Saturday, September 13, 2014

Former Red Sox/Current Broadcaster "Psycho" Steve Lyons 9/3/14

Tonight the Pawtucket Red Sox won the International League Championship in game 5 of their 5 game series against Durham, and last week I was lucky enough to make it to one of their first round playoff games.

I had seen that former Red Sox player, and occasional fill-in broadcaster, Steve Lyons would be on hand to sign autographs and meet fans, so that was even more of a reason to make the trip over, plus it was most likely going to be my last game in Pawtucket this season.

After the first pitch, I went over to the area where Steve was going to be, and he was already there with a short line.

I noticed that he was taking a lot of time with each fan, which was awesome because that really doesn't happen very much anymore in this hobby. When I got to the table, he was nice as can be, and not only signed a few items for me and took a picture, but even offered me one of the photos they had at the table which was a cool addition to my collection. He also asked me where I was from, and just a few other things, which was nice.

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\My friend had gotten a number of cards signed, and gave me an extra that he had as well:

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Overall, it was a really fun night, and I got to see Pawtucket win in extra innings!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

2014 Summer Recap Volume 1

Hey everyone! I know a few months ago I stopped blogging unexpectedly, and there were a number of good reasons for that. First, as I mentioned briefly a few months ago, I had a huge jumpstart in my career, which moved me for the summer. This was an amazing experience, but it meant focusing more on serious things, Also, I had a lot of computer issues, so finding time to blog took an even further back seat. While I did go to a few baseball games this summer, I focused more on going to concerts, which was easier than ever before because I was in the city. With that said, here are some of the awesome experiences I have had since my last post.

Dave Matthews Band: My love for DMB grew deeply this summer, and i was lucky enough to make it to one of their two tour dates in my city. On the first night they were in the city I narrowly missed meeting Dave Matthews which would have been amazing, but I got to meet the amazing Boyd Tinsley. Boyd was hands down one of the coolest musicians and most fan-appreciative band members I have ever met. I also met Carter, but he wouldn't take a photo with me.

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Jeffrey Osbourne Celebrity Softball Classic: The only time I returned to Pawtucket this summer was for what I expected to be an amazing, star studded event. The list of celebrities for the event was astonishing, including names such as Kareem, Magic, and many more. With that said, I decided to purchase a VIP ticket, which allowed for me to watch the game from the field, and access signings held in the outfield during the game. Unfortunately, the usual poor management of events by Pawtucket led to me missing the biggest names, however I did get some awesome stuff signed.

I was able to meet actors such as Chris Tucker and Cedric the Entertainer, and athletes such as former Red Sox, John Tudor and Oil Can boyd, along with others such as Steve Grogan, Patrick Pass, + more.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Chris Tucker:

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John Tudor:
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Matt Nathanson: I was able to see one of my favorite musicians, Gavin Degraw, along with Matt Nathanson this August. Matt did a meet and greet for people who bought a t shirt, and he was truly such a kind guy. I wish all musicians were as nice and more specifically as genuine as Matt. He took time with each fan, and truly seemed interested in what they had to say.
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I also made it to 3 New Britian Rock Cats games, which I will talk more about in a seperate entry.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Britain Vs. Reading(Phillies) 6/21/14

For the first time in quite a long time, I ventured over to New Britain Saturday night to see the Reading Phillies, and also meet a few Rock Cats that I missed in my earlier trip to the stadium this season.

The Phillies(Yes, I still call them the Phillies and not the Reading Fightin' Phils) didn't have a very good roster, but they did have the Phillies #1 overall prospect, Jesse Biddle.  I had heard nothing but good things about how nice the young pitcher was, and he definitely followed through with my expectations after the game. There was a huge crowd and he signed anything for everyone as he was leaving.

My friend Mike was kind enough to give me one of his extra cards:

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As I said, Biddle was the only Phillies player that I wanted to meet that night, so after he left, I went over to the New Britain side, and got a few of their top young stars

Twins player Aaron Hicks is actually back in New Britain for a while after being injured, for some rehab, and to work on a few things. I hadn't met him since his MLB call up, so it was nice to see an old face.

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Another familiar face that I saw was Reynaldo Rodriguez, who is actually having a GREAT season for New Britain. I imagine he will make the Eastern League All Star Team.

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After Rey Rod, I met one of Minnesota's top prospects, Eddie Rosario:

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To end the night, I met Kennys Vargas, New Britain's best player, who came out last. I actually had to wait a while for him, but it was definitely worth it because he will be getting called up to AAA soon.

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Total Autographs for 2014:136

Monday, June 23, 2014

United States Women's National Soccer Team 2014

In the midst of a very exciting FIFA World Cup happening, the USWNT came into Hartford last week for a friendly against the French national team. I had never 'graphed soccer before, and am still getting used to the venues in my new city, but I was excited to see the women's national team since they really only come around every few years.

I arrived to the stadium early enough for the buses, and let me just say I have never wasted more time 'graphing in my life. There were at least 200 fans outside, and none of the players even so much as walked over.

