I made the trip to Dodger Stadium for the 2013 edition of FanFest, the club's second such event. My recap of last year can be found here. I wasn't as prepared for this year's event but wasn't going to miss it. I spent the day with my good buddies Spiegel and Arno which made the long wait bearable. Shout-outs to DodgerBobble, Jesse, Alex, Teresa, and Oscar, whom I met in-person for the first time. Dodger Bloggers, Unite! My goal was to grab autos of some of the new Dodgers. I didn't think last year's line situation could get any worse. I. Was. Wrong.
The line this year began outside of the actual event. You waited with thousands and then were asked to pick one player. If that player was still available you were given a wristband for that player only. As the above sweet-spotted ball shows, the player I chose - the best option left by the time I reached the selection station - was Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Korean newcomer who inked a 6-year, $36 million deal this offseason. He sweet-spotted automatically which is really cool and inscribed his number as well without me asking. Matt Kemp was one line over. Anyhoo, I clumsily dropped the cube holding the ball shortly after meeting Ryu but thankfully the case took all of the damage. Many thanks to Spiegel for the baseball. I owe you Broseph Goebbels.
There was almost no line for Shawn Tolleson, a righty reliever I have high hopes for. He has tremendous stuff and will help anchor the pen for years. I asked Shawn to sign under Kenley Jansen on what I've begun referring to as my "ball for Dodgers I like." Tolleson inscribed his number without me asking and requested that I let Kenley - who was at the next table - know that his signature was too large. Noted.
Matt Guerrier also had a short line and I was in possession of a picture I needed signatures on. He's in the picture so I decided to grab him while I could. He was a really nice guy and stayed until everyone who wanted his signature got it. Javy Guerra, also in the picture, was in the station to Matt's right but I couldn't grab his signature, unfortunately. Blue pen was a bad idea; should have used silver. Oh well. Photobomb away, Dee.
The final Dodger I met was Brandon League. The line was reasonable and even though I didn't have anything to get signed I decided I shouldn't turn down a free John Hancock when given the chance. He signed the above postcard for me and inscribed "Party Hard Greg!", per my request. All credit to Arno for making use of that inscription many times and inspiring me to give it a go.
All in all it was a fun day and I look forward to next year's FanFest when I'll be arriving ridiculously early. I did miss out on A.J. Ellis for a second straight year, which is very disappointing. Oh, and Magic Johnson, Peter Guber, or any other Dodger owner/employee reading this: hire me and I'll make FanFest and the autograph lines in particular run more smoothly next year. Seriously. I'm available and more than willing to lend a hand.