Tuesday, April 3, 2012

RPS (3) Dodgers-Angels Exhibition Freeway Series

It's that time folks, time for the 2012 season to start. How'd the Angels prepare for the coming season? Just a little freeway action against the rival Dodgers (Doyers) to start off the week. Game 1 was hosted by the Angels in Anaheim and the following 2 will be played at Dodger Stadium.

I couldn't wait for opening day, so I opted to go spend the day graphing the Dodgers and Angels as they arrived. I split time between the two sides, but missed most of the Angels while on the Dodger side and heard they weren't really in a signing mood. The Dodgers on the other hand were not so bad. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me before the game while outside the stadium but got some nice shots inside.

First up I was able to get from the Angel side back to the Dodgers fast enough to catch pitching coach Rick Honeycutt right as he was finishing up signing and Honeycutt autographed this 1987 Topps for me.
Don Mattingly came into the stadium after Honeycutt, and was nice enough to stay for a long time signing and taking photos with the fans. I liked that he was calling fans out for trying to come back and get multiples when he still hadn't finished with half the crowd. Mattingly signed this 2012 Topps Heritage for me.
A few Dodgers came after and I wasn't able to get all of them. Tony Gwyn Jr. signed for a while, Juan Rivera made a really nice dent in the crowd, James Loney tried to get a good amount done, but someone knocked his Gucci sunglass case and contacts off the ledge and that kind of killed his mood, Todd Coffey said he'd sign after the game, Tim Federowicz did like 3, Javy Guerra signed for most of the kids, Kenley Jansen did like two kids and a few more guys I didn't know came but didn't sign.

I'm sure most of you want to know about the big 3. Kershaw, Kemp and Ethier. Matt Kemp and Dee Gordon shared a car ride to the stadium. The fans stayed back at first and most of us went to form a line at the barrier but some less patient "fans" rushed the car as soon as Dee Gordon got out. He signed for a few people before realizing he was surrounded in a mob and security helped save him. While Gordon was walking through Kemp got out of the car and was also mobbed so he signed the first three literally shoved in his face quickly before darting to safety behind the barriers. Kershaw came as they were being bum rushed and he cut his way through saying he would sign inside the stadium (I didn't see him sign but did see him imitate Kemp making a jump in center field trying to rob a homer).

The last hope was Ethier. It's a good thing he was awesome. He came and started to work his way down the barrier signing for all the fans sweet spotting when asked and making light banter with the fans. I'm not sure if you guys know this, but Andre Ethier is awesome. One guy in a Pujols shirt asked for his autograph and got a ton of flack from the other fans and Ethier himself. It was pretty funny.

Andre Ethier autographed Gold Glove Award ball under the logo, and after he signed it I just had to take the chance and ask him if he would sign a card too so I could find a display case for them together. He nodded and instead of working his way farther down the line stopped to sign around me while I fished out my sharpie and he signed this 2011 Topps Lineage. Anyone who says he isn't good to the fans obviously hasn't met the man.

Now for the other good stuff, the photos.

First off, my friend Nancy, she's famous. No really. You know how every stadium has a fan on the big screen all the time? That's her at Angel Stadium with her sombrero. I plan on getting this printed and autographed. Seriously.
Pujols taking his first pre-game jog at Angel Stadium as an Angel.
Dan Haren took the mound for the Angels.
Pujols taking his first at-bat in a game at Angel Stadium as an Angel.
Matt Kemp most likely made ESPN tonight doing a crazy double stealing dive and catch while in beast mode. I was too busy freaking out to get a shot of the catch, but you can tell he's pleased with himself.
Oh did I mention Kendrys Morales is back too? Yup he's pleased with himself. Look closely at the bat he's using in the game.
Angels won 12-3. I don't make it out to Dodger Stadium often so it was nice to get some Dodger autographs while at Angel Stadium.

5 comments:

  1. Nice recap of your day - I assume Pujols didn't sign inside the stadium?

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    1. Didn't even get close to the fans waiting. Pete and Trumbo did their usual signing, Hunter and Kendrick did a few for the field box, and that's all I saw.

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  2. Great stuff as usual Ryan. I just hope Nancy doesn't big league you and ignore your autograph request. LOL.

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  3. You should be a sports photographer. Baller photos :)

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