Wednesday, February 27, 2013

RBI (122) Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer Poster

If you saw my earlier post I went to the UFC open workouts for UFC 157. I enjoyed the entire fight week making it out to the open workouts, went to the weigh ins to graph but ended up taking some photos with a few celebrities, the fan fest (I'll get to that eventually), the fight itself and one of the most interesting events of the whole week. Meeting UFC ring girls and cover models Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer was definitely an interesting event.

They had an autograph signing after the weigh-ins across from the Honda center for a few hours and I was able to get a bit of graphing in. I was lucky enough to meet up with Benson, James and a few other usual graphers at the event and we caught up while waiting to meet the girls. Everyone was way more prepared for the event than me coming with multiple 8x10's and magazines. I showed up assuming I could buy something for the ladies to sign from their line of products for about the same cost as getting an FHM magazine with quick delivery off ebay. I was correct and bought this poster to get signed.
I'm pretty pleased with my purchase and how it turned out being signed. Despite being ring girls, I feel like they're pretty important personalities within the UFC and really help draw to the sport. Let's face it Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer are hot, and really active on instagram and twitter so they're definitely popular with the fans. I'm pleased to have scored their autograph, meet them, take a photo and bring them into my collection. Just saying, who is going to complain about having a poster of Brittney Palmer and Arianny Celeste in a bikini in their collection?

If you're interested in more gorgeous girls in posters and their autograph you check out my growing collection of Shay Maria posters here, here and here.

Arianny Celeste's twitter is Arianny Celeste (AriannyCeleste) on Twitter

Brittney Palmer's twitter is Brittney Palmer (BrittneyPalmer) on Twitter

A side note. If you haven't noticed this off season I've been branching out from graphing just baseball. The TTM's have slowed down mainly because I'm slightly discouraged by my terrible return numbers, costs, and being overwhelmed by the project and work. The in person events have needed to be some sort of big event like the Cory Hahn fundraiser and Padres fan fest. I'm looking forward to getting back to graphing baseball, but I've been enjoying my break from it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

RBI (121) Matt Barnes Sprint In Store Appearance 2/22/13

Earlier I posted that I had bought a used Los Angeles ClippersMatt Barnes practice jersey from the Clipper Foundation this season. I was pretty excited to make the pick up at a reasonable cost and to have a player used jersey even if it was a practice one. I'm sure many of you are aware that basketball can be a tough sport to graph if you're not willing to figure out what hotel the team is staying at, so I was very excited to see an opportunity to get Barnes to sign the jersey.

Barnes had a free autograph signing at a Sprint store in Bell Gardens and even though I had plans for that afternoon I decided to put on my hardcore grapher shoes and give it a try driving out to Los Angeles. I got to the signing and ran into my friend Kyle. We caught up and when we went inside I snapped a photo of Barnes signing a painting that Kyle was working on of him.

I had a bit of a conundrum where to have Barnes sign the jersey. Since it's a practice jersey the logos and numbers are heat pressed screens not cloth that's stitched on, so I assumed over time they'll probably start to peel and I'd hate to lose the autograph that way. The name logo on the bottom is the only thing stitched but with the different levels of stretching and colors I didn't think it'd be a very good spot to get signed on. I had Matt sign the jersey itself next to the logos and number since I figured it was probably one of the few decent spots.
It came out well enough and honestly this is a jersey I'd like to keep wearing around to Clipper games. It's not an official game used jersey and I like how it's different than everyone else walking around in a Chris Paul or Blake Griffin jersey so I'll risk the eventual fade to the autograph because just knowing Barnes signed it is good enough for me. I mean how many people are able to say they're rocking a Matt Barnes autographed jersey around Los Angeles?

Now I'll just have to work on eventually knocking off the Randy Foye practice jersey I was able to pick up.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

UFC 157 Open Workouts

For the past few years I've been developing into a bigger fan of the UFC. Growing up my family always was sure to get big ticket boxing matches on pay-per-view, but when I left for college I was no longer able to go to the family get togethers and watch. The next best thing was watching UFC fights for free on Spike with my college roommates, and my roommates sister's boyfriend was a UFC fan also who would order the fights when it was a title fight.

