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

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rick Reilly in West Hartford, CT 5/14/14

Now that I'm living in central Connecticut, and working full time, my 'graphing opportunities are a little different than in summers that have passed, but I opened up my summer yesterday by going to the beautiful Blue Back Square section of Hartford to meet Sports Illustrated and ESPN legend, Rick Reilly.

Rick is quitting ESPN soon, and he put together another collection of his favorite columns from over the years, hence why he was in the city. He was scheduled to promote his new piece at Barnes & Noble.

I went straight from work, and was the first person at the store for the event. It was a very small event, but there was a good discussion, with lots of great questions being asked and answered.

Rick was really nice, and I tried to get a photo with him, but the kid who was taking it just kept failing, so Rick asked to take a selfie, and we did that.

Check out the awesome title he chose for his book. He said the reason behind it was that he 'collects quotes nobody has ever said, and this was his favorite one.'

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Total Autographs For 2014: 113

Friday, May 9, 2014

Pawtucket Vs. Toledo 5/5/14

As some of my Twitter followers may know, I actually went to this game on Monday night, but because of studying for finals, and completing a few projects I had no chance to squeeze in time to write an entry.

My main goal with Toledo was to meet former MLB pitcher(most notably with the Tigers), Nate Robertson.

There was batting practice, so I knew if he was in the mood to sign, there would be a good chance of me getting him and that's exactly what happened. He was shagging fly balls in the outfield, and when he came in he had no problem signing at all.

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I hadn't really prepared any baseball cards or anything for the rest of the team, mainly because this game was kind of short notice, and I knew I probably wouldn't be staying after the game because I had a final the next morning.

Regardless, I ended up getting many guys on a team piece:
Included are, Casey Crosby, Coach Larry Parrish, who became my 119th Red Sox I have ever met, Brandon Douglas, Former big leaguer Trevor Crowe, Hernan Perez, and Kyle Lobstein.
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This will be my last Pawtucket entry for quite some time, because I am starting a new job farther out in Connecticut. On a good note, that will allow me to go to the much more 'graphing-friendly, New Britain Stadium, where baseball's #1 overall prospect, Byron Buxton, will be arriving any day now.

Total Autographs For 2014:112