What now has become the yearly tradition of the wife and I travelling to Arizona at the end of February or beginning of March has come and gone once again. Unlike 2013 this time I came away with an autograph from Yasiel Puig. Two years ago he denied me all 4 days I was there but this time I got him on the 1st of 2 days I was there. Go figure. I did come away empty handed on the one I really wanted (like everyone else) as Kershaw denied me both days and on the 2nd day he skipped right over me and went to the guy on my left. UGH... Maybe next year.
The 1st day was far and away the better of the two quantity wise but could have been trumped by getting Kershaw's autograph on the second. It just wasn't meant to be. Here are my pictures of the autographs that I did acquire and they are all on 8x10 photos. A few random pictures are also included as I actually did leave the ballpark.
On our way to Arizona the wife and I stopped over at the Patton Museum for a break to stretch our legs. The #walletcard game was in full effect and those standings will be updated later today.
What is my personal tradition whether I am going by myself or have friends and family in tow I head over to the local Chick Fil A for a meal prior to going to Camelback. Breakfast of champions.
The entrance to Camelback Ranch which has a handy map for those that are visiting for the 1st time or have just forgotten where everything is.
When players first come out for the day they usually don't sign but Zach Lee was kind enough to sign for a few fans. I got him back at the Dodger FanFest last month so I didn't need anything from him.
Kershaw walking by. He never signs in the morning but he did at least acknowledge fans on his way to the fields.
The 1st autograph of the day was probably the "worst" of the trip. I asked Davey to sign above his head so the silver ink would pop but he signed on his pants instead so the silver sort of blends with the white. Oh well.
Kershaw jogging by.
Practice was over so autograph hunting commenced in full force. Ryu walked the line and signed for everyone that put something in front of him. I wanted something different so I went with a "batting" picture. I do love me some interesting photo shots and this falls in that category.
Yeager and Lopes walked by and I was able to get them both to sign this black and white photo project that I started last month. Sadly, Lasorda was not at Spring Training yet so I will have to wait to get him.
On day two A.J. was signing for just kids and some women but thankfully I got him on the first day when he signed for almost everyone.
Right behind A.J. was appropriately the catcher that will take a lot of A.J.'s playing time. Grandal was the focus of the Kemp trade and since I didn't have a photo of him in Dodger blue I had to settle for him here in Padre colors.
Pedro was a late addition to Dodger FanFest so I missed him there but thankfully I was prepared this time and though he was quiet and didn't really interact with fans he signed for everyone and smiled.
I have missed Turner on 4 separate occasions when he did a free signing and I was starting to wonder if I would ever get him before his time is through with the Dodgers. Thankfully I won't have to find out as he signed for people right after practice and then when most fans left he popped out again from the clubhouse and engaged with fans. Good guy this Turner kid.
Close to be my favorite get of the trip. I was able to acquire Andrew Friedman's autograph even though he was on the phone at the time. No, I didn't bother him as I think that is rude but someone that did was right next to me so I just slide over and had him sign this photo. Andrew even added the Go Dodgers inscription without me asking. Thank you again Andrew.
The funniest autograph get was from 3rd base coach Lorenzo Bundy. When he saw the picture he told me I should burn it. I asked why and he said it looks like a black man that stayed out in the sun too long. Toasty!! Great sense of humor. Love it. Thank you for the autograph on your hated picture.
On top of the black and white project this Simpson's one is the other long term one I am doing. Don started signing before his normal area and I yelled out to him that I have his Simpsons photo and he either was playing dumb or just playing and said he had to see it to believe it. Got him to sign and I now have 2 autographs on this very hard project.
The final autograph of the day was the biggie. Puig as with Kershaw are the two real big stars on the team and have mobs of fans trying to acquire their autographs. Puig was jogging off the practice field and I was waiting and prepared for him. Just like Kershaw he jumps around signing for various people but luckily for me he chose to sign my photo. Go figure, in 2013 he denied me when hardly anyone was looking for his autograph but here in 2015 he is in high demand and I barely have to fight for it. You just never know how things pan out.
Day was over for me at Camelback but the plan was to come back the following day for some more autographs but till then I had a day to kill.
I met up with the wife and her friends and we headed downtown to a Piazza joint she wanted to try but the wait was so long we ended up at T.G.I.F.'s in Chase Field. Even when I am not trying to do something baseball related I end up doing something baseball related. #walletcard game once again was in effect.
It was night time but I still wasn't sleepy and our friend's kids wanted to watch a movie. They wanted to see Sponge Bob. Yeah... Hell no. = ).
Luckily there was a movie more to my liking so I sent the kids into watch their movie while I watched mine.
Day two and I had a partner in crime tagging along today. The Dodgers brought the freaky Lasorda bobblehead from Dodger Stadium so I had him take a picture with him.
While I missed Kershaw once again, Brandon League was tailing him when they were coming off the field so I was able to get League's autograph once again. He is always pleasant so thank you once again Brandon.
Now that Julio Urias is becoming a bigger name in the baseball world I am always prepared and have a spare picture or two for him to sign when I know he might be around. This year was a polar opposite unlike last year when he could walk around and no one was bothering him. Not like a Kershaw mob but Urias did draw a big crowd. I think he is still getting used to it. He signed for me once again. I've been very lucky with Seager and Urias IP autographs.
To end my two trip at Camelback I decided to get Don's autograph one more time. This time with him in Yankee colors. As always he was cordial with all fans and signed for everyone after practice. Thank you again Don for your continued interaction with fans.
Well that's it for another year at Dodger's Spring Training for me. Quantity wise this was the best year ever for me. If I would have landed my elusive Kershaw autograph it would have been the perfect trip but it wasn't meant to be. One day it will be mine. Next year I hope to meet up with some friends that are going this year but we were all on different schedules. Thank you to all the players that signed and good luck to all the autograph hounds that are still out in Arizona.
Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.