Outside of it being the coldest day in Los Angeles this year, today went fairly well. I did the Timberwolves morning shoot around, and while most everyone denied while going to shoot around everybody that was asked to sign did so after practice besides Kevin Love. Love went out of his way to avoid the five graphers.
Today was my fourth attempt down at UCLA to try and get Tim Tebow. The first time I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, the second attempt he was not working out that day, the third attempt I was successful, and today was another failure! I went down again because I bought a really nice 16x20 picture that I wanted to get signed and then framed for my room. Unfortunately, there was no sign of Tebow today after hearing that he has been there all week and again yesterday. I did however run into Serena Williams and was able to get a photo op.
Persistance pays off my friends. I heard Tim Tebow had been working out with a few other NFL quarterbacks and so I decided to go down there on Friday. Well when I got down there I saw no sight of anybody important, just saw a whole gang of UCLA football players. After doing some research and contacting some autograph friends I got the appropriate time and location that I could get him. I went back on Monday after hearing that he signed on Saturday. He was not there. At this point I was ready to give up, but today I figured I could give it one more chance. I got there and immediately checked the practice field from a nearby parking structure roof. I saw what looked like Tim Tebow on the field, but it looked like they were wrapping up. I did NOT want to miss him for the third straight day so I sprinted about half a mile up hill from the parking structure to the exit of the practice field. Right as I roll up to the exit I see Tebow exiting with a few guys who I did not recognize with ice all over his body. I looked around and saw that I was on my own and said,
"Mr. Tebow may I please have your autograph?"
he responded and said,
"Sure I'll sign one."
I took that to mean that he would only sign one, so I pulled out one of my six sports illustrateds that he has been on the cover of and he signed it. Unforutanely there was no one else around to take my picture with him. I told him to keep doing what he's doing, and he thanked me. And just like that he was gone. I was legitimately on the UCLA campus for 10 minutes and about seven of those minutes I was walking/running to an from my car. One of the quickest autographs I have ever obtained.
First off this guy showed up an hour late, which might not seem like a huge deal to some of you, but leaving downtown Los Angeles at 3 is a whole lot than leaving at 4. So his lateness really screwed me for the rest of the day. There's honestly no excuse for it in my mind either. They probably finished practice an hour earlier about five miles away. Anyway, after waiting way too long for this guy. They were telling people they could get two items per, which was fine because the line wasn't THAT long anyway. I got up to him and he had a handler handing him all the items so she took my sports illustrated and commented to him how young and good looking the guy on the cover was. I got up to him and said, "whats u, Ron." He didn't respond. I completely blanked on what he changed his name to, so I don't know if he was upset that I said his name wrong or if he was just rude, but he had a black sharpie in his hand. I said could you sign it in blue, and he didn't even look up. He takes the sharpie and starts to almost trace or practice over he thinks he should sign this magazine like he had never seen it before. "Once again I said excuse me could you sign it in blue?" Again nothing, so I took the sharpie and reached it out in front of him. Without looking up he put down the black sharpie and took my blue one, still almost confused by the SI he looked at it a while and finally decided where he should sign it. As you can see he signed "RA15" Then I put my book of cards down on the table (I had four, but gave away one to a person in line thinking he wasn't even going to show up.) He puts down the blue sharpie and before I can say anything signs them in black. What can you do, I guess I can't complain, I got four of this guy, but he didn't even say a word or even look up. After I got my signature I saw other people with basketballs that were signed "RA15MWP" but they guy said he asked him to sign Metta World Peace. This was my first experience with the guy, I expected him to be goofy and strange, but not a jerk.
After I got kind of curious to see if anyone else has gotten this guy recently and I found this video. Wow this guy is unique to say the least.
