Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014 Pawtucket Red Sox Christmas Party with Drake Britton & #1 Prospect Blake Swihart

A few Fridays ago was the annual Pawtucket Red Sox Christmas party and while they usually don't bring in very good players to interact with fans, this year was much different. For this year's party it was announced that Red Sox pitcher, Drake Britton, and newly appointed #1 overall Red Sox Prospect, Blake Swihart would be attending.

I had met Britton a number of times in the past, but had surprisingly never met Swihart. I say surprisingly, because usually by the time a Red Sox player has made it to the AAA level I have at least seen them at AA and sometimes even  A. Nonetheless, I was excited for this opportunity.

The event was scheduled for 6 I believe, and I was working in Connecticut til around 5. This wasn't a big deal because it doesn't take too long to get to Pawtucket most times. Unfortunately, I hit rush hour traffic which delayed my arrival, but this wasn't a problem as both players were scheduled to be there until 8.

When I got to the stadium, I first walked into the team store where Blake was at a table greeting fans. He was really great, and signed everything I presented to him. I was really happy to have finally met this player with such a promising future.

After I was done talking to Blake, I walked to the Red Sox clubhouse where Drake was greeting people. He also signed whatever people had, and actually offered to sign the extra photo I had of him before I could even ask him.

This was a great, quick event, with some solid players and I really hope the Pawtucket Red Sox keep bringing players like this in to sign rather than any random players they can get a hold of.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Train 12/12/14

Friday night was 96.5 TIC's annual All Star Christmas concert in Connecticut, which meant some of the biggest names in popular/lighter rock music such as Train,Daughtry, Ingrid Michaelson, Matt Nathanson + more would be around. The event was being held at a venue I have had success with in the past, so I thought it would definitely be a good idea to try to meet some of the bands.

I got to the venue really early, and after about 2 minutes of standing where I usually stand, the security guy kicked me out and said, "Since the parking lot isn't open yet, you can't come back until 5." I thought this was a load of bull $h!t because the parking lot was open, but I didn't argue in hopes of saving any chance I had of spending time there later. Anyway, I left and got some food and came back around 5 but it was clear that all of the bands were inside and the buses weren't even running, which made it even more clear that I would have to wait until later, so I just went inside and waited until the doors opened at 6.

Fast forward to after the show. I went straight outside, and Daughtry's buses were already gone, as were many of the others. The headliner was Train, so I knew I would at least have a shot at them.

After maybe a half hour, Pat Monahan walked out, and before anyone(there were like ten of us) even said anything, he waved and said he would be right back out. His manager told us he was just grabbing him another jacket, and as he said, 2 minutes later he emerged from the bus and came right over to me.

I should mention that the same security guy that kicked me out earlier, ended up telling everyone to line up behind me since I had been there all day. I thought that was pretty nice, and it made me kind of glad that I didn't go off on him earlier.

Pat was very nice. Looking back, I wish I had the "Drops of Jupiter" or even "California 37" albums, but I had made a last minute decision to go, and only had Train's newest album. Nonetheless, I was thrilled to meet Pat, and he was great to everyone.

Jimmy was obviously the other guy I wanted to meet, but the band's manager said he had ran out right after the show since he had his baby with him.

Overall, I couldn't complain about my results because I had left the venue having met one of the most popular and consistent bands of the last twenty years.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Top 50 Interactions of 2014

Another great year is in the books, which means it is time for the 4th annual GB Autographs Best of the Year Countdown!

In my opinion, I think this may be the strongest year overall for the blog ever, which is saying a lot because 2013 was amazing.

I can't wait to hear all of your feedback, and while I have stepped back a little since starting my new job/life happened, I really appreciate you all still coming back to read time and time again.

Previous Countdowns:

As always, this list is highly subjective, and is based on 2014 relevance of the person,quality of the person in their area of work, my liking of them, and my experience with them.

