Monday, February 2, 2015
2015 Dodgers Fan Fest Recap
The yearly Dodger extravaganza known as Fan Fest was this past Saturday and once again I attended and couldn't be happier to be back among my "friends" in blue. Official baseball season is just around the corner and this event starts the countdown to it in earnest.
While there are other things to do and see the main reason I and a lot of people attend Fan Fest is to acquire autographs of current and retired players along with some coaches. As a season ticket holder I had the opportunity to purchase tickets prior to the general public and also the chance to buy during that time as well. My main focus was to get Mark McGwire and to hopefully get more than one ticket as I had a photo and a black ball I wanted signed by big Mac. After all was said and done from the two sale times I ended up with 9 autograph vouchers with each one getting you autographs from two separate players. Unlike last year they were not spread out as I was double dipping in a couple sessions and I was scheduled to be done around 1:30.
I decided to arrive early as I did not want to deal with the massive onslaught of cars entering the parking area. Mark was in the 1st session so I wanted to be near the front of the line. I also had another person that I bought a voucher for but more on that tomorrow as that changed mid last week. Even with me being in the stadium parking area early I still ended up being around 40th in Mark's line. No biggie. First up in the Dodger pairing though was Zach Lee
Zach was probably the nicest and most engaging Dodger of the day. Hopefully he can help the big league club this year as I am sure he will get called up at some point even if it is just in September. He has a "quick" signature which made the autograph streak a little. Little disappointed in that.
... but since I had two vouchers I switched to blue sharpie for the second auto. Came out a tad better but his pen stroke causes streaks either way. Still came out good though.
Big Mac hitting dingers. I couldn't find a good enough picture of Mark in Dodger blue to my likely so I went with one during his glory days with St. Louis. Love this pic as the bat is just "floating" in the air and with his hand gesture it looks like he is commanding it. My favorite picture of the day. No streaking here.
And with the second voucher I got this black ball signed. This was the main focus of the whole event as I wanted Mark on the sweet spot of a black ball. I knew that he signed slow so the odds of streaking would be minimized and the result did not disappointed. Don't have many signed balls left but this one is a keeper.
While I was acquiring those four autographs my friend Jimmy was in line for Orel Hershiser's autograph who was paired with Chris Withrow. He didn't really want or need Chris's autograph so he was willing to trade it off. Again, I had a ticket for that line but more on that in tomorrow's post. I handed him a photo and a pen and he got this 8x10 for me. Great signature with no issues. Thank you again Jimmy for the autograph.
I had a hour till kill before my next autograph session so I decided to roam around and saw that there were camera lights on near the 1st base dugout. I decided to see what was going on and I'm glad I did. Jerry Hariston was setting up for an interview and he started to engage with the fans and sign autographs. I did not buy a voucher for his session so this was a nice little bonus for the day. Great signature and placement.
Resting time was over and it was time to double dip again as I had two vouchers for Joc Pederson and Mickey Hatcher. Found this great photo of Mickey from an Old Timer's game but when I approached the table I found out that my silver decos (all of them) had run dry. Ugh. Hence why his autograph is on his leg. I only had blue pens left to use for the remainder of the day and a blue autograph on a blue background doesn't look good. Asked him to sign on his leg which was no problem. Odd placement but Mickey was accommodating.
Now for the odd signature of the day. When I approached Joc's part of the table he asked me my name which I found odd and knew right then what he was planning to and did do. He personalized the photo. What? Why did he do that? Didn't notice him do that to anyone else. Why me? You notice though that he also added his old number to the autograph as that is the number he is wearing in the photo. So since I had two vouchers what would he do on the ball?
Well he knew my name but thankfully he did not personalize the ball as well. You notice on this though he put his new number on it. So I ended up with a 65 and a 31. Nice. This was a replacement for a black ball I got signed by Joc last year at Frank and Sons where the signature streaked a little. This time it's much better with minimal "issues"
Down to the last two (4 autographs) sessions of the day. I needed to reacquire Tim's autograph as I sold the signed ball that I had of his but I couldn't find a decent picture of him playing as a Dodger. I decided to go back to his roots and printed out one of him as an Expo. The only issue I have here is the placement of the autograph as he put it right on his uniform which would be fine if the pen wasn't blue !!! Still a nice autograph though.
I acquired Howie's autograph last year when he was an Angel but I wanted to get one of him as a Dodger but since he hasn't played on the field yet there are no photos of him in that situation. So why not print one of him in a Dodger hat and jersey during his press conference? Good enough for me. As always, Howie is one of the nicer players and his signature is one of the best.
Last session and I finally got get Kenley's autograph in person. To me it is still one of the odder ones out there as is looks like a seven but hey, we all have different signatures and this just happens to be his.
What better way to end the week and Fan Fest than to get the Penguin's autograph one more time. I started off the week getting Ron's signature on a photo at Select a Seat and now he was last on my to do list for Fan Fest. Once again, Ron as always was cordial and pleasant.
That finishes up my day at Fan Fest. 13 signatures in under 4 hours. Not too shabby. Thank you again to Jimmy for the trade and it was great seeing friends such as Luis, Bill, Eddie of Harry's Dugout Fame, Franz among others. Thank you again to the Dodgers for hosting another smooth running Fan Fest event and I look forward to next year's when we celebrate the 2015 World Series Championship team.
Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.