Sunday, February 2, 2014

State of the Dodgers : 2014 Fan Fest and Signed Ball of the Day : Bill Russell Added to Infield Ball Project

Yesterday the Dodgers held their second and hopefully for now on annual Fan Fest. Last year's Fan Fest for most people was a disaster. I fortunately am a season ticket hold so I was able to jump the line last year so I was not one of the 21,000+ that stood in line for hours waiting to get in for autographs and then being told there would be no more. Poorly managed event to say the least. Well this year was a complete 180 as the Dodgers wisely pre-sold tickets to the 24 different autograph sessions with each one including 2 players. They sold very quickly with the Puig and Kemp ones selling the fastest. Once again as a season ticket holder I was able to buy my tickets prior to the general public and got all that I wanted. Surprisingly Puig was not one of them. I did try later on for him but they were sold out but I didn't feel bad about it. Each session ticket cost $10 with all the proceeds going to the Dodger charity foundation. A worthy cause so I was happy I was getting autographs and helping out needy children.

With 6 different sessions I had a total of 12 autographs that I could acquire ( which I did ) but long time readers of this blog know I like to milk the entries so I will post one autograph a day with 2 withheld as I did not them for my collection and they will be given out as contest winnings starting today. With that said today's autograph highlight is the addition of Bill Russell to my Infield baseball project. More on that ball later.

I woke up and headed to the stadium as I wanted to make sure I was there bright and early so I could beat the lines for my autograph session. I chose the 110 freeway exit for my entry into the parking lot.

Actually looks worse than it really was. There were only 4 cars ahead of me for the gate entry. Once 9:30 it was a free for all and felt like Mario Go Kart racing as drivers were weaving through Lot K to get to the top of the park. Once safely parked I walked briskly towards the event area.

The new Dodger slogan was adorned everywhere. I might be in the minority but I actually like it. The periods are what make it.

I came across this gentleman and was fascinated by all the pins and the mini bobbles on his cap. Let's just say he was "interesting" to talk to.

The first actual autograph of the day and the first to be featured on a blog entry. I already acquired Ron and Steve the past couple of years but still looking for Bill and Davey to finish of the ball. This is one autograph project I refuse to pay for hence why it has taken so long as I could have easily plucked down some dollars and had all of them sign it already. Well here I finally got Bill in person and now just have Davey to finish it off. Thank you for signing Bill.

Bill signing prior to my arrival

Took a break to use the restroom in the stadium and glanced over to see what the field looked like after the hockey from last Saturday. Man that looks terrible but at least the NHL agreed to give the Dodgers all new grass so there should be no problems once April 4th rolls around.

While walking back to the autograph area from the stadium I stopped and listened to the great Vin Scully and his concerns of using the bathroom while he was the Grand Marshall of the 2014 Rose Parade. Funny stuff indeed.

More balls to come in the next 9 days. Overall this was a great experience. The Dodgers held a great event and the autograph sessions were run to perfection. I know a lot of people were pissed that they weren't able to buy tickets and the Dodgers capped the sales so it insured everyone that bought would get an autograph but I think this was the perfect way to do it and give everyone equal chance. 

Thanks and shout outs go to Josh aka DodgerBobble and Franz for letting me join them in line to get into Fan Fest which probably cut 10-15 minutes off my entry time and the new friends I met including Jimmy, Michelle among others. Great meeting you all or in Josh's case first time in person rather than just Internet friends. 

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