So going back through my collection I thought I would get back to more in person autographs. 1988 was the last year the Dodgers were in the World Series and even though they were major underdogs they conquered Goliath and defeated the Oakland A's with Orel winning and closing out the 5th game to claim their championship. He was the MVP for this team the whole year.
So it's 2011 and I find out that Orel is doing an appearance out in Rancho Cucamonga at Living Spaces. For me that is over a hour trip from the South Bay area but I doubled the appearance with some car work I needed done so I ventured out there. The signing was due to start at 10 in the morning and it was a day after a rainstorm. I thought with that and it being off season and the Dodgers not really as popular due to McCourt that it wouldn't be too bad. Boy was I wrong. I arrived around 8:30 and the line was minimum 200 people deep and it was cold as hell. I decided to stick around since I drove all this way and it was a two hour signing and not the usual one hour. I was somewhere in the low 200's and stuck in a wind tunnel. I nearly froze to death as the chill from the storm was constant with no let up.
Orel showed up a little before his scheduled time but the line moved slowly which meant more time in the wind tunnel. Once in I warmed up but noticed that time was moving fast towards noon and I was still a ways back but I did manage to get up to Orel with about 15 minutes before he was supposed to leave. He was nice and cordial and made eye contact which I always appreciate. Had him sign a ball on the sweet spot, said my thanks and moved on. I left the store and there were still at least 100 people left and I know there was no way that all of them would get what they came for. Thankfully I did as I would have been pissed to stand in the cold all that time and not received a signature but that is what you risk with these free public signings.