First off, it was a mellow, well-planned event. There was one line for season-ticket holders, one line for non-season-seat holders. You had to have your Season Seat ID and they were cool and quick about letting everybody in.
Under one helmet was a mass of street and stadium banners and the guy who sits behind me was the 2nd in line and already had staked out his long-sought Vlad banner. Next to this was a pile of game-used helmets. Pattimelt was there at 6:30 AM and she was maybe 10th in line with some other Angel boosters.
Under the 1B helmet were racks of jerseys – game-used jerseys, team issued jersey, batting practice jerseys. There was a slew of old B-List Angels to be had interspersed with a few legitimate stars. Rarities such as the turn-back-the-clock California-style 80s jerseys with names like Luksiewicz and Pote on them. A late-90s Mark Petkovsek game-issued pullover was spotted. Almost all of it was team-issued merchandise.
Here is the best part – the stuff was priced to move. I got a game-used Jose Molina 2001 jersey for $40. I got a game used Ben Weber jersey for $30. Missus Halofan doesn’t know it yet but I got her a Team-Issued Alfredo Griffin 2003 road “Anaheim” jersey for $30. I got a blank Cooperstown classic 1961 Angels home jersey for $10 – this is a $300+ jersey, but they only cared about moving inventory today, no question. Banners and helmets were $20 each – at fan fest last year, banners were $100 - $150 and game-used jerseys for B-List players were $100.
If you dug through stuff there were gems to be had – Eckstein, Salmon, Edmonds jerseys, Donnelly, and other integral players from the past few seasons were plentiful – if you got up out of bed and were there well before 9 AM.
There were no banners, helmets or jerseys available by 9:20. One guy appeared to have just grabbed a whole rack of prime jerseys and Angels VP Robert Alvarado did a good job of negotiating his doubles and a few non-stars’ jerseys back onto the racks for the season seat holders who were unlucky enough to have been 200th or so in line.
In the center of the stadium’s patio were tables piled high with T-Shirts. There were three styles to pick from and they had piles and piles of them: Bartolo Colon’s 2004 #21 red tee shirt. The 2003 “Just Another Halo Victory” red shirt and the 2004 Division Champions white Tee with a red ringer were plentiful in all sizes and priced at $3 each. There were also player-autographed lithographs and artworks, apparently big on the collectibles market, but being in the art business myself, I passed. It was 9 jerseys, $230 bucks for me.
By 9:30 the look of disappointment on the faces of those arriving to the picked-clean event were matched by the weighted-down expressions of those waiting with their merchandise in a giant line that encircled the patio. This was a once in a lifetime event and the core faithful were rewarded with affordable access to exclusive merchandise by our first-class organization. My only disappointment was discovering that my game-used Esteban Yan jersey is more of a knee-length button-down dress than it is a shirt.
They say if you snooze, you lose and I set the alarm, got up, schlepped down and waited. Now victorious, I am going to go take an afternoon nap. This was just another great perk of being a fan of the organization.