Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hounding Report: Texas Rangers Fan Fest, January 24

Another January, another Fan Fest.

Chris was a no-go this year, but I helped him out with a few in exchange for a few other items including a box of 1988 Score that I plan on breaking soon. Combined with the one I bought in Cleveland, I should likely have a complete set. Of course, I thought I'd have a complete set of 1988 Topps through three boxes and STILL came up a few short...

Anyways, I got my wife to help me out this year, the first event she's ever done with me. Having skipped a Tony Dorsett signing to go up to Wichita Falls, she owed me a bit. Now I probably owe her after this because we came away with 117 cards and 4 photos signed. Of that, we'll be keeping 101 cards (16 to Chris) and the photos. Maybe only 99 as I know a guy who needs the two Ken Hill cards I got signed.

I saw the list of alumni a couple days beforehand. I had limited luck picking up extras on the guys I was lacking, but Chris and Matt came through with some to help me out. I did have cards of most, with German Duran being the only one I had absolutely nothing for.

Saturday morning I got to the ballpark at about 7:30 am. The event started at 9. Due to the raffle system used to pick winners of the big names, there was no need to get there too early. And yet, I was still 127th in line according to my count. And that doesn't include the trio who left their chairs sitting there to go on  a donut run and return. There may have been even more than that. One even had a sign proclaiming he had been there since 2:30 am.

Get a fucking life, will ya?

Anyways, we got in and had no luck on our random scratchoffs for the big names. So from there it was off downstairs to check out the alumni lines and see what else we could see.  This year there were only 20 alumni signing in one location, compared to last season's 30 in two spots. So it meant the line was longer and slower moving. The first group had Cecil Espy, Kevin Mench, Jerry Browne, and Mike Bacsik Sr. We were about fifth in line and Bacsik showed up late so we missed him, but between the two of us, Espy and Browne each signed 8 and Mench 6 (which was all we had of him). I also was able to help out a few collectors who lacked Browne cards by giving off a few extras.

Since we got through that line early, Gen and I decided to check out some of the other things downstairs. Actually before jumping in line, we went by the batting cages and the Rangers' clubhouse. After group one, we went out on the field, went in the dugouts, and out to the bullpen. It was the first time for either of us on the field there, and only the second Major League ballpark where I've gotten down on the field at all (Jacobs Field being the first in 1998; I can also add Classic Park in Eastlake, OH for minor league fields).

We got in line for the second group a half hour before they were set to go up and made our way through the line. As the day wore on I started to fear we might not get through some before the got cut off, but we ended up fine.  Group two had Mike Jeffcoat, Mike Bacsik Jr., and Bump Wills. I hadn't gotten Wills until there. Jeffcoat signed the eight we had, Bacsik all four, and Wills all 7. I had Chris' Gastonia Rangers card and Bump remarked he had never seen it before and it was he first one he had ever signed.

Group three had Jeff Russell, Toby Harrah, Ken Hill, and a late-running German Duran. I got up there just as Duran arrived, but lacking in cards Gen and I each just got a signed photo from him. Russell was his usual excellent self, signing our 8, as did Harrah.  I picked up a 1972 Topps Harrah in trade earlier in the day from a TAC member, so I was ecstatic to get it signed.  I only brought two of Hill for each of us since he was a pretty strict two-per last year.  He signed them all and a friend told me he signed four for him.  On the plus side, I had told Mark in Chicago (who I had met at the National) I could try to get him a couple cards of Ken Hill signed back in the summer if he was at Alumni Weekend. He wasn't there then, but I had two of the three he needed and got them done this weekend.

The fourth group had another guy I hadn't seen before in former Indian Jim Kern, joined by Danny Darwin and Curtis Wilkerson.  Wilkerson signed our six, Darwin eight, and Kern eight as well. Darwin has been at several events lately and signs via mail as well. I think I have close to 30 cards signed by him now. And yet, I still have more unsigned.

Group five was the last one I absolutely had to get as I had never gotten Jeff Frye before. He was great, signing all eight of our cards. Larry Hardy and Dave Hostetler each signed the three I had, while Gen got a picture signed by each.

We almost skipped the final group since I didn't need them too badly. But after a fruitless visit to the discounted team shop, we went back down for the group anyway. David Hulse signed the final 6 cards I have of him, Darren Oliver 8, and Tim Crabtree the final 6 as well.

So, it's time to restock, but that's one of the good problems to have: it means I got a lot done, mostly thanks to Gen's help. 121 items total is my second-best single day ever in 'graphing.

No comments:

Post a Comment