famous Dave's around 11.

1 comment:

  1. Ryan it was nice meeting you in person. Sorry you missed out on Albert again. I know you'll get him soon! The Aybar auto looks amazing!