Sunday, April 28, 2013

AMAZING experience at the D-Backs game! Behind the scenes, Batting Practice, and Autographs galore!

After the Diamondbacks Fan Fest in January I emailed the Diamondbacks and thanked them for a great time! I also explained how we had bought autograph tickets for Jason Kubel, but when we got there he was already gone. I explained how while we were disappointed, the staff went out of their way to get us some additional autographs.

The Vice President of Marketing, Karina Bohn, responded to my email and thanked me for the positive feedback and apologized for us not getting to meet Kubel. She invited us to a game of our choice including an opportunity to go on the field during batting practice.

So, yesterday my family and I (minus the baby - big thanks to my mother-in-law) went to the Diamondbacks game. We met Karina at 2 o'clock in what is called the WOW Lobby. She took us upstairs for a behind the scenes look at the offices of the staff of the D-Backs. She took us into a conference room that was just amazing. Take a look at the pictures below.

In the first picture you can see bats from the 2013 Opening Day lineup. On the other side are autographed baseballs by each player on the 2013 25 man roster. In between are Randy Johnson's and Brandon Webb's CY Young Awards. The second picture shows various awards, pictures, and memorabilia from the Diamondbacks over the years. Pretty cool stuff!

Then we got to go out on the field for batting practice. When we first got out there the roof was open so they had us off to the side in the shade. We were just standing there and Luis Gonzalez walked over and asked my boys if they had gotten a baseball yet. He told them to come with him. As they were walking, Willie Bloomquist walked by and gave my oldest son a baseball that he had been using to play catch with. Gonzalez gave my other son a ball. The ball my son got from Gonzo was brand new. Here they are with their baseballs!

They closed the roof and then had us move down directly behind home plate while they continued batting practice. Wade Miley was taking a few practice swings near home plate and he came saw my boys holding their baseballs. He looked at them and squared to bunt and indicated that he wanted them to throw the ball. My oldest threw his ball. Miley caught it and threw it back. Then he turned to my other son and had him throw his ball to him as well and then threw it back. It's not every day that you get to play catch with a Major League Baseball player.

After they were done batting several players came over and signed autographs. Here's what we got!

Miguel Montero signed 2 8 x 10's and a ticket from a D-Backs Brewers game were he and Mark Reynolds, Adam LaRoche, and Stephen Drew hit back to back to back to back home runs. I got Reynolds to sign the ticket during Spring Training so now I just need Drew and LaRoche. He also signed my boys baseballs.

Paul Goldschmidt signed 2 8 x 10's and my sons baseballs and took a picture with them. 

A.J. Pollock signed these three cards for us and my sons baseballs. He also took a picture with them. 

Aaron Hill signed 2 8 x 10's and my sons baseballs and took a picture wit
h my boys.

Heath Bell signed a card for me and my sons baseballs. 

Patrick Corbin signed a card and my sons baseballs.

Adam Eaton signed his Rookie Card for me and my sons baseballs. 

 We also got Gonzo to sign a couple of cards.

 Here are the baseballs that my boys got signed.

Baseball #1

Alfredo Marte
Paul Goldschmidt
Aaron Hill

Adam Eaton
Heath Bell
Patrick Corbin

A.J. Pollock

Baseball #2

Miguel Montero
Alfredo Marte
Paul Goldschmidt

A.J. Pollock
Adam Eaton
Heath Bell

Aaron Hill
Patrick Corbin

After Batting Practice was over Karina took us back up and got us some Wade Miley Garden Gnomes.

Then we went and found our seats. Here's our view. The tickets were also provided by Karina. The D-Backs ended up winning the game 3-2 in extra innings! This was an amazing experience and something that my boys and I will never forget! Big thanks to Karina Bohn and the Arizona Diamondbacks!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Opening Day and a surprise from a fellow blogger!

Opening Day was almost 3 weeks ago. I'm still catching up on the blog as you can tell, but I'm almost there.

I took my two oldest boys with me to Opening Day, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals. We decided to take the light rail to Chase Field which saved us money on parking but took a lot longer to get there. Consequently we didn't arrive early enough to try to get any autographs before the game started. It didn't matter though because we all had a great time. There is just no other game that can compare to Opening Day! To top things off, the D-Backs won!

Adam, of the blog Thoughts and Sox, had emailed me a couple days prior, asking if I was going to be at Opening Day because he had something for me. We arranged to meet during the 4th inning where the D-Backs Mascot, Baxter, signs autographs, since we both had our kids with us.

Speaking of Baxter, my boys got these Topps Mascot cards signed.

