Monday, May 21, 2012

Dodgers vs Cardinals series

Game 1 (Friday 5/18/12)

I got there in the sixth inning because I was at the NFLPA Premiere League Flag Football game (check out the recap in this link), met up with Alex from Lawler’s Law blog and Josh from Dodgerbobble at Field Level, we wanted to graph’ the Cardinals after the game.

It’s great to see Dodger Stadium crowded, I love that fans are coming back to the park. Our players deserve it.

I don’t know what the hell he was doing there, but a Giants fan was at the game with his jersey on.

Kenley Jansen blew the save by allowing a solo HR from Lance Berkman in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs, but A.J. Ellis drew a walk with the bases loaded off Fernando Salas for the walk-off walk that gave the W to the “Blue Crew”.

This is how Dodger Stadium looks after Fireworks night.

Almost every Cardinals player walked by and didn’t stop to sign for fans, only Green and Schumacher stopped. But I was there for Jaime Garcia and Fernando Salas, I’ve followed their careers since their debut in 2008, and I was really disappointed that they didn’t stop. I drove home upset, even though I was successful getting Andrew Luck, Justin Blackmon, LaMichael James and other NFL players earlier, my desire was to get these guys that are 2 of my favorite pitchers in the majors. Here are a couple of pics of the Cards players walking away: Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran.

Game 2 (Saturday 5/19/12)

FanFest!! Dodger Stadium 50th Anniversary FanFest went down on Saturday, a big party for all Dodgers fans with players autographs, Q&A’s and a lot of activity’s. Got there at 12:15 pm and this is what I saw:

Lines, lines and more lines! I thought about it for a couple of minutes while I was in a line to get Matt Treanor’s autograph and when I saw that there was 2 lines converting into 1 I decided to leave. Yes, I stayed at FanFest for 15 minutes, I’m a patient guy . . . but I didn’t stay.

As I was going out I saw that there was still a really big line of cars waiting to go in, I think that the Dodgers should’ve opened more parking gates (only gate A was open) and more than 3 lines if they were only going to open that gate.

Well, got back at the Stadium around 4:20 pm to check out batting practice. Noticed that a lot of fans that aren’t season ticket holders were in line to go into the stadium, but still had to wait for nearly another hour (they got fed up of being in FanFest under the sun, so they went to the shade).

As I went inside it was great to see Matt Kemp tossing a baseball with Tony Gwynn Jr. and Dee Gordon, I bet that he can’t wait to be off the DL. Gordon & Kemp went over to sign autographs for fans after warming up, I was able to get Dee’s autograph (my first ever Gordon auto).

Tried to get Matt, but wasn’t able to. Me & Alex from Lawler’s Law went back to the foul pole to try and catch some baseballs, in the meantime Chris Capuano walked by and signed for fans, I took advantage of the opportunity to get this 8x10 of a picture of me with him autographed.

Juan Uribe was sprinting for a while, supervised by Sue Falsone. After finishing he signed for every fan that approached him. I don’t like the dude, but I needed his signature to continue my “triple play” project. Now I’m just missing Dee & A.J. Ellis.

I was really surprised that backup catcher Matt Treanor started signing for fans by the bullpen, he rarely does that. I walked over and he was cool enough to sign this photo of me with him.

It was great seeing Buster Olney from ESPN, he was on his way to the Reserve Level of Dodger Stadium.

After a big win I walked over to the St. Louis Cardinals bus, followed the Lakers game and learned that they lost. I was bummed, the Lake-show is on the verge of elimination. But my night suddenly changed completely, I noticed Jaime Garcia walking to the bus with a group of Cardinals players, I sneaked in my clipboard with his picture and asked him in Spanish if he could come over and sign my photo, to my luck he walked over and autographed it for me. As he signed other items for other fans I chit chatted with him about if he’s planning to play for Mexico in the next World Baseball Classic and he said “Of course!”. I wasn’t going to ask him to sign me another autograph, but I had grew confidence after speaking for him for a couple of minutes and I asked him and he accepted.

I have to say, it had been a long time since I got so excited after getting an autograph, but Jaime Garcia is a player that I’ve followed since his debut. Unfortunately I didn’t see Fernando Salas walk by, but with 2 Garcia autographs I did my long walk to my car with a big smile in my face.

