I have some pet peeves. I am sure every human has some of their own. Some pet peeves are just odder and stranger than the ones that bug me. One of the common ones that I here from people are their disdain for waiting in long lines.
I'm not sure what gets people most upset about this ordeal, the waiting or being around so many random people that are also just waiting. Long lines do bother me. I am impatient at times and hoards of people often annoy me.
This is also coming from a guy that doesn't avoid crowds and lines. I enjoy crowded, dimly lit dive bars. I attend many sporting events, where lines and annoying people are prevalent. I have also lived in or around big cities most of my life.
I can't avoid a crowd but, I enjoy complaining about it.
The Dodgers had their fan fest over the weekend. Of course, I attended, well aware of the mayhem that was going to ensue in the stadium parking lot. I was able to get tons of signatures last year. It was crowded but, bearable.
The 2013 Dodgers Fan Fest was loaded with fans out to see some Dodger players on a nice January afternoon. The crowd was way bigger than I had anticipated. The Dodgers estimated that over 20,000 people showed up. The line to get autograph wristbands was the longest line I have ever seen.
I didn't complain much about having to wait in a line for a couple hours or so. I am so excited that baseball season is getting closer and to see a turnout like this means that other Dodgers fans are also getting the baseball fever.
One of the reasons that I didn't whine too much about the long wait for a wristband that was only going to guarantee me one signature, was getting to hangout with so many Dodger bloggers. The Dodger collectors of the blog world had a nice showing. We had our own mini fest in the parking lot and swapped some cardboard.
Dodgerbobble met up with me in line while I was chilling with Arno the I'm Ballsy blogger and Zakwin the dude that prefers Plaschke in argyle sweaters. Oscar from All Trade Bait, All the Time also stopped by for a chat and trade while I was waiting with Arno and Zakwin.
Dodgerbobble traded me an extra Ramon Martinez auto that he had gotten at a Dodgers Dream Field dedication in the Valley. He also gave me some cards that we needed for our autographs through the mail endeavor.
I thank Dodgerbobble for taking a few minutes out of his time from signing autographs for his fans at fan fest to trade some baseball cards with me.
This was the first time that I met Arno in person. Luckily, he was a cool dude, because the risk of spending time with a near stranger for several hours, waiting in line seems like a scary idea in hindsight. Arno is also the first person that I met from a place called Temple City. This place is supposedly in LA and I believe it is on the eastern part of the county.
Arno also had some cards to trade with me. At some point during our long wait in line, we exchanged some baseball cards. A Chin-Lung Hu signature is always welcome in my collection. Huuuuu is in the running with Johnny Podres for most signatures in my collection. Such an odd pairing to be racing against each other in anything.
I checked out a trade bait link on Arno's blog and saw this John Ely signature. Ely is no longer a Doyer. He was traded to the Houston Astros this off season. This card also features Ely in an airbrushed version of his Chicago White Sox minor league uniform. Ely's signature also has zero discernible letters. Maybe I will give him credit for signing something that resembles a "Y".
Now that I discredited, the usefulness of this card to my collection, I will slide it into my non-Dodgers box and will maybe look at again several years from now.
I really wanted to get new Korean import, Hyun-Jin Ryu's autograph. Ryu is a new rookie, chubby and possibly a really good pitcher. After, waiting for 2 to 3 hours to get a wristband, Ryu was due to sign shortly at this point.
Arno, Zakwin and I all got wristbands to meet Ryu. Mission accomplished. The line to meet Ryu was pretty big. We went from one line to another. We were inching closer to getting some ink on a baseball.
After, finally getting Ryu's signature after about a half hour wait in his line was a relief. I was getting hungry at this point, especially after staring at about 15 food trucks all day.
Ryu is also much larger in person than I thought. He looked like a large man in the photos that I saw of him but, didn't look as tall as he really is. Ryu has the body of David Wells and the face of a professional gamer.
After getting Ryu's signature, we hopped into the much shorter Shawn Tolleson line. I didn't have a baseball card for him to sign so, I decided to add him as the first auto on my random 2013 Dodgers ball. Many more Dodger players should be added to this from this upcoming season. Paco Rodriguez, your next in line to be added below Tolleson.
I waited several hours in line and only got two autographs. Some people may think that is insane and not worthwhile. Normally, I would think the same thing. The chance to hangout with some members of the blog world made the ordeal not seem too bad. I had a really fun time just standing in a parking lot for the most part.
It is also odd that I got more signatures while waiting in line for a chance to get a Ryu signed baseball. The score was 3-2. Winner to the generosity of members of the Dodger Blogger Union.
I am not even counting the bundle of cards that Oscar from All Trade Bait, All the Time gave me. The rubber banded stack that he gave me deserves and epic trade post of its own.
I hope the Dodgers hold a fan fest next year. I also hope that they can maybe, sell tickets just to be able to better judge how many people to expect. The Dodgers probably weren't expectant of a crowd this large. Selling tickets would at least put a cap on the number of people that attend. That will make getting many more signatures an easier proposition.
Fun day at Dodger Stadium. Thanks for hanging out Arno and Zakwin. Thanks for stopping by to talk and swap cards Dodgerbobble and Oscar.