Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dodger Fanfest 2016

Dodger Fanfest 2016 happened this past Saturday and I was lucky enough to have a day off and attend.  This was the first time I have attended, what Nomo affectionally names "Linefest" so I didn't know what was in store.  Seeing that there were about  25,000 people, you can imagine there were heaps of people going every which way.  I think the Dodger organization did the best that they could, especially with the amount of fans attending.  I really wanted to go because I wanted to meet Ryu.  Shout out to fellow brother Dusty for getting me access!

I had 4 autograph vouchers for the last 2 sessions.  I took Mamma Cora to help me out.  The lines were massive, but what I really enjoyed was talking with fellow fans.  There was a woman in front of us who travels down from San Francisco for this event.  She was lamenting that she didn't receive the All Star baseball from Ebay in time for Yasmani to sign it.  Then the gentleman in front of her said, I have one, and I can trade you a regular ball for it.  It was so cool to see.  The lines moved fairly fast and they kept on time.  I was able to meet Bill Russell and Brandon McCarthy.  I told Brandon that his twitter game was "strong" and whether he was going to change his avatar any time soon.  He said he was thinking about it, but since there were so many other players changing their avatar like his, he might keep it.  Mamma Cora met Yasmani and Austin Barnes.  She told Yasmani that he was a "very handsome  man" and he said thank you and turned to Austin and said "she better not tell you that too!"  That was funny.

Brandon McCarthy getting ready to sign autographs

Chase "Sweep the leg Johnny" Utley signing autographs

Vic the Brick and Alanna Rizzo

Standing in line for session 6, Tommy drove by and was waving to the crowd after his on stage appearance.  They seemed to use the visitor bullpen for media gathering and I saw Vic the Brick and Alanna Rizzo talking.  Steve Yeager was also down there. We got to talking with the people in front of us who attended the meet and greet with Kershaw.  They said it was cool, but went by too fast!  Greet, autographs, picture, out.  But they said he was nice as always.

The Tommy drive by
Yaz sighting

Joc sighting

I finally met Ryu.  He was very quiet, but was nice and signed both my baseball and bobblehead.  I got another Yasmani autograph as well - and if anyone wants to trade email me through the website! Yasmani also said that his rehab is going well.

Ryu signing autographs

Mamma Cora also snapped some great pictures, especailly of our new skipper.  He apparently was very gracious and when she asked Bob Geren where he was going to be sitting in the dugout, Dave interjected "Right next to me!"  Love the rapport.

Skipper Dave Roberts

I also spent 40 bucks on a "mystery bag autograph" and pulled a Jimmy Rollins baseball.  Of all of the autographs, I really like Dave Roberts and Jimmy Rollins because they are legible.
The baseball haul - From Top left to bottom right, Geren, Yaz, Barnes, Ryu Bobblehead, McCarthy, Roberts, Russell, Rollins, Yaz, Ryu
Thanks Ryu!

Overall, it was a nice time to visit the park.  Since we were there towards the end of the day, the crowd started to thin and we were able to "run the bases" (more like stroll) and lie down on the grass. I wandered up to the lodge level and checked out my new mini plan seats (thanks Bryce from Dodger ticketing!) and was pleased by the location.  I liked the event in that it got my baseball "its a new year" energy flowing again.  Can't wait for opening day!!!  Go Blue!


QuadSevens said...

Great recap AC! Nice haul on the autographs too.

Alex Cora said...

Yeah the autographs were nice. I make it an unwritten rule not to pay for any autographs (like at a baseball card store or event signing) unless it is a donation to a charity like the dodger foundation. Can't make it to spring training this year so this was the result!

Dusty Baker said...

That's $40 you could have spent for Command Points on MPQ!

Fred's Brim said...

Nice work, AC!

Hideo Nomo said...

Great post! I didn't even get anywhere near where the players were. I was dealing with an impatient kiddo who couldn't comprehend that the lines for things like the bungee jump were at least an hour long.

Hideo Nomo said...

OK, the kiddo was me.

Jason said...

This is good stuff to hold me over for the 2 1/2 weeks until pitchers and catchers report.

After 15 years of promising myself I'd go, I'm finally making the trek to spring training. If anyone that has done Camelback has some pointers, help a brother out?

Alex Cora said...

Jason. Went for a couple of years. People start lineing up outside and gates open around 9 am (?) around the back. Players run through different fields that can be viewed by the public. Some sign autographs after practice ends. Games are usually 1pm. There are a few seats in the under the overhang that provide shade. You can spend all day out there. It's getting crowded now. I actually liked going over to the white sox side for a bit. Not the best views but a lot less crowded.

MR.F said...

Very cool!

spank said...

nice camel toe behind Dave Roberts. just saying.