Game 3 (Sunday 5/20/12)

My buddy Alex from Lawler’s Law called me at 1:15 pm to let me know that his ticket rep confirmed to him that season ticket holders were going to be able to get early entry to the Stadium, unfortunately I wasn’t ready and got to Dodger Stadium until 2:45 pm, in part thanks to people who don’t know that general parking opens to fans 2 hours before the game, so I got stuck in traffic for 10 minutes thanks to them not moving their cars off of the freeway exit.

As I got into the Stadium I met with Alex and Mario, they were trying to catch baseballs. As I was eating lunch Steve Yeager walked by and I called him over to see & sign a picture I took of him and CBS2/KCAL9 sportscaster Jim Hill.

When it was 2 hours before game time I walked over to “aisle 27” and I was lucky enough that Davey Lopes stopped to sign, my “Infield” project is 75% complete. Each player has signed with different markers, but I don’t care because it’s my stuff and I’m not interested in selling it.

Dee Gordon was the first player to walk over to the fans that were there, I guess that he did it because he wasn’t in the starting lineup for the game. I thought I didn’t have anything for him to sign since he already signed an 8x10 on Saturday, so I asked him for a picture and he acceded. Later on I remembered that I had my “triple play” ticket and I totally missed on a great opportunity for him to sign it.

The only player I got to sign for me there was Jamey Wright, who autographed this picture I took with him a couple of weeks ago.

While walking out Don Mattingly approached the fans that wanted autographs, he had a baseball in his hand and he raised it, I said “If nobody wants it, I’ll take it”. And guess what? He tossed it at me!
Later on I walked to were my buddy Alex was hanging out, Josh Lindblom was signing down the line signing for fans. He was cool to take a picture with us.

We went upstairs to give it a shot at getting Orel Hershiser’s autograph. The “Bulldog” was in town with the ESPN crew that aired the game nationally. Here’s a picture of an ESPN cameraman recording some video, actually we were featured in a feature that ESPN did about Vin Scully.

An unexpected former player went into the Press Box, Steve Sax walked by us and signed for 3 fans (Sax is the guy in the suit).

Kenny Landreaux stopped by and talked with the fans there, I got him to sign my former players baseball.

Fernando Valenzuela was on the field during BP and on his way back to the press box he signed around 5 autographs, luckily #3 was this picture I took with him during the week.

I saw ESPN Deportes MLB reporter Guillermo Celis and took a picture with him, he’s a great guy!

During the game there was a lot of Cardinals fans, check out all those red shirst in the stands.

This was the first time I’ve seen a camera crew in the Top Deck to put the fans in DodgerVision, they should do that often.

I headed down to the press box after Scott Van Slyke hit a go-ahead HR that ended up being the game-winning HR. It was crowded, a lot of people knew that Orel was going to walk thru there.

When the Orel, Terry Francona and Dan Shulman were ready to come out, me & Alex knew that they weren’t going to sign because the crowd was too big. So we decided to leave, I wanted to go towards the Cardinals bus, but I decided to go home . . . . thank God I picked that option! Why? Read on.

As we were walking out of the Stadium guess who we saw? Orel Hershiser! He was signing for a couple of fans, I got him on a Dodger Stadium 50th Anniversary baseball. I talked with Orel while he signed for us and asked his opinion about the Dodgers, he said that he thinks that the new ownership will get new players soon and that he likes our chances.

I also walked into Dan Shulman and took a picture with him. Asked him about what he thinks of being one of the names mentioned by fans as a possible replacement for Vin Scully when Mr. Scully decides to retire, he said that he’d love to but that he hopes that Vin keeps calling the games for a long time.

Waited for Terry Francona, but he seemed to be in a bad mood and denied every autograph request. Guess who wasn’t in a bad mood? Orel Hershiser, he let me take a picture with him. By the way, how awesome is it that he was rockin' Dodger blue?

As we were walking down the hill we saw a lot of police activity, patrols were speeding in the parking lot, there was a helicopter over the stadium and the Dodger Stadium security (soccer mom) vans were going all crazy. We knew something was happening, a Dodger Stadium security member that was at the gate told us that there was a fight. An ambulance actually rushed by us, hope that nothing happened. Here’s the report from ABC7 on the incident: (linked here)

Well, that’s the long . . . . long post of this weekend’s series, hope everybody liked it. By the way, thank you to everybody who has walked up to me and told me they like the blog, I really appreciate it a lot. Shout out to Junior who I met while waiting for Jaime Garcia on Saturday.

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