Before the trade deadline, Blake DeWitt was scheduled to sign autographs at the Hyundai dealership in Glendora. The week after Blake told us about it, and the day the Hyundai put out the ad, Blake got traded. Instead, they scheduled for AJ Ellis to sign instead.
I was excited. I had only gotten AJ Ellis at the stadium once (Photo day doesn’t quite count). Jamey Carroll was signing in L.A., but I wanted to go to AJ’s. Even though it was way over there in Glendora. I had no idea what time would be a good time to go. I know my friends were leaving for Jamey Carroll’s around 5 or so. I set my alarm, hit the snooze twice before getting up and heading out.
Since it was early still, I turned on KABC to listen to the Peter Tilden show. I’ve heard the advertisements all season about winning baseline box tickets on the Peter Tilden show. When I got to the dealership, the gate was still closed. So I parked the car and waited for someone to come and open up. I waited probably about 25 minutes before someone showed up and opened the gate. I pulled out my chair and set myself in front of the store. Good thing I got a book, because I had about 30 minutes to kill before calling in. At 7:18, I started calling KABC … and I won the baseline box tickets! Yay! And just about that time, the next person in line showed up. Just in time to see me jumping around the parking lot.
We didn’t really form a line around the front. We just sat around in a circle. They came out and handed us numbers, but we made sure we had the right order. Even though we weren’t sitting in that order. About 11:30, Simon texted me to tell me that Jamey Carroll had arrived at their signing. About ten minutes till twelve, an employee came out and had us line up in numerical order. Just as she was telling us to line up, I noticed AJ walking up. He just walked by. No one said anything to him. He got close and I said, “hey AJ!”
They let us in and AJ spotted me right away. He said, “you were the first one?” I laid out my scrapbook and he asked me what time did I get there? He guessed 7. I shook my head. Some of the employees behind me told him I was there before Jake (I think it was Jake) was. He showed up at 6:45 to open the gate and I was already waiting. He asked me if I bought a new car while I was there. I said I didn’t. He signed my book and a photo for Pat. I had some extra photos for him. He told me he had told the guys about my picture and he was bragging about it to them. I slid him the copies and told him he could have them if he wanted them. He was like, yeah! Now I have proof.
Then I got my picture taken with him. I went outside to talk with friends and I checked my photo. I saw how blurry it was! I went inside and asked for another number so I could get another picture with AJ. My friend Erika asked if I could take a picture of her with AJ for her. The lady in front of her asked me to take one too. When AJ saw me come back in and take a picture for the first lady, he asked me, “are you the team photographer?”
Edward told me AJ liked the photo AJ signed for him. He and Sandra had the only two photos that were my images. I emailed one to Edward for him, and one for me. Sandra ended up with it. When AJ saw Sandra’s photo, he was like, “hey! Here’s the partner from the other photo.” AJ had asked Edward if he had caught the ball. When he saw Sandra’s, he was like: Okay, so I did catch it. Bad form, but at least I caught it. I don’t remember what he said verbatim, but that’s pretty close.
I asked AJ if I could take another photo with him. The first one was blurry. He asked me, “was it my fault? It was my fault, wasn’t it?”
Not quite perfect, but I’ll take it! That’s as good as it’s going to get.
Afterward, I exchanged info with Eric and Sandra so I could send them the photos I took of them. And to get in touch on facebook. One of the employees came out and said, “hey #1 fan” and something else. Somehow I ended up back inside and helped the Hyundai employees take their group photo. It was quite worth getting up at the crack of dawn, even if in some people’s eyes it was just for AJ. I’ve always had a soft spot for catchers ever since I became a Dodger fan.