Angels at Mariners – 06/01/19

Autos, etc.

It’s June already?  Wow.

We had an unusual 4:15 start time.  It felt like a night game (usually 6:10 or 7:10) in terms of my pregame routine but of course looked like a day game.  No luck with the Mariners today, hopefully better next time. 🙂

Cody Allen from the Angels signed (a card from his days with the Indians) during BP. Thanks bro!

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That was it.  Later, I did not go line up for the Mike Trout pregame awesomeness like I usually do.  That’s because the M’s were celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the 1979 NBA Champion Seattle Supersonics!

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It was both corny and cool, they brought out several of the former players, including Jack Sikma, and Coach Lenny Wilkens.  Most of these guys were before my time, but we celebrated Sikma’s tight white guy fro throughout the 80’s lol.  I waited by the home plate tunnel but was a little too far up (by the tarp instead of past the tarp) so I did not get any autos from the champions on my recently printed team photo.  Bummer.

However, before the legends came out, I did get a nice surprise auto from one of my favorite Sonics (and a guy who I actually saw play a lot) — Gary Payton!!!!  Since I didn’t know he was going to be there, I didn’t have anything specific for him.  So I gave him a fresh baseball and he signed it, even writing “The Glove” upon request.  What a pleasant surprise!  Thank you GP!!!

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The Game

It was a glorious Saturday afternoon/ evening for baseball. By the 6th inning it felt like it was 15-0 Angels but it was actually only 3-1. Pujols has a two run homer in the first, another Angel scored in the third, and Encarnacion had a monster homer to the left field in the bottom of the 4th. He came through again in the bottom of the 6th with a two run shot to straightaway center to tie the game at three!

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However, Cole Calhoun hit a two run homer in the top of the 8th to put the Angels up 5-3.  Mike Trout launched one 427 feet to left field in the top of the 9th to make it 6-3, and that’s how it ended, folks.

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At least I’ve still got this selfie with Edwin Encarnacion. 🙂

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Rangers at Mariners – 05/27/19

Autos, etc.

Mariners

Ichiro!!!!

It was kind of nice, instead of a mad rush, people lined up in the stairwell by the corner of the dugout.  When Ichiro came over, the person in front passed his or her item to the usher who go it to and from Ichiro.  I got my green uni signed!!!

Yeah, I would have liked the auto to be darker (I provided a black paint pen but he used a blue Sharpie instead), and horizontal instead of vertical, but the auto is nice and sharp, and almost completely on the number.  The more I look at it the more I like it.  Ichiro auto on a jersey — totally awesome!!!

Rangers

Shin Soo Choo, Ronald Guzman, Shelby Miller, Nomar Mazara — thanks for signing guys!

 


The Game – Mariners 6, Rangers 2

It was a very pleasant Memorial Day evening weather wise, clear with temps in the 70’s and 60’s with little to no wind.  The crowd was probably about 15,000 people.  Mariners fans went home happy after a 6-2 win.  There were two major highlights.  One was Mallex Smith stealing second, third, and home!  Seeing a dude steal home in person is really something else!  Dan Vogelbach sent a towering “Vogelblast” over the right field foul pole into the upper deck for a relatively suspenseful solo homer.  Nice win for the M’s!  Plus with the 6:10 start, I got home at a reasonable hour.  🙂

 

Twins at Mariners – 05/18/19

Autos, etc.

Mariners –
Ken Griffey Jr. Bobblehead – As usual, the bobblehead looks almost nothing like the real person. 🙂
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Season Ticket Holder Photo Night – Even though I’m not that into selfies and it was a no autos event, this was kind of fun. Fans stood behind ropes along the warning track. Several Mariners went to random locations and then paraded around, chatting and taking photos with as many fans as they could get to.  I mainly wanted to get a selfie with Ichiro!  Field personnel told people to just stay in one spot and that the players would get to everybody, but of course that was not the case. Some guys made it all the way around before other guys made it 100 feet.

The first few pictures were taken in left field, with Servais, Gonzales, Encarnacion, and Elias.  When I saw Ichiro on Marinervision, I quickly scooted over from left field to right field. The selfie is not the best. I stood too far away and held the phone at too high an angle, so the image is absurdly distorted — he’s not 10 feet tall and I’m not 3 feet tall! Anyhow, his expression is priceless, the picture is kind of funny, and I’ll have some fun with it via a photo editor.

After that, I mostly stayed in that same spot, where I met Adams, Swarzak, Hill, Smith, Vogelbach, and Haniger.  When I heard there were only five minutes left (it was an hour long event apparently), I scooted over to right center to meet Santana, Gordon, and Narvaez.  All the fellows were relaxed, friendly, and very gracious. I think I took 13 selfies in all, and will probably print some up for the guys to sign. Thank you Mariners!


