It was Mitch Haniger “Five Tool” Bobblehead Night at the Stadium Formerly Known as Safeco Field, and also an early entry game for Season Ticket Holders. The early entries are great because you can watch M’s batting practice and go after baseballs and autos. They’re also nice when there are stadium giveaways because you can beat the lines and don’t have to stress much about getting the item, as long as you get there early. Of course, I was running late and was somewhat concerned. I got there in plenty of time. Pretty cool bobblehead. 🙂
The next concern was if I missed too much of BP, but there was no problem cause the M’s didn’t take BP. Oh man, no M’s autos?
Actually, it turned out a couple signed don’t remember the exact sequence, but I think it went like this: Marco Gonzalez signed for a bunch of people. Thanks man! Then I thought no one else was coming by so I headed over towards the Texas side.
Before I got there, I saw a few of the crazies running back to the M’s so I turned around. Yusei Kikuchi was doing throwing practice! I waited across from him with plenty of other people. When he was done, he came right to us! He signed items carefully and attentively. When he signed my ball, the pen skipped a little bit, so he actually went back and fixed it! I appreciate that kind of conscientious from the players. Just for Kikuchi, I’d been bringing a fresh ball to the games and hadn’t gotten an auto from him yet, so I was stoked that he signed today. Thanks Yusei!
It was a fantastic evening of signing with Texas, thanks guys! The first one was some pitcher with his mitt on his head, so I asked him to sign random MLBers ball 2019-1. It turned out to be former Mariner Drew Smyly (who got injured at the WBC and never actually pitched for the M’s during his one regular season with us). Thanks man!
Next (I think) was Delino DeShields Jr. He’s been a very gracious signer in my experience. I said, “Hey Bro, do you have a nickname?” He said, “No.” Ok man. Thanks for signing Delino!
At some point during BP, Shin Soo Choo signed at the dugout. He’s funny, he’ll call out guys who keep asking for autos over and over. He told one of the other crazies that he was going to check eBay lol. Great signature. Thanks Choo!
The best signing was right before the game. Most folks went over to the M’s side. I stayed on the Texas side with some kids and a couple of crazy looking lady superfans. It helped. Elvis Andrews came by — been chasing him for years! Hunter Pence was a pleasant surprise, as were his Superman and Groot wristbands. Glad I dug up a Danny Santana card before the game, he signed. Gallo came by. Dude is huge. I predicted three homers (think he hit one that night). Thanks guys!
Then there was Nomar Mazara. He was like a gentle giant, very nice energy. Anyhow, I had this great Gypsy Queen glossy chrome box topper, a purple parallel #/150. Great card for an auto and for a few years I’ve been thinking of getting it signed. Have even brought it to some Rangers games with no luck. However, it was numbered and getting it signed would likely reduce any resale value. Also, a lot of markers don’t work well on the glossy chromes. I thought I was prepared with a red Sharpie paint pen. Didn’t quite work out though, the auto was very spotty. Mazara tried to go over it once or twice but the combo of his handwriting style, marker, and card didn’t go together so well. Thanks for signing though, Nomar. Isn’t it interesting when you get something you want (jumbo glossy card signed by Nomar Mazara in nicely contrasting red ink) and something you don’t want (spotty signature, great in some spots and hardly visible in others). Like a lot of things in life lol.
While I have the original “for the record”, I did a “digital enhancement” by tracing over the auto the best as I could see it. Even though I missed some of the stuff below he left shoulder, made one of the loops too sharp or connected the wrong loops (by the Q and u in “Gypsy Queen”), and who knows what else, I think it looks pretty good. May go back and fix it someday.
If you compare it to his regular auto, you can see that the one on this card had more loops, probably cause he was trying to “ink it in”. Still, the “Photoshopped” version (I actually used PicsArt on my iPad) looks a lot more like what I imagined it would look like, while the original one of course looks more natural.
I went back and just traced the three most prominent loops (not the rewrites) on an adjustment layer. Even though it doesn’t have the thickness variations of a real auto, I think it looks a lot better. I forgot to save the layer with just the auto, but I guess I can recover it by generating a difference image between the new one and the original. Eventually, I plan to print up the enhanced one and put it side by side with original. 🙂
It’s several days after the fact and I forgot what happened lol. I think the Rangers were winning big and it was very very cold so I left early.