Disappointed, I waited to get inside the stadium and planned to test my luck in there.

One of the United States stars, Hope Solo did not travel due to a "family issue", and ended up actually being arrested for domestic violence later in the week, which was kind of a bizarre twist.

Abby Wambach did not play at all, talk to any fans, sign for any fans, or seem to want anything to do with being around at the game.

This left me with 2 targets for the night. The first was superstar, Alex Morgan, and the second was rising star, Sydney Laroux.

I did end up meeting Alex Morgan which was cool, because she is basically the biggest star on the team. She was nice enough to sign a photo as well as take a picture with me:
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I was also able to get a few more signatures on my ticket. Those were from Ali Long, Tobin Heath, and Kelley O'Hara.

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Total Autographs for 2014: 129

Friday, June 13, 2014

Daughtry, The Goo Goo Dolls, & Plain White T's 6/12/14

I had been thinking about going to this show since the tour was announced months ago, so I was super excited when I finally got tickets a few weeks ago. I had seen both headliners once before, and had met the Goo Goo Dolls, but had never met Daughtry, who is my favorite band.

The show was awesome as I expected it to be, and afterwards, my girlfriend and I had planned to go to the buses to see who we could meet. The funny thing is, as far as music goes she had a better collection than me by far. It was actually kind of cool to not have to be the one to know where to be for once, because usually I am the one who people are asking for 'graphing advice/help from.

On the way outside, we actually ran into Tom, the lead singer of Plain White T's. In their prime, the band was very popular, so it was kind of interesting to have them as an opener. We didn't watch their show, but I still wanted to meet them, so it was funny that we ran into Tom completely on accident. I took a picture with him, and had him sign a random ad that I had gotten during the night
(I hadn't prepared to meet them like I had the other bands).

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So after that we went outside in hopes of meeting both the Goo Goo Dolls and Daughtry, but especially Daughtry for me, since they are my favorite band, and I have been following Chris Daughtry since American Idol almost a decade ago.

The first person to come over outside was Elvio from Daughtry, and he was pretty nice. He joked around with the crowd a lot, and he signed a photo I had.

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Soon after, Daughtry's manager came out and talked to the crowd and asked us to form a line. There are never any guarantees, but I felt really good with what was about to happen because of the manager actually talking to us. Very soon after this, Chris came walking towards us, and I felt more excited about a 'graphing opportunity than I had in a long time.

The line was probably about 30 people deep, and we were towards the end, but Chris went down the entire line, and was probably one of the nicest musicians I have ever met. He truly spent time with each fan, and that meant a lot to me because he is my favorite musician. He was nice enough to sign and take photos with my girlfriend and I.

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None of the Goo Goo Dolls came over, but I left very happy, and I couldn't have asked for much more.

Total Autographs for 2014:125

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

SURVIVOR Redemption Island Winner/Reality Legend "Boston" Rob Mariano

Just a few days ago, I read online that my favorite SURVIVOR castaway ever, Boston Rob, would be at Mohegan Sun to promote an Amazing Race casting call. I have always had very good luck with events at Mohegan, so I knew if I could make it, I would have a very good shot.

I had ordered photos earlier in the morning for him, but when I got to the store, their photo printer wasn't working, and I literally spent an hour there getting my photos. Needless to say, I will never go back to that store again, and this was after going into work 2 hours early just to get out in time to get to the event.

Anyway, I got to Mohegan at about 4:55 for the 5:00 signing, and it was already underway. There was a decent line, but a much bigger one for the casting call that had going on all afternoon.

I was really excited to know that I would definitely be meeting Boston Rob, and as far as SURVIVOR successes go, this is one of the biggest ones that is obtainable. Rob has been on 4 seasons of the show, which happens to be one of my favorite shows ever, and he won in his 4th try. As any regular viewers know, Rob is an avid Red Sox fan, and became known as "Boston Rob" because of his Red Sox cap.

Also, Rob and his wife Amber, whom he met on the show, and who beat him, are the only married couple in the world in which both members have won a season of SURVIVOR.

Rob was quiet, but really nice. He signed everything I had, and even gave me one of the stock photos that the event provided.

As always, I will update the entry when Mohegan Sun releases the photos from the event.

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Total Autographs for 2014:122

Monday, June 9, 2014

Uconn Head Football Coach Bob Diaco 6/5/14

It's been a while since my last post, because I'm working full time this summer, and in all reality, there hasn't been much around to 'graph. This success was actually not expected, ironically. I was out with a few friends getting some groceries, and we decided to get dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. We all saw a sign outside on the way in, and learned that apparently new UCONN football coach, Bob Diaco is doing a tour of the chain's Connecticut locations this month, and he just happened to be scheduled at the location we went to, at the same time we went. I felt pretty lucky, as my 'graphing opportunities have been scarce as of late.

Coach Diaco was walking around to every table, and actually having real conversations with people which was cool. When I met former head coach, Paul Pasqualoni, he was really unfriendly, and just not fun to be around. Mr. Diaco on the other hand was really cool, and at least seemed to care what people had to say.

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Total Autographs for 2014:116