2015 Red Sox Winter Weekend

Friday and Saturday I attended the 1st Annual Red Sox Winter Weekend that was held at Foxwoods Casino.

The Fan Fest was set up similar to the way the All-Star Fan Fest was back in 2013.
They had rooms for the Autographs, then 3 rooms for the discussion panels and then a large room that had the interactive games, Red Sox Trophies from the past and a NESN Tv stage.


If you check out the website link above. Its leads you to believe you can get autographs from everyone listed.
Its not till after you buy the tickets that you find out that only some of the players are signing autos and that your ticket only gets you into 1 of the 8 autograph sessions. Inside each of the sessions there is 4 autograph lines. When you register you can select which of the 8 sessions you want to attend. But, you can not select which of the 4 lines you can get on.
Its not till you arrived at the event and picked up your event pack and bracelets that you found out which line you can get on during your session. Bracelets were given out and where color coded depending on the session you had and a year was also on the bracelet. The year indicated which line you were assigned to.The lines were named 1912, 2004, 2007 &2013 which years the Red Sox won the World Series.
In addition to the autograph a photo op of a different player was included. They funneled 2 autograph lines into 1 photo op line.
I had heard that Pedro had a show appearance in NJ, so I selected the latest session hoping he would be featured in that one. After learning the way things were set up I purchased 1 additional tix and took the 4pm session.
The best part is. when you arrived, they told you that none of the prominent players were signing autographs.
Those players were doing the photo op. So, No Pedro, Panda, Han-Ram, Bogarts, Rice autographs.
One good thing that was offered was you could sign up for a virtual waiting list. If they felt there was available spots during a session they would send out text messages and invite you into a session you did not pay for. I registered for the list. But, never got a call

With the potential snow on Saturday. I headed up on Friday afternoon.
After standing online and picking up the packet and bracelets I started to walk around hoping to run into players and try to get autographs before the sessions.
See below to see what was included in the packet
By that time most of the players had arrived. I ran into a couple of others graphing and ended up hanging out near the elevators that lead to the hotel rooms. The players were back and forth throughout the night.
On Friday night I was able to get the following though
Ryan Hanigan, 2 cards, Brock Holt, 2 cards, Joe Kelly, 3 cards, Bill Lee Boston Custom, Ben Cherington Boston Custom,  John Farrell Boston Custom, Steve Lyons Boston Custom
The best line of the night was when we asked Carlton Fisk to sign. His answer was "Uh, I do not think so"
I expected to be turned down my Mr. Fisk. But, you have to ask.

Also on Friday early in the evening a Town Hall meeting was held. It was an event that would introduce the 2015 Red Sox to the public. I had a ticket for it. But, waited outside hoping to grab autographs. Only to find out they snuck the players in thru an adjacent kitchen.
I left and headed to my hotel around 8:30.
I should have stayed. After being turned down by all of the big names. I didn't think it was worth hanging out.

The next morning I headed back to the Casino around 7:15 am and headed back to the elevators.
My first chance for an autograph was Luis Tiant. Mr. Tiant was not happy to sign. I was very polite and said "Good Morning Mr. Tiant. Could you please sign" His response was " What do you want me to sign"  Now I'm holding the ball and pen in front him. Not sure if he was just being funny or what. He took the ball and signed it. But, said "You know I 'm not supposed to be doing this" I just said "I appreciated it very much and Thank You" . After signing he walked away to avoid signing more.
Mr. Tiant pitched for 19 years with the Indians, Twins, Red Sox, Yankees, Pirates and Angels and was a 3x time All-Star.
Every other player turned everyone down. Giving us that same line about not being able to sign until the sessions. The only player that seemed to want to sign was Rusney Castillo. He was about to sign. But, the woman he was with said "NO, we are going to breakfast"