Twins –

CB08A152-58C3-4BCF-96F7-47353EF8C3CE Jorge Polanco — To be honest, I didn’t know who he was and tossed him my random MLBers ball, which he graciously signed. Now I know he’s one of the top young shortstops in the American League. Thanks Jorge!

Willians Astudillo! — Would it be fair to call this guy a modern Latino John Kruk? Kind of like Bartolo Colon, surprisingly agile and quick for a man of his build. This morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see on Twitter that Topps would be releasing Astudillo autos soon. He wasn’t playing tonight but he did sign a whole bunch. Thank you Willians!

Byron Buxton!  — One of the fastest guys in baseball.  He said he would come back and sign after stretching, and he did.  What a nice card and auto.  Thanks man!
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The Game

What game? Minnesota went up 5-0 in the second with a CJ Cron solo homer and a Byron Buxton grand slam. In the 3rd, Cron and Sano hit solo homers while Jonathan Schoop hit a three run homer to make it 10-0. I think I left in the 6th inning with the M’s down 17-4 and bird poop on my new Ichiro jersey. Yeah it was that kind of party lol. Ryan Divish’s article, “How low can they go? Mariners embarrassed by Minnesota in 18-4 shellacking” will give you the idea in case I haven’t done so already.

Richard Sherman Appearance – 05/11/19

Last Wednesday night, my buddy texted me about a “Sherman Dominga” appearance on Saturday.  Sorry, who???  Apparently he meant “Richard Sherman”. Ok that sounded more like it.  I didn’t think I could make the event but asked for more info anyway.  Where?  Wing Stop?  Where?  After a while he found out it’d be the one in West Seattle.  (Sherman owns it.). That night (or the next day) I got some confirmation on Twitter from Richard Sherman himself.

What time???  That was the big question.  I kept checking Twitter for what felt like days.  By around 5 pm Friday, I had an answer: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm.      Definitely feasible.  Only one hour?  How early would I need to get there?  I recalled memories of previous Mariners and Seahawks events where it took 3 or 4 hours just to get in.  Yikes!  Still I figured, I had to give it a shot!

I asked my buddy when I should show up and he said 7 am.  Glad I followed his advice!  Woke up around 5:45 and got there around 6:45 I believe, for the event starting at 11:00.  It was super early — and awesome!  I expected to see a line half a block long, ground in tents, etc., but I had something like the 8th spot in line!  As long as the other crazies and I were in the right place, we’d meet Sherm no problem.  It was a very small group of people at that point.  Perhaps it was the last minute notice, or that there was a Bobby Wagner fun run and a poker event the same day.  Anyway, by around 10:00 or 10:30 the buzz started to build and the excitement was palpable. 🙂  Around 11:00, Sherman rolled up in a nondescript black sedan driven by his wife, and waltzed in to a cheer from the crazies in line.

4351E25C-1322-4841-B44E-F214006E893CRichard was very nice and very generous.  As fans came up from the line, he chatted congenially, posed for selfies, and signed everything (including inscriptions if requested).  Most significantly, unlike most guys who sit behind a table surrounded by their guards, Richard got out from behind the table and was with the people!  His smile appeared genuine.

For me, Sherm signed my jersey plus four cards, and stood for a picture.  Luckily, the guy in front of me had a silver Deco fine tip paint pen, perfect for the dark “college navy” letters on the uniform.  The jersey turned out awesomely!  (So lucky!  I found out a few days later that the Silver Sharpie I brought had actually ran out lol.  PTL!)

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We chatted a little bit.  I told him it was a pleasure to meet him, thanked him for speaking out on social issues (he acknowledged, “I try”), and also asked him to not just stick to football!  For the cards he used a regular Blue Sharpie and they also turned out nicely. I actually forgot the Clear Vision card on the table.  Luckily (again), I checked before I left and was able to get it back off the table.  Word!  Wings and fries were good too. 🙂

Here I am with my new homeboy Richard Sherman lol.  🙂
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Awesome stuff! Thanks Richard!  So glad I went. 🙂

Rangers at Mariners – 04/27/19

 

Autos, etc.

Mariners

FED49ADC-8855-4CF2-AC5E-6D5D9DB50ACBIt 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!

 

Rangers

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 A58F48A2-CFAF-4895-A474-3A3733AF4666Drew 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.

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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. 🙂

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The Game

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.

 

 

04/15/19 – Indians at Mariners

Autos, etc.

Edgar Martinez

Felix Hernandez

Tyler Naquin

Jason Kipnis


 

The Game

It was windy and thus freezing, even with the roof closed.  Trevor Bauer pitched well for the Indians and the M’s were out of it for most of the game.  I think I left in the top of the 8th.  Seattle came back to within a run but Cleveland won in the end.