So this past Saturday my sister Sarah and I went to the Arizona Diamondbacks FanFest. I had never been before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew there'd be autograph sessions with some of the players and coaches, photo ops, and a card/memorabilia show, but I was really excited to just be able to get back to the ballpark for a kick-start to baseball season!
In order to save some money (and trust me, I was WAY more frugal than I usually would be for an event like this), Sarah and I took the light rail to the stadium from one of the park-and-ride locations in Phoenix. Thanks to the guys at Hot Corner Sports Cards in Mesa, we both had a few items to get signed in the autograph sessions. I had a ball and a nice Big Stick black baseball bat and Sarah had some mini helmets in the old DBacks purple.
We arrived with our goodies around 8:00am only to discover that we should have gotten there at 7:15am - the line was already 50-60 people deep for obtaining vouchers for player autographs. But I figured that we'd be okay and able to get a few signatures anyway. We stood in line for about 2 hours before getting our turn to buy vouchers, only to find out that most of them had been taken by season ticket holders (really nice of you guys... leave some for the poor among us next time!). Players like Brandon Webb, Justin Upton, Adam Laroche, and Augie Ojeda were completely sold out by the time we got to the ticket window! So I changed my game plan and bought vouchers for Jay Bell and Matt Williams (for Sarah) and Chris Young, Ryan Roberts, and Mark Reynolds (how was he not sold out?!) for myself.
As soon as we entered the stadium, we made our way down to the field (all the activities of the day happened on the field itself!!!) and immediately got in an autograph line. This is where I saw my first big mistake of being a fan at FanFest: you cannot possibly do everything. For autographs, season ticket holders get a "Fast Pass" like at Disneyland and get to go first. We stood in the Jay Bell/Matt Williams autograph line for almost an hour waiting our turn, while at the same time the Chris Young line was moving at the same pace. The reason I chose Bell/Williams first was so Sarah could get her autographs, which I think are more important for her to have than me getting Chris Young (which I can do easily at Spring Training or at the ballpark later on). So sadly, my $5 voucher was wasted for Chris Young, but we did get both Jay Bell and Matt Williams for Sarah on the mini helmets: