Monday, February 11, 2013

RPS (6) 2013 Padres Fanfest

Well readers I decided to make the trek to San Diego to join in on the Padres Fanfest held at Petco Park. I had heard that it was a fun event from my fellow graphers and even though there aren't really the name brand stars you'd associate with most other teams I thought it would be a good time.

I made the drive down to San Diego and was immediately greeted with some familiar faces running into Alex, David, Josh, Nancy the Sombrero Girl, Keith and other regular graphers in line waiting for entry. When I got into the stadium I immediately got an autograph pass for an upcoming autograph session and then went on to the Yard Sale. One nice thing I noticed on my walk over to the Yard Sale was the awesome fact that the Padres were letting fans onto the field for different activities.
At the Yard Sale I was able to pick up a few things at a nice discount. I picked up a Jeremy Hermida Batting Practice Jersey, Game Used Joe Thatcher Padres cap, a Stand Up to Cancer patch, and a pair of team issue socks. I almost bought a John Baker Game Used batting helmet but I opted out at the register since I didn't have a ticket to his autograph session that day.

After I made my purchases I went to the first autograph signing session of the day that I had a pass for. I had Carlos Quentin autograph this 2012 Topps Heritage card for me.
Quentin's signing partner was Casey Kelly. I had just pulled two of his Topps 2013 rookie cards and wasn't sure if I wanted the parallel signed or the base card. I put them both in front of Casey and asked if he could sign the one he liked the most. He responded "Well why don't I just sign them both." I was really excited since I had been big on him since he was signed by the Red Sox. After Casey Kelly autographed them he asked why one of them was blue and I explained the difference between the two. He asked why Topps did that and the first thing that came to mind popped out of my mouth, "to make us spend more money" he laughed at that and said thanks for coming out.
After getting the Quentin and Kelly autographs I went around the stadium taking a tour of the stadium. Here's the view from center field toward home plate, and if you notice in the above photo there was a temporary fence up where the Padres are pulling the fences in too. I can't imagine being even farther back and hoping to make a home run.
After my tour of the stadium I popped by the player interview session hoping to score Chase Headley on his way away from the stage. When he was walking on the stairs I asked Chase if he could sign please and he turned back holding up the line of security and other players and very sincerely apologized saying he'd love to but he wouldn't be able to sign right then. I said it was no problem and wished him well. I was struck with how genuine Chase appeared to be to me and all his fans, he seems like a great guy and I hope he continues to be the dangerous hitter he has become.
After that I went back onto the field and got a scoop of dirt for my collection, ate a little lunch, and wandered the stadium a bit more before waiting in line for the next batch of autograph session tickets and in line for the next autograph session. The next session was for Brad Boxberger who I didn't have anything for so I had him sign one of the provided Padres autograph cards. I felt semi bad not having anything for him to sign, especially since most of the fans were skipping him and going to the next signer.

The next signer of course was the man of the day Chase Headley. I was pretty excited to get Chase Headley's autograph on a baseball and it was made even nicer when I asked him if he could please put an inscription on the ball. He was kind enough to inscribe "SS & GG 2012" on the sweetspot with his name and number on a ball I had gotten after a game from Joe West.
From there I went to the next signing and got Cameron Maybin's rushed autograph. Apparently he gave me his rushed short signature on this 2012 Allen and Ginter card. I saw his full signature on a few other pieces and he definitely has a very nice one compared to the short one I got here. I know I technically shouldn't complain since I heard he's a tough signer in San Diego and it was a free event, but having seen the other signature it's definitely different and sort of a let down to get the rushed one.
After Maybin signed I had his signing partner Adys Portillo autograph on another one of the Padres autograph cards.
When I finished at the Maybin signing I waited around for Bud Black to finish his interview session to add another card to my 1987 set, but I wasn't able to get his signature. After being shot down I scooted on over to the next autograph signing and was caught with another dilemma of which card to get signed again. I put down a Jedd Gyorko 1st Bowman Chrome card and a Bowman insert card and asked if he could sign the one he liked the most. He didn't say anything just thanks for coming and signed both of the cards. Definitely excited to have these Jedd Gyorko autographs in knocked out because I've got the feeling he's going to be good for a while.
Signing alongside Gyorko was Logan Forsythe who signed his 2013 Topps Series 1 card for me.
I meandered one more time through the Yard Sale where I almost bought a few blank batting helmets to use to get signed but opted out when I realized they wouldn't look the same without the right team logo on the front. I took the tour through the clubhouse and on the way in almost got knocked over by a guy running through the halls. I turned to see who it was and saw "Street" on the back of his shirt and realized Huston Street had popped through the tour running into the clubhouse. I called out to him and he turned to throw a quick smile and wave before heading deeper into the off limits part of the clubhouse.
All in all it was a great day spent in San Diego. I got a few cool pieces of baseball memorabilia, some nice autographs, took a tour of the stadium and club house, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I may not have racked quite as many autographs as some of the other graphers but I got some quality stuff and I'm glad I made the trip down to see the Padres and tip my hat to the whole organization for such a fun day.


  1. Nice job Ryan. Maybin is actually not a tough signer, in fact he is personally one of the nicest guys I've met. He does, however, always give that same "rushed" sig on cards compared to what he gives on photos/baseballs.

  2. Surprised I didn't see you throughout the day! This event was amazing and the best I've ever been to. I posted a recap as well. Only regret of mine was not bringing more to get signed and for not buying more game used memorabilia at the yard sale. They had really nice Ernesto Frieri jerseys that could have easily gotten signed this season.