Here is where I will briefly express my disappointment with this year's Fan Fest. The handlers at the event were awful, for the most part. I understand the policy on one autograph per voucher, but in all of the past Fan Fests that I have gone to, they at least would let you take home a signed post card in addition to your item. Additionally, most players would add inscriptions to your item with no problems. The handler for Davis was especially rude in that she wouldn't let Davis inscribe "hit 2 homers" to my lineup card and she wouldn't let Chris take a post card. Topping it all off, after the session was over, Austin, who is 7 or 8 waited outside of the table area and asked Davis if he would sign his playoff baseball for him. The lady refused to let Davis sign the ball, and caused Austin to cry in the process. I get that these guys are busy and are scheduled to do other things at the event, but this was after the last session, and she could have kept her mouth shut and let Davis sign the ball. My issue isn't with Davis at all. I heard from a friend who has a relationship with a couple players who told me that many of the players were frustrated with the handlers this year. My hope is that this can be fixed so that folks can enjoy the experience a little more. I understand that there is a "one per" policy, but I am seeing other folks at other Fan Fests (Cubs Convention comes to mind) where folks have been able to "rack." Ryan and I summed it up by saying that we have Davis with the O's another 6 years, so whatever we want signed, we have a good shot to pick it up later.
The way the handlers were herding us in and out of the autograph sessions really hurt my ability to whip my phone out and take pictures. The only one that took decently was this one of Chris getting Mike Bordick in the Kids Line. Bordick was also the only player who would sign whatever was put in front of him.
I had doubled up on signing times, with the Zach Britton session the same time as Gausman, so Ryan and Chris used those vouchers for me while I got Britton on my ball.
So, lots of folks have asked me my take on this year's Fan Fest. It wasn't the best one I have been to, but it wasn't terrible. I'm trying really hard to not let the actions of some of the handlers get me down. I was really happy with all of the cards that I got signed, and the few items I picked up. Not pictured are a new hoodie that I got on sale, and a couple items I picked up for some good friends. In the end, I had a great time with my son. I also enjoyed seeing and spending time with Ryan. He's a great friend that I don't get to talk to as often as I would like, since both of our lives get in the way. Finally, I was able to see Michael, and also meet Andy in person for the first time. I think that this was a really productive Fan Fest, even though the haul was "smaller" and I am exhausted from the work I put in.
**A special thanks to Mom for picking up the Britton session and letting me pay her back by buying dinner for my sister and niece last weekend. Thanks Momma!