Sunday, August 22, 2010

Matt Kemp Autograph Fail



A couple of weeks ago, I heard that Dodger shortstop Rafael Furcal would be making an appearance at the Verizon Wireless store in the City of Commerce on Saturday, August 21 from 12:00-1:00. I was pretty excited about going to the event and getting my Rafa bobblehead signed.

Well, Friday night, the Dodgers announced that Furcal had canceled, and that Matt Kemp would be taking his place at the event. I was happy to meet Furcal,  but once I found out my favorite player would be there instead, I got real excited.

So, I got my 2009 Matt Kemp bobblehead, and drove down to Commerce. I left late, and I knew it was gonna be crazy. My friends Albert and Chris and Linda were already down there holding a spot. They got there four hours early and were over 300 people back. I knew there was a good chance I wouldn't get to meet Matt, but I decided to at least give it a shot. So I waited it out.



There were two lines to meet Kemp. The first was the regular line that we were in. The second was a VIP line. Anyone who made a purchase in the Verizon Store was moved into the VIP line, and would meet Kemp first. Albert and Linda made purchases, so they went right to the VIP line.  Chris and I waited with the rest of the crowd in the blistering heat.

Earlier, while walking up to meet my friends, I bumped into Roberto from Vin Scully Is My Homeboy. It was nice to finally meet him in person.We chatted for a little bit. I've got to say, Roberto may be the most dedicated Dodger fan I've ever met. He was one of the first people in the line.

Kemp got there on time. The crowd went crazy. The line moved at a snails pace. Twenty minutes after Kemp started signing, Albert and Linda showed up with their signed baseballs. They told us that ten people were going in at a time, and that Matt was signing very slowly. I knew I wouldn't get the autograph. But I stuck with it.

While waiting, a woman fainted in line. The fire department showed up and took her away in an ambulance. It was very hot out there, and the line was moving slowly.



1:00 rolled around and I was still about 150 people back, and there were at least 200 more people behind me. At around 1:05, the crowd started to run towards the front of the store, and that's when I knew Matt was leaving. And I was right. No Matt Kemp autograph for me. He got into the back seat of an SUV, and they drove off. He waived out the window to the crowd, and that was it. Some people booed, but for the most part, it was very calm.

While walking back to the car, we ran into Dodgers photographer Jon Soo Hoo. He was nice enough to take some pictures with us. I am a fan of Soo Hoo's work, so it was it was a nice little surprise at the end of a long, hot, disappointing day.


Me and Jon Soo Hoo

Chris and Albert with Jon Soo Hoo


Once again, I want to say that these player appearance need to be longer. There are fans standing in line for hours just to meet their favorite baseball players. One hour of signing is ridiculous, especially for a player as popular as Matt Kemp.

16 comments:

  1. Gooood Morning! I totally agree with you on this issue,I was the last person standing in line with my brother & I remember, it wasn't even worth waiting, in the super heat for sooo long. In 20 minutes, people did run to the front of the store,to catch a glimse of their "favorite player" so i knew it was over! I try to get in between the crowd and, take him a picture if I could. He was very calm and, did open the back window of his car to wave "Adios" and greet a "cute little girl" and that was a "bread taking moment".I will post you my pictures (ASAP) but after all the conmossion,,,r I was thrill and happy to be with true Dodgers Fans...This is my Town! GO DODGERS!...............Tigerlily* (Dodgerettes)

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  2. Maybe I'm a big geek but I'm happy you got to meet Jon Soo Hoo! This verizon store is about 10-15 bus ride from where I used to live. I wanted to go to this signing when it was originally Furcal but would have love to meet Matt Kemp. Sadly, I had other plans but I already knew that the line was going to be long.

    I agree with you 100% they should make this player appearance at least 2 hours long.

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  3. Tigerlily - When he waved out the window to us, it felt a bit like a slap in the face. I won't take it personally. I know it was a game day and that he has a million things to do besides sign autographsa all day.

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  4. Jessica - Yeah, I'm a Dodger geek too. Meeting Jon Soo Hoo made me happy, but I was really there for Kemp. If Kemp does another appearance, I don't think I'm gonna go. This is actually was the second time I've gone to see Kemp, and the crowd was outrageous both times. I can't do this again. He's too popular, so you have to get there 12 hours early. Forget it.

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  5. tigerlily (Dodgerette)August 22, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    That was a "slap across everybodys face"...I think, Verizon should off make the cell payment worth it...One hour is ridiculious!

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  6. They need to make these appearances at least 90 minutes to 2 hours. Start them at 11:00, not Noon. That would help a lot.

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  7. Nice seeing you Mr. dodger bobble :) Thanks for the mention.

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  8. I definitely need to get him to sign something and write "The Bison" on it.

    That's sick.

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  9. What they need to do is cap the line when it gets beyond an hour worth of signing. It's crazy to make people wait with no hope.

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  10. Roberto - nice meeting you too.

    Greg - That's my buddy Albert's ball. I was so jealous of him yesterday.

    Section 36 - Absolutely. The problem is, it's the Dodgers we're talking about. They have the worst event planning ever.

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  11. Section 36 - Do you ever go to Red Sox player appearances? Do they put caps on their lines?

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  12. First off, there was a game that day, so he can only sign for so long. In addition, as with any celebrity/athelete appearance, you HAVE to get their early if you want an autograph. There's no fighting it. Also, I sure hope you're not one of those people who have people holding your place in line! I was second in line at the Loney appearance and ended up about #30 because people were "holding spots."

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  13. Kat - I meet my friends there. We all have to travel from different places around Los Angeles, so whoever gets there first holds the spot in line for all of us. I realize that's how the problem starts. Too many people allowing their friends to cut in. There's no way around it. You just have to get there as early as possible. There's no way to regulate it.

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  14. Don't get me wrong but I love my Dodgers and would love to go to a signing one day. But I would have love to talked to Jon Soo Hoo and ask him photography questions. His work is inspiring to a girl who wants to be a photographer.

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  15. Jessica - Jon's got a blog now.

    http://dodgersphotog.mlblogs.com/

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  16. Thanks for the information!

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