Sunday, April 8, 2012

RPS (4) 2012 Angel Stadium Opening Weekend

The 2012 baseball season has officially begun at Angel Stadium and the autograph hunting is in full swing. Since it was Opening Day I decided to spend the whole day at the stadium 'graphing. Zack Hample may have his streak of 793 (as of 4/8/12) consecutive games with getting at least 1 ball, but I've got a decent streak of my own going.  If you read my 2011 summary post then you know I went to 74 games last year and got at least one autograph each game of a former or current player, I felt the pressure to continue the streak as Opening Day began.

The closer I got to the stadium, the more pressure I felt until I got out of my car and saw some familiar faces. Needless to say the streak lives on and I had a pretty good weekend. However I'm not sure how long the streak will survive due to what I call the "Pujols Effect" which essentially means an obscene amount of people trying to get autographs every day. It's definitely going to take some serious effort to make sure I keep it alive.

Anyways, on to the summary. Unfortunately I wasn't able to photos of the graphing before and after the game, because I don't keep my Canon Rebel T3 on me while collecting since I don't want it damaged.

Going back to the "Pujols Effect" one of the biggest impacts Albert brings to the Big A, is the big ESPN deciding to cover more games than in years before. On hand to cover Opening Day, was Hall of Famer Barry Larkin who was very nice to the fans and signed during breaks from the broadcast. I was able to get him on this Rawlings Gold Glove Baseball, but he signed it with a black pen from the ESPN table.

On his way into the stadium, I asked if he wouldn't mind helping me work on the 1987 Topps set, and he signed one of those while he was walking. It was pretty cool getting to walk alongside Mr. Larkin with security escorting "us" and the rest of the ESPN crew toward the gate. I felt pretty important. You can see the "B" and "L" are consistent with the ball he signed sitting down, but as a Hall of Famer I wouldn't have minded him just scribbling an "x" let alone a decently consistent signature.
Before going in, I was able to avoid being big leagued and ballhawk/grapher extraordinaire Nancy aka. Sombrero Girl to sign this 4x6 that I shot of her the other day being interviewed by Fox. She was even nice enough to inscribe her induction into her own personal "Hall of Fame" in 2012.

I present to you, your 2012 Kansas City Royals Opening Day roster down the first base line.
I couldn't get as nice a shot, but here is your 2012 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Opening Day roster down the third base line.
It's official, Erick Aybar now has the coolest friend in Anaheim. Oh and his friend Albert Pujols is now officially an Angel who has played in a MLB game.
First up some shots from Opening Day, Alex Gordon led off the night against Jered Weaver.
Howie Kendrick was up second for the Angels and is definitely going to have a big year seeing fastballs batting in front of Pujols.
Between all 3 games, I was able to get a pretty nice collection for my first weekend back into the season.  On Opening Day besides Barry Larkin, I got Rich Thompson to sign this 2011 Topps.
Mark Trumbo autographed this 8x10 of him against the Dodgers.
Angels owner Arte Moreno signed this 8x10 of him speaking at the Pujols press conference.
After the game I was able to get local product Royals 3rd baseman Mike Moustakas to sign his 2011 Topps Rookie Card. I told him how I had gotten a really nice shot of him fielding during the game and he said he'd sign it for me if I brought it.
On Saturday I didn't spend the whole day at the stadium, but I was able to get my first ball of the season from batting practice. Moustakas was nice enough to autograph this 8x10 I took of him on Opening Day.
I forgot to ask him to sign this 8x10 I printed out of the entire Royals team. But I was able to get center fielder Lorenzo Cain, All-Star reliever Aaron Crow, and Opening Day starter Bruce Chen to sign it.
On Sunday I was forgetful and left the team photo at home, but luckily remembered my cards. I had Gold Glover Jeff Francoeur sign my first ball from the day before on the sweet spot and my 2011 Topps.
The last autograph I was able to get for the series was future superstar Eric Hosmer on his 2011 Topps rookie card.
To summarize...awesome. It's nice to be back and have the streak extended.

1 comment:

  1. Nice pickups. I wonder how hard it will be trying to get Pujols here in Arlington.