I was in San Diego to watch my two ex roommates play basketball against one another. We all three lived together in dorms freshman year and since we have all transferred to different schools. Last night they played against each other at UCSD. I decided to stay the night and go to the San Diego Padres fan fest Saturday morning. I woke up early to go to the fan fest and all I saw were huge lines. I didn't feel like waiting in huge lines all day for players that I would see in Spring Training and then again at Dodgers stadium during the season so I decided to head over to a Vincent Jackson public signing near by. I was very prepared for the fan fest, I wasn't prepared at all for the VJ public signing. I stopped at a Sports Authority and bought a white panel mini football. I wash hoping to find someone in line that was selling pictures (turns out I didn't need to)
When I got to the signing there were maybe 40 people in front of me, which I thought was really low for how big of a name Vincent Jackson is. I found out quickly that this signing was different than most, a couple things made this signing AWESOME
1. They went through the line telling everyone that you could get two items signed per person. Plus he has a 8x10 picture up there already signed for everyone. So essentially you could get three items per person. (at a public signing how often does this happen, normally you hear employes enforcing a strict one per limit)
2. An employee was walking through talking down people's names in case they wanted their item personalized. Vincent wanted to make sure he knew how to spell anyones names or inscriptions correctly. (Thought that was pretty unique, normally they do anything they can to make the line move faster)
3. They had someone up there that would volunteer to take your picture with Vincent Jackson (again usually they try and herd people through like cattle to move the line along and a lot of times you won't even have the opportunity to have a picture with. They would call everyone up one at a time to meet VJ really awesome)
4. Free food, drinks, and 5 hour energy for everyone (truly awesome food as well)
I got up to meet Vincent and he could not have been any nicer. I told him that I drove down from Los Angeles to meet him and he was super estatic and kept thanking me for driving so far. He told me to take two of the photos. I told him that he deserved a long term contract, Jackson replied, "Man you are so right everyone keeps telling me that and they right."
Vincent Jackson 3/1 (picture with)
Also they had a couple MMA fighters there. I grabbed a few signatures from Miesha Tate. Not really into the whole MMA thing, but I hear she is pretty popular.
All in all this was an awesome singing. If you are into MMA at all I would suggest following them on twitter @Ao8Training and check them out on Facebook as well.
This is a great event every year. A lot of alumni that are currently in Major League Baseball come out and take a few swings against the current team or just kick a few beers back with their old teammates. Pretty good turn out this year. I was in San Diego at a Vincent Jackson autograph signing, but my dad volunteered to go and get some cards signed for me. here's what he ended up with. Gary Brown 1/8 Wes Romer 4/4
Today I went to the Dodgers caravan. A few select players and former players were supposed to stop at several sites in southern California. At 12:30 the Dodgers were supposed to announced a location that would be open to the fans. Where they could, "eat lunch with the Dodgers." The event was scheduled to go from 1:30 to 2:30. I was hoping they'd be on time because I had to leave before 2:30 to get to work, but that was a bust. The players all ate and then they decided to from lines around the tables they were eating on. This became an instant fail because they formed two lines and one line had unannounced guest Clayton Kershaw, along with several of the other, "bigger names." At 2:30 they started the signing and I was at the very front of the line, but it turned out to be the "wrong line." The line had Adam Kennedy, Roman Trancoso, Josh Lindbloom, and Tommy Davis. I went ahead and got those guys'. I took a look at the other line and there still weren't a lot of people, I knew it would make me late for work, but I jumped in line. I managed to get through the line fairly quick. The Dodgers had the typical handlers saying, "he's only going to sign one of those cards." "Or don't switch that pen." Because of this I don't think there would've been any limits (Outside of Kershaw) Also a few of my cards look like crap because of some nasty pen they had there. Luckily I got kershaw to switch for my set card.
Shawn Green 1/6, 1/1 (got the first one when he got there before anyone noticed it was him)
Clayton Kershaw 1/4
Tony Gwynn Jr. 2/4 (ignored the handler telling him to sign one)
Dee Gordon 1/4 (He wanted to do more, but the guy was breathing down his neck)
Romon Trancoso 5/5
Josh Lindbloom 2/2
Adam Kennedy 3/3
Kenley Jansen 1/2
I was only 10 minutes late to work and I couldn't be happier. Kershaw has gotten pretty tough around here and I had no idea he was coming. Everyone was pretty shocked so I am very happy to say the least.