I know y'all have been eagerly
dreading anticipating waiting all weekend of my recap of Rangers FanFest 2011. :) Oh yeah, grab a cup of coffee (tea, Dr Pepper, adult beverage, whatever drink you fancy), sit back and enjoy my long post for the day! ;) **stretch**
Just to let you know, I posted a lot (and I mean A LOT) of pictures on my blog's Facebook page of Fanfest. Click here to view them all (even if you don't have a Facebook account, you should be able to view them). If you aren't a fan of my page already, go ahead and like it (you know you want to!)
This year FanFest was a two day event at the Arlington Convention Center. The past few years it's been a one day event held at the Ballpark, but this year they tried something different. As much as I liked being inside where it was warm (instead of outside at the Ballpark in 30 degree temperatures), it did get a little crowded in there. But there were also 11,000 people there over the two days, which is three times as many people as last year. We gained some new fans going to the World Series- we welcome all fans! Just promise to stick with them from now on, through thick and thin! :)
My Saturday started at 7am (only my sweet Texas Rangers could get me up at 7am on a Saturday). The doors weren't scheduled to open until 9 and when I got there about 8, the line was already wrapped around the building. I can't even estimate how many people were ahead of me in line, but I wouldn't be surprised if you told me 1,000. We ran into people who got there at 1am and waited in their car until about 5am to get in line. Yeah, I'm a dedicated fan, but I don't need to get there at 5am! :)
This was the line in front of me. We were looping lines around in the parking lot. The line went around the corner (upper left corner of picture) towards the front door.
Last year it was in the 20s and snowing while I was waiting in line. This year it was maybe in the low to mid 30s, but it didn't seem as cold. Maybe it was because I knew we were eventually going to be inside where it was warm.
Looking adorable in my knit cap that my friend Monica made me!
This year they did the autograph system a little different. This year they handed out different color wristbands for each player. You could only have one wristband at a time (that prevented people from "holding" spots in lines and having friends cut in). If you had a wristband, you were guaranteed an autograph from that player. After you got the autograph, they would cut off the wristband and you could go get another one (if there were any available). Now, they only allow about 200-250 wristbands per player. I totally respect that. I wouldn't want to sign my name that many times. Unfortunately, those wristbands went fast. I heard that on Saturday alone there were 6,000 people there (I totally believe that-it was like herding cattle). They gave out wristbands two hours before the autograph session started. Lines for the wristband line started forming 4 hours before they were even going to be handing out the wristbands. Those were some determined fans! Luckily I've gotten a lot of autographs the past few years, so I wasn't needing a lot of people's. In fact, the three I got were three of the ones I needed! :)
So anyways, about 8am, they started handing out the wristbands for the 10am signings to those standing in line. As most of you are aware, I have a tiny sports crush on pitcher C.J. Wilson (I know, I'm way to old too have a crush- I can't help it). Sadly they were out of his wristbands by the time they got to me, but I was able to get one for Ron Washington (the manager of the Rangers). That was awesome. My friend Aaron (who I just realize didn't appear in any of my pictures- what's up with that Aaron, how did that happen) and I waited in line to meet Wash (as we call him). Wash was super nice. He made small talk with everyone and was nice enough to smile for pictures. The autograph lines don't allow you to have your picture taken with them (again, understandable, that would cut into autograph time). Aaron did get a picture of me taking a picture of Wash though! :)
Taking a pic of Wash
As Wash says, "that's the way baseball go!" ;)
So, for all of you who make fun of my constant "tweeting", it paid off on Saturday (follow me on Twitter here). While waiting in line to meet Wash, I noticed that C.J. posted on Twitter that he would be at his charity's booth signing autographs from 11-noon. So after meeting Wash, Aaron, my friend Monica (who met up with us) and I went and got in line about 10:20 to wait on C.J.
Waiting to see C.J.