I didn't know what Adam had for me but was really excited when I saw Chris Young signed ball. Adam explained how it came into his possession, but thought that I would like it more since I'm a D-Backs fan and he's a Red Sox fan. He also had a letter from the Diamondbacks about the ball. I'm very excited to add this to my collection! Thank you so much Adam.

Adam also had some cards for me. He had some Cards Featuring Awards and Multiple Bat Cards for me from his Red Sox cards, as well as some D-Backs cards.

 These 2003 Upper Deck Standing "O" cards look fantastic. The only downside for me is the part that says STANDING "O". Otherwise, it's an almost perfect card! Take a look at the schilling and then look at the Gonzalez. The STANDING "O" is white so you can barely see it against Schillings white jersey, but it really stands out on the Gonzalez card. The two die cut cards are really cool and the stitching of the baseball even has texture to it giving you a feeling of a real baseball.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

TTM Success: Daniel Hudson

My oldest son wrote a letter to Daniel Hudson and sent two cards and asked for an autograph for him and one for his brother Brady. I had him include his name because I knew that Daniel Hudson personalizes his ttm autographs. When my son got the cards back, they were both made out to him. I tweeted about the mishap and Daniel Hudson responded to my tweet and apologized. I thought that was pretty cool. I sent off another letter to him and asked him to sign two cards for my son Brady and one for me. This time he read the letter and we got back the cards just 10 days later.

2001 World Series trophy!

The Arizona Diamondbacks partnered with my sons Little League to host a mini D-Backs Fan Fest on March 30th. They had inflatables for the kids and a few tents with local retailers giving a way coupons and samples, among other things. The Diamondbacks also had the 2001 World Series trophy on hand and you could have your picture taken with it and then they printed it off for you. Here I am with the trophy!

TTM Success: Nate "Tiny" Archibald

Not sure exactly when I got this back, but I'm guessing it was during the first week of April, which means it took somewhere between 40-45 days for me to get it back since I sent it out on February 19th. Great return from an NBA Hall of Famer!

eBay Pick-Up: 2012 Allen & Ginter Ryan Roberts Black Border Mini

It's been a while since I've added any new Ryan Roberts cards to my collection, but I did pick this 2012 Allen & Ginter Ryan Roberts Black Border Mini card up off eBay recently. I won it for $0.86 plus $2.49 shipping.

YouTube Contest Winnings

I entered yecards95 YouTube sub contest a few weeks back and won 2nd prize. I won three sweet autographed cards! Thanks Tim!

First up was this 2012 Bowman Platinum Randall Delgado Autograph. Delgado was part of the Justin Upton trade, so he's now a Diamondback! This was definitely the highlight of the three cards for me!

Next is this Jordan Schafer 2009 Ballpark Collection Autograph. I did a little research and Jordan hit a home run in his first Major League at bat. 114 players have done that. I think it might be an interesting little side project to try to get an auto from as may of them as I can. 

Finally, an Alex White 2011 Bowman Sterling Auto. 

TTM Success: Don Baylor

Don Baylor was another D-Backs coach that I hadn't gotten at Spring Training and I knew he signed ttm so I sent him a couple of cards on 3/19/13. I got back the two cards on 4/3/13. Both cards look great!

TTM Success: Alan Trammell

I hadn't been able to get Alan Trammell to sign a card during Spring Training so I sent him a card ttm on 3/18/13. I got it back signed on 3/30/13. The upper right hand corner got a little damaged in the mail, but it's still a great looking autograph.

eBay Pick-Up: 1954 Topps Gus Zernial

I couldn't sleep one night about a month ago so I started browsing eBay on my phone and came across a couple of 1954 Topps cards from the same seller that were about to end and were really cheap. I put in a couple of low bids, hoping to win them both and do combined shipping. I went to sleep and when I woke up I checked and I had only won one of the auctions. I got it for $0.54 plus $1.50 shipping. It was this 1954 Topps Gus Zernial card.As you can see, it's in pretty rough shape, but I still like it.

I did a little research and found out a few things about Mr. Zernial. Gus hit 7 home runs during a four game span back in 1951. He hit six in the first 3 games and had his picture taken with six balls nailed to his bat - this photo was used for his 1952 Topps card. He hit his 7th home run the next day. I don't have the 1952 Topps card, but I'd like to pick one up someday.

He was also the first player to hit three home runs in the final game of the regular season. He was also the first player to hit 4 home runs during the regular season in October when he hit 2 home runs in each game of a doubleheader on October 1, 1950.