Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dodgers vs. Phillies Series Recap


Game 1 (7/16/12)

After not getting many autographs on the previous series, I had my fingers crossed to have better luck on this series against the Phillies. Getting there early always gives you a better shot, unfortunately I had an altercation with a Dodger Stadium security guard who didn’t want to let me, Kenny & Junior in, even though we’re season ticket holders and we’ve been going in 3 hours before the game for 40+ games this year. It really pissed me off, because we were waiting for it to be 4:10 and this guy came up to us to tell us that we couldn’t go in until 5:10, I had to go with the 2 guys in the entrance that we always say hi to and that already know me, they recommended me to put a complaint against the guy whose name I already had. I did so with Bernie, I hated to do that because I have a really good relationship with almost every security guard at the Stadium and I’m sure they’re going to retaliate for calling out one of their own.

Took these pictures of Luis Cruz trying to ball juggle a baseball, he’s actually pretty good!




I recorded a little bit when Juan Uribe & Bobby Abreu joined in, but it was a little bit late and I was only able to capture the final part of it. By the way, right after they finished juggling the baseball Juan Uribe did something good for the first time as a Dodger, he gave away like 10 baseballs to the fans (I caught one of those, a Dodger Stadium 50th Anniversary ball).





Chris Capuano was signing autographs for fans and I remembered I had a baseball card of him that my buddy Dodgerbobble gave to me, an extra auto from our best pitcher this season never hurts.



Ball-hawking legend Zack Hample was at Dodger Stadium, yeah . . . he got a lot of baseballs and he works hard for them and has a lot of tricks up his pocket.



There weren’t even 50 fans @ Dodgers BP, so “aisle 27” was heaven for the fans that were there. I was able to get this Dodgers Magazine cover autographed by Andre Ethier; it was one of my main goals during this homestand.



Check out what my little neighbor got signed . . . now that’s unique!



I went back downstairs and got Luis Cruz to sign another SS for me, I got some friends in Mexico that are big time fans of Mexican MLB players and I plan to surprise one by giving him this ball on my next trip down south.



Matt Kemp also stopped by and signed, but he said “only kids” . . . and how I always go by the rules I went upstairs, Matt ended up signing autographs for about 3 grownup fans. I regret not staying down there, but I always have in mind that I’ll get the autograph only if it’s meant to be.

Well, I already had 3 autographs and a new 50th Anniversary ball, so my day was already good . . . but it would only get better.

I waited by the club level, I was amazed there was only one more guy there. He was waiting for Fernando, I was waiting for whoever walked by that I had something of them to get signed. I noticed Mr. Don Newcombe walk out of the elevator towards the press box, I remembered I had a picture of me & him in my binder . . . so I immediately went for it and asked Mrs. Newcombe for her approval and she said yes, so I kindly asked Don for his autograph and he gave it to me.



A couple of minutes later the great Tommy Lasorda walked out of his office towards the elevator, I never ask him for his autograph right there . . . . but how there was absolutely nobody there I took my chances, surprisingly Tommy did sign for me and the other guy that was there! Completely unexpected!




I walked around the club level and noticed that sports reporter extraordinaire Jim Gray walked out of the suite level, I approached him and said hi. Like you probably know I’m a big boxing fan and admire Mr. Gray because he’s the in-ring interviewer at the Showtime fights and he isn’t scared of asking the questions that other reporters are scared to ask (He's the only guy wearing jeans).



As I was ready to go upstairs to my seat, I noticed that Nancy Bea was finishing her traditional walk before every game, so I took advantage of the situation and got a 50th Anniversary signed by her. She’s always great with fans, she’ll never say no.



During the game I noticed that the Dodgers put this up on the screen when Luis Cruz was at bat, “Cruz Azul” . . . . that’s the name of a really popular soccer team in Mexico, but they did it to combine his last name (CRUZ) with blue in Spanish (AZUL), not because of the soccer team.



There were a lot of Phillies fans at Dodger Stadium, they travel deep! I’d say better than Angels fans when their team comes to play to Dodger Stadium.



It was a close game, but my Dodgers lost.


Game 2 (7/17/12)

Well, retaliation from Dodger Stadium security as I expected. I got there 5 minutes before 4:10 pm and they wouldn’t let me walk up the hill, but they sure let everybody else do so (including STH that were going to park inside). So at 4:10 sharp me, Alex, Dodgerbobble & Big Mario walked up the hill and went inside the Stadium at 4:15-ish and surprisingly there were a lot of fans inside . . . . yes, DS security had let all of them in before me.

It was beach chair night @ the Stadium, they were giving vouchers for the first 30,000 fans inside the stadium. Here’s what it looked like:



Ronald Belisario was signing autographs for some fans, I already had him sign a 8x10 for me a couple of months ago, so I went for the picture this time. Beli is always cool with the fans:



Ball-Hawk legend ZackHample was back at Dodger Stadium, heard he got 14 baseballs in one of the two days he was there. I think my ball count is 36, but in over 40 games.
 


