Yes. I checked my sanity at the door of the mall, but we all know I lost it earlier than that. Sometime after Thanksgiving I learned that a couple of the San Francisco Giants' players were going to be at a local mall to sign autographs for the first 200 fans on December 5th. I'm not such a psycho that I'd let my kids miss a birthday party or some other important event for something like this, but it so happened that we didn't have anything going on that day. And the guys weren't going to arrive for the signing until 12:30 in the afternoon...after they'd been grand marshals of the San Jose holiday parade.
So, no problem. Get up and go to the mall...at 6:30 in the morning. Right? Ick. That's kinda not up my alley, but then again, this is baseball we're talking about! The kids were up for an adventure, so off we went.We arrived before 7am, knowing that once the Giants Dugout opened, they'd be giving out tickets to the first 200 people in line and we'd be free for a little while. We weren't even close to the front of this line. There were at least 50 people in front of us. We probably would've been fine arriving an hour later. But who wants to miss sunrise from the mall?Not Smunch. He sat on the floor, patiently reading a book about Satchel Paige for school.
Fortunately, this mall includes a Starbucks...which opened sometime around 7:30. Eventually, a security guard came around to move the line in a different direction. You can tell from that photograph above that it had formed in front of doors to all the stores. I thought about trying to move it when we showed up, but couldn't be bothered in the end.The line now went from the Dugout store across the hallway, down an entry hall and all the way into the parking structure. We were given our tickets...4 of them...and we were free to roam about the mall. But we didn't do that for long because it soon became clear that we'd lost our spot in line by wandering. We had our tickets, so we were guaranteed autographs, but we'd have to wait even longer for them. We went back to sitting. Lou Seal wandered by for photo ops. That made a great way to kill a few minutes.We had decided earlier that we probably didn't need all four of our tickets, since we didn't have that many items to autograph. I'd made an unfortunate error in purchasing some things at the sporting goods store, so we had more things than we really needed, but still only enough to need three tickets.
(Did I need a replica World Series ticket...for $20??? Uh, no, definitely NOT. Why in the world do I now own such a thing? Smunch wanted it and I'm a sucker. That's why. Oh, and it didn't have a price on it. I never would have considered it at that price, but was too embarrassed to return it once it was rung up.)
Daddy went on a search for someone who looked worthy of an extra ticket. He went towards the back of the line where the tickets had run out. He finally returned, describing someone he thought looked like she could use a ticket...a woman with two boys and no ticket. I went to scout her out. And it turned out that she was another mom from my kids' school and I knew her a little bit. We gave her our extra ticket...only later realizing that we probably hadn't done her any favors. Now she had to stick around and wait for an autograph!
The guests of honor arrived mercifully early and took their seats for the signing. The line moved swiftly and while it was really fun to see these guys up close, one really has to question the sanity of anyone who would sit there that long just for a couple of autographs and maybe a handshake.I think maybe I've lost it. Maybe it'll come back someday. Until then? Well, Smunch has some new autographs on his jersey and a couple of baseballs signed by Andreas Torres and Sergio Romo, World Series Champions.