I can’t believe that the off season went so fast. Fan Fest always marks the beginning of the baseball season. The day was finally here. I had done a favor for a friend at work and traded nights so I ended up working on Friday night until 8:00AM. When I got off work, I was feeling tired already. I had been up already by that time about 28 hours. Fan Fest began at 10:00 and was over around 4:00. We weren’t going to stay for the whole thing. I planned to go to a birthday party in Anaheim right after Fan Fest.
I chose one of my Trayce Thompson tee shirts to wear. I had to make sure I brought everything I needed and made a list: Dodger hat, sunscreen, pen, balls, money.
When we arrived, there already was a huge line to my chagrin.
Dodger fans aren’t usually on time to anything but considering this event was free, everyone arrived early!! The line was efficient though but as always, our line was the slowest. There’s that black cloud over my head as usual.
There always is an arch of blue and white balloons at the stadium entrance. The excitement was building.
I came with Norma and Donna. Thank you Norma for driving!!
We hit the Calpis line to get something to drink. Calpis is a delicious Japanese drink. It was only in the 70’s but already getting warm. It seems no matter what, Fan Fest is always too hot. We headed over to the Yard Sale and the Jersey grab bag.
Unfortunately the jerseys were already gone by 10:30. Seriously….that is wrong. The jersey grab bags were $100 and not everyone would be willing to pay $100 for a mystery jersey. They must not have had enough. We stood in the Dodger Wives Mystery Bag line. They had a fundraiser during the season and must have still had leftover bags. There was not one Dodger wife or girlfriend there. I’ll excuse Andrea, Yasiel Puig’s girlfriend since she was in labor with her second son Damian. But where was everyone else?? Big disappointment.
We next got into yet another line: the autograph line. Supposedly everyone in line had a ticket no matter what age. Fans just love to break the rules.
It definitely was a day for long lines!! The estimated attendance at Fan Fest was 35,000 but it seemed like 100,000. It was standing room only. I had been able to get only two vouchers this year: Buehler-Segidin and Koehler-Green. I felt lucky since Walker Buehler and Shawn Green were my first picks anyway.
Walker Buehler…first impression: a very nice, shy appearing young man. Apparently the Dodgers will use him sparingly during the season.
My practice selfie with Rob Segidin. Not too bad. I look better with half a face anyway.
Success!!! Rob Segidin and I and unknown helper.
And then the signing of the ball….he asked me sweet spot and I said I guess. It never matters to me because I’m not selling it anyway. I’m not so much into autographed balls. Once signed, I don’t always know who the autograph belongs to. Does this autograph really look like Rob Segidin?
The picture of Walker Buehler and I is definitely my favorite.
What do you think? He might be destined to be my favorite player this coming year.
And here is the matching autograph..not the sweet spot but on the same ball as Rob’s. He took the sweet spot. Who really cares? It’s a nice autograph.
My next stop was the line for Tom Koehler and Shawn Green. Shawn is my all time favorite. He shows up during the season at some of the baseball games. We’ve become old friends. He genuinely looked happy to see me.
Ha ha. Maybe not.
Shawn doesn’t seem to age. He still looks wonderful. That frown was not directed toward me BTW.
Be still my heart!!
Shawn on the sweet spot.
My big surprise was Tom Koehler. I had no idea who he was. Apparently he was non-tendered on Dec 1 by the Blue Jays after being traded to them by the Marlins. He will be in the Dodgers bullpen. I’m already on his Twitter and Instagram.
sI have to admit my attention was more on Shawn at this point but then I focused on Tom. When I took my selfie with Shawn, the autograph police gave me a hard time about the fact I was supposed to take any pictures with Shawn while he was actually signing my ball. Uh, excuse me, how about the father who was taking at least 8 pictures of his two kids with both players while he held up the line. I know the kids did not have vouchers to even be there. Come on guys….! They had a free junior autograph line if you want to get autographs.
Tom was super funny. I told him I was at every game since I had season tickets. He said he also was at every game. Ha ha.
Signed kind of upside down on the scuffed side of my ball. Kind of like Tom. A little askew. Actually an autograph you can read.
I saw Julio Urias. He waved at me when he saw me. How cool is that?
A few facts to leave with you: Matt Kemp will take part in Spring Training and be vying for left field. The way it looks right now: Austin at catcher, Cody at 1st, Logan at 2nd, JT at 3rd, Yasiel at right field, Chris Taylor at center. Left field still open: Andrew Toles in the mix. BTW he looks fantastic. He’s been working out constantly. Many people don’t like Matt Kemp but he was my favorite for many years and still is my friend. He learned of his trade to the Padres through the media. I mean…really? How is he supposed to react? He will be having lunch with Doc and Puig to iron out any animosities toward each other. But we all have a common goal: to win. Rumor is that he will be traded or set free. But there are always rumors. Clayton and Yu have been practicing together 5 days a week probably since they both live in Texas in close proximity. Yu hasn’t signed yet…maybe he is hoping for a decent offer from the Dodgers? Many still blame him for the World Series loss. He seems to be the scapegoat since you always have to have one. Apparently Clayton doesn’t blame him. And there are talks between the Dodgers and Chase Utley, everyone’s favorite. Where is Andre? He seems to have disappeared from sight.
We decided to leave around 1:30. I was so tired by now. I couldn’t wait to get home.
We had a long walk to the car since the parking police made us park out in the nosebleed parking area. We had a great time. There were too many people at the event. At one point, you couldn’t even move. I suppose the free events are always that way. Most of the fans were ok but there always are some that just don’t know how to act in public. Oh well!!
This is the first glimpse of the new season. The team looks basically the same unlike other seasons where I didn’t recognize anyone. Those players I will miss: Morrow, Culberson, Ethier, Gonzalez. Good luck to them.
See everyone at Spring Training. I will be there in less than a month. Hopefully it will be cooler. They have fixed up Camelback with special shady areas and a new scoreboard. My hotel was less expensive since it is earlier in the season. All this is a plus. The heat in Arizona is at times unbearable.
Thanks for stopping by!!! The blog will be in full swing soon. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my blog. It makes writing it worthwhile.