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Rank|Name|Job|Place I Met Them

50. Manny Delcarmen,2007 World Series Champion w/ Red Sox, Pawtucket,RI
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49. Steve Lyons, Former Red Sox/Current Analyst, Pawtucket,RI
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48. Henry Owens, Red Sox Top Pitching Prospect, New Britain,CT
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47.Officer Steve Horgan, 2013 World Series Icon, Pawtucket,RI
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46. Luke Hancock, 2013 NCAA Final Four MVP, Storrs,CT
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45. Montrezl Harrell, Star Louisville Player, Storrs,CT
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44. Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks, Wethersfield,CT
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43. Evan Turner, Boston Celtics, Uncasville,CT
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42.Boston Rob Mariano, SURVIVOR Redemption Island Winner,Uncasville,CT
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41.Rick Reilly, Journalist,West Hartford,CT
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40.Brandon Workman,Boston Red Sox, Pawtucket,RI
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39.Sean Rodriguez, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston,MA
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38.Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox, New Britain,CT
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37.Grant Balfour, Tampa Bay Rays,Boston,MA
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36.Maurice Clarett, Former All-American Running Back,Willimantic,CT
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35.Munenori Kawasaki,Toronto Blue Jays, Pawtucket,RI
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34.Bryce Cotton, Former Providence Friar, Providence,RI
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33.Kevvin Ollie, Former NBA Player/Current UCONN Head Coach, Storrs,CT
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32.Ricky Moore, Former UCONN Basketball Star, Storrs,CT
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31. Tom Higgenson,Plain White T's, Wallingford,CT
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30.Brandon Bass,Boston Celtics,Uncasville,CT
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29.Kelly Olynyk,Boston Celtics,Uncasville,CT
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28.Jeff Green,Boston Celtics,Uncasville,CT
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27.Chris Webby,Rap Artist,Meriden,CT/Providence,RI
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26. George Springer, Houston Astros Star, Wethersfield,CT/Providence,RI
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25.Ron Washington,Former Texas Rangers Manager,Boston,MA
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24.Ryan Boatright, UCONN Basketball Star,Storrs,CT
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23.Daniel Nava, Bostyon Red Sox, Pawtucket,RI
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22.Brock Holt, Boston Red Sox, Pawtucket,RI
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21. Shabazz Napier,Miami Heat,Storrs,CT
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20.Jared Sullinger,Boston Celtics,Uncasville,CT
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19.Avery Bradley,Boston Celtics,Uncasville,CT
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18.Jim Calhoun,Naismith Hall of Famer/Former UCONN Head Coach,Storrs,CT
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17.Nick Cannon,TV Star(Wild 'n Out,America's Got Talent),Uncasville,CT
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16. Jeff and Matt Hardy, Former WWE Stars, Waterbury,CT
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15. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Former WWE Star, Waterbury,CT
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14. Dick Vitale, Naismith Hall of Famer/ESPN Analyst, Storrs,CT
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13. Rick Pitino, Naismith Hall of Famer/Louisville Head Coach, Storrs,CT
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12.Matt Nathanson, Musician,Wallingford,CT
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11.Walt Frazier,Naismith Hall of Famer,Uncasville,CT
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10.Cedric the Entertainer,Actor/Comedian,Pawtucket,RI
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9.Chris Tucker,Actor,Pawtucket,RI
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8.Alex Morgan, United States Soccer Star, Hartford,CT
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7.Ray Allen, NBA Legend & 3 point King, Storrs,CT
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6.Madeleine Albright, Former Secretary of State, Willimantic,CT
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5.Boyd Tinsley,Dave Matthews Band,Hartford,CT

-A member of one of my favorite bands of all time, Boyd has been in the spotlight for around 2 decades now, and when I met him was one of the most caring/appreciative musicians I have ever met.
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4. Yu Darvish,Texas Rangers Star, Boston,MA

-My first big success in Boston. I am one of the biggest Red Sox fans out there, but I had never really made it up to many games until last year. Meeting Yu after batting practice certainly made me see the potential of 'graphing in Boston, and 2014 was just the tip of the iceberg.

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3. Shane Victorino, 2013 Red Sox Hero, Pawtucket,RI

This was probably my most shocking success ever. Shane is notoriously known as one of the meanest guys in all of sports, but luck, and knowing where to be made for an early season success I will never forget.
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2.Chris Christie,Governor of New Jersey,Groton,CT/Windsor Locks,CT

-I had been wanting to start getting more political autographs, and the way I succeeded  with Chris Christie over two weeks in late October/early November made a strong case for me continuing as the 2016 election looms.

Let's hope CC runs a successful campaign in 2016!

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1.Chris Daughtry,Daughtry,Wallingford,CT

I went into this night with the hopes of just having a good time at my favorite band's concert, and I left well after midnight having met one of the people who has been high on my list to meet for the longest time. I have been following Chris closely literally since the airing of his American Idol audition, and now 4 albums later, I am still a huge fan. This encounter meant so much to me, both as a fan and musician.

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