Friday, December 27, 2013
1985 Topps, Tony Gwynn
#717 Tony Gwynn
Here is a card that I almost did not get signed at All Star Game Fanfest last year.
Tony Gwynn was the most recent Hall of Fame inductee at Fanfest that year and there were quite a few people looking to add his signature to their collection. He was doing two signings that day and I knew when and where he was going to be.
As I walked by the first spot where he would be signing two hours later, I was shocked at how many people were already in line. I did not get in that line at that time because there were other guys signing before Tony that I did not want to miss out on. I ended up getting in that line about an hour later and was told by the guy manning the line that we were not likely to get a signature. Nevertheless, it was worth a shot.
So we slinked out way through that line and we were cutting it close. Finally I realized that we were not going to make it, so I took off for the next line where Tony would be signing two hours later. My dad was with me and we usually go through the lines together so I can double-up on autographs, but I didn't want to miss out on other people because I was standing in line for three others. So, I went to the Gwynn line and my dad went out getting autographs from other guys.
When I made it to the second Gwynn line, I was amazed how long it was considering that Gwynn was still signing at the other line. But, I got on the list anyway and started walking down the line trying to find the end of it. I finally got there and chuckled about how far back I was. This line wrapped so far back that I couldn't see anything because we were stuck behind exhibits. So, I just sat down on the ground and waited.
Not too long into my sitting wait, a guy and his daughter came and sat down next to me. Not in front of me, or behind me, but next to me. They had been off chasing Cal Ripken, Jr. and were getting back into line where they thought they were before they had left. I'm pretty sure they had moved up the line about ten people. But, as long as they were not in front of me, I did not care.
Eventually, the line started to move. It seemed to go rather briskly at first only to eventually bog down. Next thing you know, there are only twenty minutes left and I hadn't even reached the actually roped-off lines. By that time, they were letting just a handful of people into the actual signing line. They would let them in, let them filter down, and then let in another handful.
I finally was about ten people from getting in with less than three minutes left for the signing and they started to let one more small group in. The girl that I had been behind the entire time in line made it through the threshold and I followed her like white on rice. They cut it off right after me and that guy who had been beside me started throwing a fit saying I had cut in front of them. I was about thirty feet down the line and the guy in charge started yelling at me to see if I had cut. I yelled back that I hadn't and I had been in that spot the whole time and turned around and got my card signed.
The guy that had been beside me must have told that guy some sob story because they ended up letting him and his daughter in, too. But, I got this card signed and could not have been happier. It was well worth the wait.