My day started like every other FanFest. Me standing around while all the Members got to go in at 8:30am. They did let us in at around 9:20am, so that was cool. After a couple times of doing the enter/exit circulation, I saw Gaslamp Baller mrbarneydangles. I pretty much see him every FanFest. His time of arrival to Petco Park? About 5:30am. And he doesn't even live here! He's driving down here from 90 minutes or two hours away to get to FanFest. He told me he was on the news early in the morning but I missed it. I was too busy watching the couples ice skating at the Winter Olympics.
Anyways, I hung out with him for a bit, walked over with him to the Yonder Alonso signing session that I didn't have a voucher for, sat for a bit with him and his friends, but left because I wanted to eat before all my signings happened.
Padres At Every Table
When you do the enter/exit circulation, you get the opportunity to get autographs pretty much non-stop. You could do 11am, 11:30am, 12pm, 12:30pm, 1pm, and so on. If you're really into autographs and don't really care about other stuff happening, it's pretty cool to do while you're there.
I spent some time in a few sessions getting an autograph, shaking hands, wishing them luck, etc. It's always fun and it's cool that they're there. But, there was one bad place to be today. The 1st base side of the stadium. But why you ask?
The wind! My word, was it gusty in those sections. Full on wind. Like, really real wind was just blowing through the sections. How the players could stand it was beyond me. And none of them were wearing any hats. Much braver souls than I.
I told Nick Hundley how lucky he was to be on the 3rd base side where there was barely any air movement. Hopefully it wasn't too windy for him when he had to go over there later in the day.
There was also one thing I learned about Nick. He is by far one of the coolest guys out there. No hesitation to just talk to you. He talked to a kid who was kinda shy and Nick spent about 30 seconds trying to guess his name. Just trying to get him to say anything. It was pretty nice to see.
In between autograph sessions, I made my way to the Garage Sale. I'd have gone early in the morning, but I found out that they did not have any Tucson Padres gear there. I wanted to see about picking up some stuff, but there was nothing to be had. And when I'm at the garage sale, I never know what to look at. There's always a ton of stuff that would be cool to own, but I never buy those things. Except for the helmets. I don't need those. Anyways, back to the more interesting parts of my story.
The Search Begins
After the Hundley/Joe Wieland (who I must say was also very nice to meet) signing session, I embarked on a journey to find Axion.
Operation find @ryanmtweets has begun.
— Friar Fever (@FriarFever) February 8, 2014
The Search Ends
It took me about 45 seconds. I got to him before he even tweeted where to find him. I'm just that good. We chatted, he took pictures of random strangers with their own camera. He's just that good.
He and I made our way towards jodes who was with jbox as he tried relentlessly to tweet out everything he could from the Ownership forum. Let me tell you, how he was able to do it with such grace is beyond me. The man's got magic fingers. It was quite a sight.
Axion had seen enough so I followed him through the concourse because he wanted to go gawk at Eric Owens. According to his in-depth reporting, Eric Owens held up pretty nicely. He had "the grey business going on". After that, Axion called it a day. Once he made his way out of the stadium, I saw a tweet from Gaslamp Ball about the Social Lounge so I figured I'd make my way over there.
In The Company of jbox
I saw jodes again and jbox was there trying to break news about Yasmani Grandal.
Talked briefly to Grandal said if he wasn't a catcher he'd be game ready now, but since he is, he's a few weeks off.
— Gaslamp Ball (@gaslampball) February 8, 2014
He was very sad that no one retweeted that. There was a point where I thought I'd have to give him a moment to compose himself, but he kept the tears inside just long enough to talk with Mike Dee for a little bit. Dee came in with Wayne Partello, the Chief Marketing Officer for the San Diego Padres.
I do have to say one thing about Mr. Partello though. The man is a party in dress pants. You can tell he knows how to have a good time. He was very upbeat and ready to talk with anyone there. I think that's why he follows me on Twitter. The man knows quality.
I was also impressed by how many people know jbox. Executives and other important people saying hello. One of them thought we'd met before in a suite. I can barely afford good seats. I don't think I've ever been on the level where the suites are.
The Day Comes To A Close
We left there and walked around the field a bit. People admired the Dave Staton jersey that jbox was wearing so proudly. Some more than others. But, it was good to see the jersey out and about. It has been awhile since I've seen anything about it. I thought it had gotten lost somewhere over the Bermuda Triangle and was to never be seen again.
After that, we walked out of the stadium and into the sunset. But, we separated before the sun actually set. It was only about 3pm. And that was that. FanFest was over for me.
Overall, it was a pleasant day. I was sad to not have spotted del4rel and his "green and stripey" bro tank. That would have been fun. Though since he was in a bro tank, probably not meeting him was a good thing. His handshake must be fierce if sleeves can't even hold his arms back.
Were you one of the 17,000+ fans who made it to Petco Park? If so, how was your day? What did you do at FanFest? Any cool stories? And if you didn't go, what would you have done? Same as me probably, huh? Do tell.
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