Sunday, January 31, 2016

2016 Dodgers Fan Fest Recap and a White Whale Finally Caught After EIGHT Years

What thankfully is now a yearly traditional in Dodger land, yesterday was the annual Fan Fest which each year is getting bigger and bigger. There were so many people there it felt like it was game day. Line for the bathroom, food was slow to acquire but surprisingly the beer line was non existent. Interesting to say the least.

Every year though I seem to get less and less autographs but this year there was a one I just had to have. The problem was that I was sure everyone had the same idea. Since that happened 30 minutes after I entered the stadium I will recap the day backwards.

My good friend Jimmy and his beautiful wife Michelle and their happy little boy helped me acquire an autograph for a project that is now more than half way done. I was planning to get my one and only autograph of the day and leave but Jimmy said he had no real use for Bill Russell and that I could have it. Couldn't pass that up and I decided to pay him with with a beer.


This is my 1970's photo of the Dodgers which I hope to complete one day. I haven't been lucky enough to see Bill around the stadium lately but I also didn't want to pay $25 for his autograph but a beer and some time with good friends is a great deal and I got to add Bill to this photo. That is now 6 of 10 players I have acquired. Should be able to get Monday this year but Dusty, Don and Reggie will be harder to track down.

Thursday the wife and I went to Select a Set for Season Ticket Holders and though I upgraded my seats I did not get a chance to sit in them at the event. Usually when you upgrade you take the tag on an available seat and take it to the office and get your seats changed. Well I did pick up a couple of tags but when I sat down with the Dodger rep I asked if there was anything that wasn't advertised and surprisingly there were and I was able to move over 1 full section and 10 rows down. I can not move over anymore without going into the next price bracket which I will not be doing so this might be my final upgrade.


Walked up to Loge 157 and saw that the row had a marker which not all rows have which I think is kind of cool. Plus if for some reason a friend or God forbid I get lost I can find my way back to my seat by looking for this marker. Ha ha.


My new view from row F in 157. I still believe the Loge level has the best view in the stadium and I am happy to say I am a season ticket holder in the this wonderful section.

Now to the big event of the day. It was announced a day before the sale for Fan Fest that there would be 3 meet and greets at the event. They have had these before but I was never interested in any of them and the cost of them ($150) was/is cost prohibitive. This year was different though.

There was a Lasorda meet and greet and a Valenzuela meet and great. That's nice and all but I am not paying that amount when I get them for free on almost anything I own. This year though they announced that none other than CLAYTON FREAKING KERSHAW was going to be one of the 3 meet and greets. Hot damn. I was lucky enough to be at his MLB debut back in May of 2008 and I have been carrying the ticket from that game since then trying to get him to sign it. Year in and year out I have been close but each time I was denied by him. Now was my chance to get him.

$150 was worth it to me but as many of you know I am a hustler online and while many would frown upon a practice I like to do, money does not grow on trees and where there is demand I hope to come in with a supply. I knew that Puig would sell so when the 12 p.m. sale went on for autograph tickets I secured tickets for Yasiel for the sole purpose of selling them to pay for the Kershaw event. I indeed bought the Puig tickets and flipped them on eBay which made the cost of the Kershaw event ZERO dollars for me.


When the Kershaw event went on sale there was no mention of his name (nor Lasorda or Fernando for that matter) so you had to know which event each player was in. I could have ended up paying 150 for Fernando. Now that would have pissed me off royally. I noticed when I went to go pick up my tickets that I was "seat" 7 which is cool since that is my marriage number. Lucky number 7 strikes again.

Now for the amazing part. When I arrived to the Stadium I assumed/expected that for a 30 minute event that there would be maybe 75/100 tickets sold for it. Considering there are 30K of Season Ticket Holders and countless more fans I considering myself immensely lucky I snagged 2 tickets for this event. While my friend and I waited for the time to go see Clayton we noticed there were just not that many people. Everyone was in pairs, which I expected as most would buy 2 not just 1 ticket for this, and there definitely not 75/100 people. We all started to talk and found out the highest ticket number was 30. 30? That's all for this event? Holy crap. Upon further conversing it was rumored that only 20 were offered to STH's at 10 and there were 10 left over for the general public at 12 so the Dodgers could not be accused of giving everything to STH's. I personally met 3 from the group at 12 purchase time so it seems this story rings true. That means if the 20 tickets sold at 10 were bought in pairs that would mean that only 10 people out of literally thousands of people were lucky enough to get their hands on tickets for this event. Man, I beat the odds and yes I went and bought lotto tickets yesterday to see if my luck will transfer there. Lol.


Off the group went to the club level to meet the best pitcher in baseball. Clayton was more than nice with every fan that he met and I gave him the thumbs up for him showing up. This may be the only time he ever does Fan Fest as every previous year he has been with his wife in Africa doing his charity work. The thinking among fans is he stayed in the country this year as he had his first kid last year so she might be too young to travel for a year or two. If this is the only time I meet Clayton then it was a great one time event.

Of course here is the ticket which will soon be slabbed by BGS and stored away and even though it is not the most valuable Kershaw piece in my collection it is my most cherished one.



I debated on which color to use as I just didn't think blue would pop on this ticket since it is mostly blue itself. I settled on black and I think it came out great.

I can't believe I finally own this completed piece. Thank you again to the Dodgers for hosting Fan Fest and a special thanks to Clayton for taking the time to meet a handful of fans.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.

-Penguin

10 comments:

  1. awesome story, congrats on meeting Kershaw and glad he was nice to everyone

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  2. Great to hear you got your items signed Matthew.

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    1. Thank you. Looks like you had a great day as well
      Congrats on your items as well

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  3. Great post. Congrats on that good luck day!

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    1. Thank you. Feels sweeter after all these years

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  4. That is a great story my friend. Happy you accomplished your goal.

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    1. Thank you... Irritating that things cant be done faster but all the more sweeter when it finally is

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