UFC 157 is in Anaheim and I immediately splurged the day tickets went up for sale on what I hope to be a good seat. The open workouts were held today and I made the trip out hoping to get some autographs of the fighters on the main card. Of the 6 fighters who came, I was able to get 3 to sign an autograph for me.

The first autograph I got was fighter Ivan Menjivar. Ivan's a fun fighter to watch and crazily is a security guard at an airport. I know I'll definitely feel more safe when flying now that I know a professional MMA fighter is checking ID's.
The next to sign for me was the legendary Dan Henderson who was nice enough to sign for most of the crowd and personalized all his autographs. Hendo is a serious name in the MMA world so I was shocked to see the rumors were true about how great a signer he is. This Dan Henderson autographed photo is definitely one of my favorites.
Finally I was able to get fan favorite Urijah Faber to autograph this 8x10 photo and he inscribed his nickname "Calif(ornia) Kid" on the photo. I'm definitely glad to have scored the former WEC champion and perennial fan favorite.
And because I can, here's a photo of the insanely awesome Ronda Rousey training photo I took. Rousey is fighting in the first women's UFC fight ever at UFC 157 to defend her title and I'm really excited to see her step in the octagon. After seeing her power and speed at the workout, I'm fairly certain she could fight here way to a title shot if she went against the men in the UFC. I was disappointed I couldn't get a Ronda Rousey autograph but I did eventually get one.
This was my first time trying to graph UFC since the fights are held all over the world and I wasn't really sure what to expect. I like that all the fighters signed even if not all of them signed very much, but they seemed for the most part willing to put their signature out there for their fans. Now that I have a better idea of what it's like graphing UFC I think I'll be better prepared next time and hopefully get a few more fighters and autographs. This was the first part of my UFC graphing experience and I'm glad I graphed the workouts, an Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer appearance, UFC fanfest and the fight itself. I want to throw a quick shout out to Steven from Zim's autographs who I hung out with at the event.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Writing TTM to the Padres at Petco

If you read my other post about Padres Fanfest then you know I went on a tour of the team's clubhouse.  What is actually really cool about their clubhouse is that there in the middle of the locker area are giant mailboxes with each player's fan mail waiting for them.

If you look at the photo you'll notice not too many of the players have been making a dent on their mail sent to the stadium over the off season, and judging by the size of some of those stacks not much of dent during the regular season either.
To those of you who have written to Huston Street care of the Padres, have fun waiting. It doesn't seem like he's going to get to you anytime soon.
If you do happen to get a return from one of the players sent to the stadium, well I know I'd definitely value it a bit more.

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.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Superbowl Contest Winner

With the combined score of the game being 65 points, The Diamond King wins the contest with the closest guess of 59 points. Email me your address and I'll send off some goodies! Congrats

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl contest

I'm on the way to my families and inspired to put on a contest because I'm in a good mood from my ribs turning out how I wanted them to. Post your prediction on the final combined score and the person who gets it correct or closest without going over will win a prize TBA. Most likely some cards. Guesses must be submitted as comments here before 3:30 pst

Saturday, February 2, 2013

RBI (120) A Milestone Stopper....

I've said before how I enjoy seeing other bloggers points of view on the same autograph event, well I also enjoy seeing everyone's different view on specific players in their collection. 

On this 8x10 of the Angels bullpen I was able to get Latroy Hawkins and Jason Irsinghausen. The most interesting of that duo would be "Izzy" who is a member of the 300 saves club. His membership in that should ostensibly have had me get him on a solo ball like many of my fellow graphers but personally I'm not too sold on it. I remember hearing my Mets fan friends continually groan when Izzy came lumbering out for another shot at the milestone only to blow it. History won't remember that when it looks back at a 2006 World Series Champion with 300 saves, 2 All Star appearances and 800 Strikeouts but I do. I obviously wanted his signature but I opted to work on a personal piece to remember the bullpen rather than the standard ROMLB. 
Every collection has its own highlights and focuses and to  be honest I'll admit parts of my collection seem disjointed at times. That's the best part of collecting though, everyone's collection is their own to do with as they please so long as it makes them happy with what they've snagged at the end of the day.

I was able to get Jason to sign this photo for me at Angel Stadium before a game.