I debated if I wanted to share this next story with y'all, but I think I will. While waiting in line we made small talk with the girl in front of us (yeah, I thought I was a devoted sports fan. The girl had memorized TV and radio "calls" of plays from college football games from like 3 years ago- word for word). She was...interesting. Anyways, behind us there were these two teenage guys. I have a bad habit of talking with my hands and I elbowed this poor kid a few times (he was very nice about it). I joked that he was probably going to have bruises by the end of the day. So, we had been in line for about 20 minutes or so when I hear this man behind us say, "you cut in front of my son." I didn't think much about it until I heard the kid behind me start talking. I turned around and I told the man, "Sir, these guys have been behind us the whole time. We've been here almost 30 minutes." The guy called me a liar (oh yeah, those were his words). He was like, "You have been here, and she (pointing to Monica) has been here, but these two and him (pointing to Aaron) have cut in front of me and my son." First of all, my friend Aaron is 6'2. He's hard to miss. Those teenagers were pretty tall as well. I was about to bust loose on the guy (because the wrath of Rachel is not one to be messed with), but I didn't want to get kicked out and miss seeing C.J., so I bit my tongue. I may or may not have had to keep my friends from busting a cap though (like how I talk ghetto?) :) The man kept calling all of us liars (my friends, the girl in front of us and the two teenagers). I finally told the others the man wasn't worth it and to just ignore him, so we did (and he eventually shut his mouth). Later on we ran into a guy who said he had been standing behind that man in the C.J. line and that he was a jerk (he might not have said the word jerk, but I keep this blog family friendly!) He also said that man and his son had cut in front of him, but he opted to not say anything. Some people are just rude- good grief people! Get a life!
Okay, enough venting, back to happy stuff. We finally got to C.J.'s booth. He was super nice. He has a great charity to help local children's hospitals (please check out his website here). I bought a T-shirt (all proceeds went to his charity). The T-shirt I bought is the same one C.J. is wearing in the pictures below. C.J. had been signing for an hour in his "designated" autograph spot, and he signed for an additional 2 hours at his booth. That is three straight hours. He's a classy guy! And he even took pictures with everyone at his booth.
Fan girl moment...
I promise I didn't squeal or freak out- I remained very calm! You can ask my friends...
I've already typed more than I had planned. Basically for the remainder of the day on Saturday and Sunday afternoon (yes, we went back on Sunday), we were able to get pictures taken with different Rangers players (current and former). We also got our picture taken with the American League Championship trophy.
With Catcher Matt Treanor. SUPER NICE guy. He introduced himself (like we didn't know who he was) and he asked our names. He did that with everyone. His wife is volleyball player Misty May Treanor.
Former Rangers player Todd Van Poppel
Rangers outfielder Craig Gentry. He doesn't play much so I'm not sure how good of a player he is. He did smell nice though (sorry, girls notice nice smelling cologne, I can't help it.) ;)
Why yes, I am touching the AL Championship trophy. They didn't say that we couldn't! :)
My birthday is in May if anyone wants to buy me this lovely Rangers blanket! :)
Rangers mascot Captain at the Q&A podium.
Second baseman Ian Kinsler during the Q&A session.
I know a lot of you have asked about Josh Hamilton. They thought in order to be fair, they would have a raffle to win a wristband to get his autograph. Since I got his autograph last year, I didn't necessarily need it this year. The crowd was insane waiting on him to get there. The room was packed.
This is just the crowd waiting to catch a glimpse of him, the autograph line is somewhere in the middle. I stayed near the back, I don't like feeling like a sardine!!
I was able to get this picture of him signing autographs though.
Just an FYI for any local fans wanting to get Josh's autograph- I've noticed if you bring a copy of his book (Beyond Belief) to a game, he's more likely to sign it. I've seen him stop and do that on more than one occasion. His book is really good- I know I've said that before, I'll say it again! He signed his book for me last year at Fanfest. He even personalized it (they normally don't do that at Fanfest).
Overall, Fanfest was a lot of fun! There are a few things they can do to improve it for next year (it's a learning process for the new owners), but I really liked that we were able to get pictures with players, and I like how the Q&A sessions were set up. You could listen to the Q&A while waiting in line for pictures or shopping at the gift shop. It wasn't in a separate room like it has been in the past.
Wow, if you have made it to the bottom of my post today, you are a true friend. Thank you for reading and letting me share my giddy 15 year old baseball fan girl moments! For all of you visiting today from For the Love of Blogs, I promise I don't usually ramble THIS much. At least not every day!! XOXO!