Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Orioles Fan Fest Recap

Three days later, I'm finally getting around to writing about my 2011 Orioles Fan Fest experience. At least three other Orioles bloggers have already wrote about it, so I really hope that you weren't waiting for my account of it.

Overall, I had a good time but it seemed like there was a little less to do than in past seasons. I spent most of my day in autograph lines, which is exactly where I wanted to be, so I was happy. And I got everything signed that I had hoped to get, so it was a nice little day. Not many people seemed to have a problem paying the $15 per autograph station since you knew you were guaranteed an autograph of whomever you wanted. It's obviously not as good as free, but it's better than wanting a Matt Wieters autograph and ending up with Robert Andino instead (sorry Dino!).


Speaking of Wieters, the highlight of my day was getting his SI cover signed. I carried this issue around in my gameday backpack during the entire 2010 season but didn't see Matt sign at a single O's game. It feels nice to finally have this autographed, and I hope to get it framed sometime soon.

Also signing at Wieter's station were Craig Tatum and Dick Hall. I got Tatum's autograph for Austin and Hall's autograph for Zach of Autographed Cards.

Lucky for me, the guy behind me in line didn't want Tatum's autograph, so he got my card signed for me. 

Next up was Zach Britton, Kevin Gregg, Jake Arrieta and Boog Powell. The Arrieta autograph was for Aaron, who collects Orioles Crown autographs and any other O's autographs he can get. The Boog autograph was for Paul, who just won the Earl Weaver autograph contest. The Gregg and Britton autographs were for me.

I was able to snag a signed O's postcard of Gregg as well as getting my card signed. I have to say that, out of uniform, Kevin looked more like a large banker than a baseball player.
Even though I had prepped my card, Gregg's autograph didn't "stick" well. It wasn't the only problem I had with the Orioles provided sharpies. I think next year I will have to bring my own. 

Zach was promoted to AAA Norfolk before the 2010 Baysox team set came out, so I was happy to finally get this card signed. 
While I was at the Britton-Gregg-Arrieta-Powell autograph station, my dad was nice enough to help me out by going to the Jeremy Accardo-Jason Berken-Willie Randolph-Jim Palmer station. 

The Accardo & Randolph cards are joining my collection, while my dad got Palmer to sign one of the spots in his 1983 O's program and a Berken card that was also for Austin.

My dad was also able to snag an extra signed postcard of Berken & Palmer. Note to Jason- I know that you're pretty accommodating with fans' autograph requests and all, but look at your signature compared to Palmer, who I think has signed a few more items than you over the years. Let's work on our penmanship a little bit.

My last autograph station was for JJ Hardy, Brad Bergesen, Mark Reynolds & Dick Hall. Hall was late showing up and I was one of the first people in line for this one, so I missed him this time around. Luckily, I didn't need him for anyone.

It was my first time getting Hardy's and Reynolds' autographs and they both seemed like decent guys. I especially like Hardy's autograph, even though it looks like it's either missing the JJ or H. I can see one or the other in there but not both.

Bergesen's autograph was for Ryan, the blogger behind "O" No!!! Another Orioles Blog, who I had the pleasure of catching up with for a few minutes. He seemed to have had a good time as well, and has been posting about his Fan Fest experiences for the past few days. He was nice enough to bring me a box of cards with some of my set needs as well as some obscure Orioles cards. Ryan- your thank you box should be on it's way by early next week. 

Last up, the Aberdeen Ironbirds, the short season A affiliate of the O's, were giving away a signed 8x10 of your choice if you could name every Oriole pictured on their autographed 8x10s. I conveniently didn't tell them that the Orioles, and their autographs, were kind of my thing, so Kalina ended up with this nice Chris Hoiles autograph.
All-in-all I had a great time and added a bunch of nice new autographs to my collection. I was happy to help a few fellow bloggers fill some autograph holes in their collections too. Thanks need to go out to my parents and Kalina for tagging along and doing some waiting around as I scurried around the convention center. Now I can't wait for the season to start!


Dodgerbobble said...

Looks like you had a great time. Did you take any pics with the players? Also, Ryna mentioned in his posting that they were giving away bobbleheads. Did you pick any of those up?

Paul Hadsall said...

Thanks for getting my Boog Powell card signed, Ryan.

It sounds like you had a relatively fun day. I wish that the Mets would do some kind of winter fan activity.

unclemoe said...

Good stuff.


zman40 said...

I'm glad that I'm not the only one that drags my dad, or other family members, to these events with me.

Actually, maybe "drags" doesn't fit your case since your dad is after some autos for himself. My dad, on the other hand, would be much happier staying at home and enjoying his day off. But, I certainly do appreciate his help.

Derek Hill said...

Love the SI cover!!

Nate Wardle said...

I was there too and had a great time. My girlfriend was able to snag me a Markakis bobblehead (while I was in line waiting for him to sign) which I got signed along with the Reimold bobblehead I won as part of winning the Nolan Reimold fan experience last year. Now the question is...anyone have an extra Jones bobblehead?

Sumosid said...

Wow! Nice haul. I wish the NYC teams would do somehting like this but the reality is it would a total mad house. I sure the teams do not want to deal with the headache.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff man, thanks again for getting that Arrieta for me!!

Orioles Magic said...

db- Unfortunately, you can't get pictures with the players in the autograph lines. There is a photo line, but I had enough line-standing to get my autographs.
I was able to snag other bobbleheads, but nothing new since I made it to all of the O's bobblehead nights last season.

Paul-you're very welcome. Boog smashed the sharpie like he normally does, but at least it's signed. It's a shame that all teams don't do something like this. I think the Mets could use the good PR these days.

zman- It's always nice to get some help at these things! It makes it a lot easier to get everything done!

Derek- thanks!

Nate- I'm guessing you are looking for the Jones mini bobble. If so, you're in luck as I have one to trade. All of my bobbleheads for trade are linked just under the title of my blog. I'd be happy to help you out. Just shoot me an email.

Sumosid- thanks! I think that every team should try to do something for their fans, even if not all of them would be able to attend.

Aaron- anytime man!

The Angels In Order said...

That signed SI is a thing of beauty.