July 20, 2010

FanFest was a Fan Feast

The All-Star Game and all the festivities associated with it have ended, but the memories and experiences will linger on for years and years. It all started on Friday – July 9, 2010 with FanFest. The event was a “fan feast” as we were able to partake in a smorgasbord of baseball related activities unlike any other.

Cheryl and I showed up early Friday and as we were walking in we ran into fellow 514 Fanatics Bob and Stephen. We had planned to meet up with the two, but it was a total coincidence that we would run into one another so early. The same thing happened a couple years ago when we were meeting up for a Spring Training Game in Surprise, Arizona.

As we walked into the convention center – the first thing we saw was Arte Moreno and Tommy Lasorda shaking hands and greeting the fans and media. Where was Frank McCourt? Just wondering…

Over the next five days, FanFest would be our home away from home. Cheryl and I spent countless hours at the event. We stood in line for autographs; which by the way were the most well organized event of its kind. Fans were required to “sign in” as they got in line to prevent people form cutting. This was most effective and made for a fair process. If you’ve ever been to a free autograph signing, you’re probably aware of all the things that can make the process frustrating.

You know the “graphers” who are out to make money from autographs? Well, they weren’t out in big numbers. Nope, not at FanFest. That made the experience all the more pleasant because some of them look like they need a shower and can be pretty obnoxious about getting as many autographs as possible.

Speaking of autographs; over the course of FanFest, we were able to get auto signatures from Jim Fregosi, Bobby Grich, Shawn, Green, Gaylord Perry, Orlando Cepeda, Mark Langston, Shigetoshi Hasagawa, Rickey Henderson, Fred Lynn and Clyde Wright. We always ask them to personalize items for us and most obliged with the exception of Cepeda and Henderson. Henderson is a strange bird. I know that’s not going to come as a surprise to most. Anyway, he wouldn’t sign baseballs and would only sign flat items. Whatever, it was fun to meet the Hall of Famer. He didn’t talk in third person, but he did talk to himself.

Other than the obvious favorite in Bobby Grich, I was also very pleased to get Jim Fregosi’s autograph. Fregosi is one of my early favorites and is part of the era when I first started going to Angel games.

Everyone was pretty friendly – some more so than others. Mark Langston had to get the award for best sport. I watched him sign and pose for a picture for every person in line. He also engaged each fan and found something to talk about with everyone. He really went above and beyond the call.

The star of FanFest had to be Tim Salmon. His line was three times longer than just about anyone else’s (with the exception of Henderson). He happened to have a signing at the same time as Steve Garvey and Salmon’s line was much longer. Angel fans really represented at the FanFest!

One observation we made early on was how some of the interactive exhibits required you to retrieve your items (like a photo for the front page of the O.C. Register) online. We assumed that in some cases this would involve a charge; something that didn’t happen in New York during their FanFest in 2008.

Never-the-less we posed for most of them. One of the more fun activities was posing for a homerun robbing pose. Doesn’t Cheryl look like a natural as she’s blowing a bubble while hauling in a homerun from say… David Ortiz? That’s right Big Pappi can’t hit one that Cheryl can’t get. That’s my girl! Torii Hunter would be proud, don’t you think?

We also enjoyed the fans themselves. Some of them had some creative shirts and I had to snap pictures of some of them. One of the better ones was an Oakland A’s shirt and even though I hate the A’s, I did like the “Get off my mound” shirt one fan was sporting. What was even funnier is that this fan wasn’t even an A’s fan – he just liked the shirt.

We also ran into a Tiger fan with a cool shirt and a die hard Dodger fan sporting a Don Drysdale stat sheet on the back of his jersey. You can check them out below. Fans from every fan base represented all week long. Cool stuff for sure.

We also got to meet John Ireland and Steve Mason from ESPN Radio 710. They were kind enough to pose for a picture with Cheryl. Cheryl's a big fan of their show, so this was quite a treat.

I know this report is late and I have much more to say, so again – please stay tuned. It may take me a while to update the blog, but I will get it done.


It’s nice to see the Angels start the second half with a 3-1 series win over the Mariners, even though a sweep would have been better. That being said, I’m not fooled by the nice start because we are talking about the Seattle Mariners, who are on pace to lose 100 games. I’m just saying.

Paul McAnulty has been designated for assignment since Maicer Izturis has been activated. I have to say seeing McAnulty and Frandsen in the lineup at the same time along with say even Reggie Willits didn’t give me much confidence.

I believe the Angels will make a move before the deadline, but it probably won’t be earth shattering. For that, I’ll wait for the off-season when they go hard after Carl Crawford. Just saying.

BallHype: hype it up!

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