A little bit later Aaron Harang stopped by, Big Mario helped me out taking a picture with Aaron for my collection I have of the day he had 9 strikeouts in a row (Dodgers franchise record).



Some of the coolest people I’ve met this year are Deuce and his dad William, on Tuesday he was there with his girlfriend Sylvia and mini Deuce! Here’s a picture of him and Deuce’s brother, how cool is it that he’s so little and has been at Dodger Stadium for 5 baseball games? Awesome!



 
‘Aisle 27’ was jam packed due to all the fans that were there to get there beach chairs, so I was going to take whatever came my way, but having my fingers crossed for Matt Kemp because it was possibly my last shot at getting his auto this year.

Well, Matty walked by us and didn’t stop . . . . I noticed it was a little bit weird because it was too early compared to the regular time he goes into the club house. Then he came back out to give a bat to a girl that’s a cancer warrior . . . I didn’t matter I wasn’t able to get my autograph, because Matt showed off his big heart with that moment. Picture courtesy of Jon Soo Hoo, you can check out his blog in the following link ----> CLICK HERE



Who I was able to get was Andre Ethier (yes, again), this time I got him on a DS 50th Anniversary baseball (sorry for the terrible picture, it was taken with my phone):



I noticed a little bit later that Clayton Kershaw went over with the same girl that Kemp gave his bat to, while he was walking back to the dugout Nancy Bea was there and Clayton stopped and chatted up a little bit with Mrs. Bea. In the picture you can see my buddy Steve from Steve from Zim’s Autographs who tried to get Kershaw’s autograph, but got rejected twice.



As me & Dodgerbobble were going up the escalators we noticed actor Rainn Wilson going downstairs with his kid, I wish I could’ve taken a picture with him, but I don’t like to chase somebody for an autograph or picture (especially if they’re with their children).



It was too crowded that day by the club level, so I decided to leave . . . . I went towards the loge level for my lunch, a special edition loaded dodger dog: “Philly Cheese Steak Dog”, they’re gooood!!



The Dodgers started handing out the beach chairs at 8:10 pm, there was a lot of people that were mad that the chairs weren’t given out as you went into the Stadium and that they had to stay there until 8:10 pm. Check out the line 10 minutes before Dodgers personnel started giving out the beach chairs:



Another disappointing 3-2 loss, fourth defeat in a row . . . simply terrible.


Game 3 (7/18/12)


This game was really special for me, it might be my last Dodgers game this season and I wanted to enjoy it big time. My uncle Panda’s birthday is on Saturday, so he wanted to start celebrating by going to the game with me. It’s always awesome to go to sporting events with him, I always have a blast while going with him. I gotta thank Ramon (my STH neighbor) at the Top Deck who gave me his seats for this game.

As soon as I sat down my uncle had already bought me a beer, it was my first beer ever @ Dodger Stadium, it was great! Perfect for the hot weather!



A friend of a cousin of mine had tickets for the seats downstairs by the third base line, but wasn’t able to make it and gave them to me . . . I always notice that most of the players go over to the fans and sign autographs there, so I took my Matt Kemp ASG jersey & program plus all the rest of my stuff. Here’s a pic of me & my uncle downstairs with Kemp in the background.



While Matt was stretching & warming up, Dee Gordon surprisingly went over to the fans to sign autographs, even though he has a cast on his right hand. He was cool enough to sign this Dodgers Magazine cover that in which I had already gotten Davey Lopez & Maury Wills . . . . project completed!



He also signed this picture of me with him:



A couple of minutes later Kemp started signing away, I had to walk over to the section he was signing at and when I got there this lady helped me out handing him my ASG program and fortunately he had a blue sharpie on him and he signed it in blue!



Then I waited for him to let go of the Sharpie and handed him a silver deco that my friend Alex borrowed to me, Matt Kemp was awesome and signed my ASG jersey and it came out sweet!!


 
Here are a pair of awesome pictures I took at the field level, Matt Kemp during the national anthem:



Matt Kemp wishing AJ Ellis & Clayton Kershaw good luck on their way towards the Dodgers dugout:



Other of the cool people I’ve met at Dodger Stadium this year is Louie, who has worked at Dodger Stadium for over 25 years. He’s part of Dodger Stadium security personnel and he’s always awesome with me. Here’s a pic of him chatting with Matt Kemp.



Here’s a pic of me & my uncle Panda at my cousins friends seats:



I convinced my uncle that the view was better @ our Top Deck seats and that they had shade on them, so yeah . . . . we ditched the $150 seats for the ones that cost $5.



Not many fans stayed for the end, big mistake. Look how the Stadium looked like at the beginning of the 12th inning:




Like I say, don’t ever leave a game early because anything can happen! Like usual when Matt Kemp has an at bat in extra-innings when I’m recording it rockin’ a Kemp jersey: BOOM! BEAST MODE ON! Matt Kemp slammed a 2 run HR and the Dodgers won! YEAH BUDDY!



Of course I had to show-off my jersey!



What an amazing win, it might be (but I hope not) my last Dodgers game this year . . . I’ll let you guys know when it’s official.

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