HELP!!!! All Star Game Fanfest questions

kycardkid

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Just wondering if anyone here at the Bench has been to an AllStar game Fanfest? My Dad won some tickets through his work, so my brothers and I are talking about going. By looking at the schedule at MLB.com there are going to be some big names there and some not so big names from the Reds past that I am dying to meet and get a sig. For instance Barry Larkin is going to be there that Saturday signing from 11a.m.-12p.m. What are the chances of a fella getting his autograph in that 1 hour window? Or even Chris Sabo who will be there from 4-6? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

Tony Kozelichki

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I went a few years ago in St. Louis. As for autographs, back then you got in a line and got an auto from whoever was at the stand. For instance, you got in line at 10:00 while a Cardinals nobody was signing, knowing Lou Brock would be there at noon. Unfortunately, the line went through and you got to the front of it at 11:55 and you got a signature of Ricky Horton. However, some of the non-Cardinal autographs, of which several were Hall of Famers, the lines were much shorter and you could exactly whom you wanted. Much more of a local crowd than the National. A few decent dealers (picked up an auto ball of deceased Cubs all star Gene Baker), but most had little more than Cardinals' stuff. Still, the tickets were free, the crowd wasn't too bad, my son and I had a good time but I probably would not go again if getting autographs was my main objective.
 

katester44

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I was at FanFest in Boston in '99. Unfortunately, wasn't interested in getting any autographs. Had access to the private parties and other amenities, so didn't pay a lot of attention to most of the Fest.
 

just-for-cards

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I went a few years ago in St. Louis. As for autographs, back then you got in a line and got an auto from whoever was at the stand. For instance, you got in line at 10:00 while a Cardinals nobody was signing, knowing Lou Brock would be there at noon. Unfortunately, the line went through and you got to the front of it at 11:55 and you got a signature of Ricky Horton. However, some of the non-Cardinal autographs, of which several were Hall of Famers, the lines were much shorter and you could exactly whom you wanted. Much more of a local crowd than the National. A few decent dealers (picked up an auto ball of deceased Cubs all star Gene Baker), but most had little more than Cardinals' stuff. Still, the tickets were free, the crowd wasn't too bad, my son and I had a good time but I probably would not go again if getting autographs was my main objective.

I've been to that Fanfest and about 10 others. They are a lot of fun but getting a specific auto could be hard depending on which line you're in at the time. And you do tend to just miss getting the auto that you are in line for. Food for thought, split up with your brothers (maybe 2 rows apart in the line your player will be in).
 

mrmopar

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I went to the 02 Seattle fan fest. The autograph area had 2 tables set up and each table had 2 players signing. You were able to get both on your trip to the table, then you could hop back into either line. I think the players were scheduled for certain time blocks, but it was 4 guys per session and two went to one table and the other two went to the other table, randomly. Just before the players came out, volunteers hung jerseys of a team that player played for. Other than the first session of the day, the lines were already formed from previous signings, so you just had to hope you were in the right line when the guests switched or jump out and hope you could get through it in time.

That was my most productive autograph event ever, but unfortunately my stuff was in storage, so most of my signatures were on a program or 3x5 cards. I so wish that I had access to my cards/stuff at that time though, as there were some good signers (Slaughter, Cepeda, B. Gibson, Rice, etc).

Depending on where you were in line, it was sometimes possible to get through both lines. I was lucky in that the one I really wanted, I was already in the correct line and fairly close to the front.
 

KCLJ520

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In keeping with what Tony said, I too was at the 09 Fanfest. Surprisingly good given how many people were there, it was a lot of fun too.

Rollie Fingers gave away pre-signed items and had a photo op during this time, but did not sign memorabilia. I know he signs for a living now, so that might be part of it, but his line moved very fast, so that may be helpful as well.

My advice? Go! It was a lot of fun, and there were a lot of other things to do when not waiting in line. Good idea that just for cards had to split up as well, that will maximize your ability to get through lines, or get items signed.

One more piece of advice: make a graphing board before you go. People use folders or I have often just used a piece of cardboard with photo corners to hold cards down. This way you are not shuffling through cards, toploaders, cases, etc. to get your item ready. Or wear cargo shorts if you are carrying baseballs, that way you dont have to mess with your backpack too much in line.

God Bless, have a lot of fun!

Kevin Mc

***GET A SEATING CHART!! The ushers all have these, or should. If you come across an usher that doesnt, keep asking. These are essential, as they tell you who is sitting where, and when! This way you can plan your route through the event and maximize your signers!
 
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