My wife and my kids decided to support my hobby and go try and get a few Sandy Koufax autographs today as he has a line up. He was picky and choosy with people in a group and people were getting hurt. I let them know ahead of time that we would have to be up super early and get there by 6 a.m., a good round number.
The gates opened at 9 and it was still dark, but there were already about 20 or so people with camping chairs waiting in a line. It looked like news footage you would see on Black Friday for that hot new toy. The kids all stayed in the car and slept and played on their tablets. Rick came on out, as we had heard some news that he would be there, and more then likely would sign some autographs as it was his last day in camp.
Around 8:45 or so the attendant to the gate started bag checks, and security and police gave us instructions and lead us to where this line up would be for Mr.Koufax. People started line cutting from the start and grown men started to whine and threaten violence if this person got one before them. As we get to the area it looked like my family and Rick had a premium spot in line. We were able to leave the line to use the restroom or whatever and could return but if we went to chase autographs from other players we were told, "straight to the back."
By 10:30 or so my three children started to get pretty antsy and wanted to wander off and roam around and play video games like normal kids would do after standing around for a long time. Koufax was not seen?!? Yesterday he got hit with a line drive by Andre Eithier but was OK. People started to wonder if he was even there. Eventually he came out and was working with pitchers in the bullpen and we thought this was a great sign that after bullpen he would come over, as it was in the same area.
He didn't. He made his way around to the other fields and people started to get a little antsy and leave, but we thought, better chances for us! By 11:30 the wife and the kids were in full out nap mode and Rick was quiet and comfortable sitting on rocks. 12 o'clock came and security comes out and says it appeared that Mr.Koufax would not be signing and that reports were that he walked off with Zack Greinke and left altogether. This was bitter sweet as the resellers from days before that had gotten him and were trying again all left.
Tommy Lassorda had set up a table to sign autographs instead. If a child brought a dirty baseball to the table he replaced it with a brand new MLB baseball for them! He was he was a little cranky but also was telling jokes as well. I guess that is just how he is. My family decides it's time to leave just as Matt Kemp comes walking by. My stepdaughter sits there at the railing and he signs a ball for her. The family leaves. As Rick and I are trying to go, some players walk by and close-off the exit. Mr. Mattingly takes some time to sign, and so does Juan Uribe. Some of the other coaches stop as well. All was not lost, however, as for the six hours spent in line there was always Tim Wallach available and ready to sign!!