My friend received a text that he was picked from the virtual waiting list right away. My plan was to hang outside of the panel rooms hoping to players as they walked around. The first discussion panel that was about the 1975 Magical Season. This panel included Jim Rice, Fred Lynn, Luis Tiant, Carlton Fisk and Bill Lee. I quickly found out that all players had a FanFest rep with them as they walked around and were not allow to sign autographs.
Since I was getting no autographs near the panel rooms I walked around a bit and went to check out the giant game room that was set up and there was a ping pong tournament going on with Christian Vazquez, Zander Bogaerts, Matt Barnes and Dana LeVangie. I got a good location. But, at the end of the games the players went to a different location, signed a few autographs and then were escorted away.
Watching the ping pong game was Red Sox Owner John Henry and CEO Larry Luchino, I had both sign a Red Sox Customs.
In the mean time. My friend who was in the 10am autograph session found out just how unorganized everything was by staying in the room for 3 hours and getting additional autographs.
I met up with him and was able to sneak into the 2pm session with him
When I got into the room I saw how unorganized it was. Some of the line crossed each other.
Getting online without a bracelet was simple at first.  
Getting on the lines you did not have bracelets for was simple at first. You could make up a story that you had been in the room and that your bracelet had been remove on the last line you were on.
The first line I got on had John Farrell and Ryan Hanigan on it. Since I had gotten them the day earlier I had them sign an 8x10 of the Green Monster. That lines photo op was Jim Rice. The photos are also available online to download.  You could have also given your phone to another rep to take a pic in addition to the one the team took. But, when I got my phone the pic was shaky.
The next line we got on had Drake Britton and Ryan Hanigan. I had gotten Hanigan twice already and skipped him and got Drake Britton on a card. After getting the Britton there was no player set up for the photo so I skipped it.
By the time I got off of the that line it was about 3:30 and decided to get on the line I had a 4pm bracelet for which turned out to be Mookie Betts, I got Mookie to sign an 8x10. The photo op was Pablo Sandoval. At this time the change over for the 5pm autograph started and I saw Hanley Ramirez sit down at the table I was set to get on. So, I got off the Sandoval photo line and jumped on the Hanley line. Just as I got to the Hanley line Mike Napoli sat down next to him and I thought I was hitting the lotto with Hanley. Only to find out he sat down at the wrong table and was supposed to be only doing a photo op.
While on the Napoli autograph line there was a change on Panda's photo op line. The newly elected HOFer Pedro Martinez was set to take photos next. At this point in the day I figured I wouldn't Pedro's autograph. So, a photo with him was good enough.

After getting a the pic with Pedro. Someone gave me a bracelet for one more line. Edwin Escobar and Anthony Varvano were signing and I had them sign Red Sox customs.
After that I tried getting on another line. But, the reps didn't expect our excuses for not having a bracelet and would not let us go.
Now the session was over and my friend and I went to meet up with some others in the game room and and ran into Steve Lyons again. I had him sign that 8x10 that Farrell and Hanigan signed earlier.
After that my friends did not want to stay.
I grabbed some dinner and went back to the elevator area. While hanging out at the elevator I was able to get Bryce Brentz 8x10, Anthony Ranaudo who personalized my 8x10 , Allen Craig 1 card, Wade Miley 1 card, Zeke Spruill 1 card, Christian Vazquez 8x10
During that time Pedro made a short appearance and did not sign. A few minutes later Pedro appeared again. But, this time he was leaving the hotel with his bags and had 3 security guards escort him to the lobby.
A few kids ran after him and got him to sign for them. My days of chasing these guys are over.
We were also turned down by the Panda, Fisk, Bogaerts, Tiant, Porcello and Fred Lynn.
Tommy Layne signed. But, he told me only for kids. Oh, Well. I had never even heard of him before him that day.
The only other player that signed was Ryan Hanigan and I didn't need him again.
I ended up leaving at about 10:30pm. This was the longest graphing day I had ever experienced.

I ended the 2 days with 28 autographs. I had hoped to get more. But, from reading some of the forums I didn't do so bad,
A couple of the freebies were also a 2013 World Series book and a Pedro Martinez Bobblehead

After paying for 2 nights in a hotel and 2 ferry trips and seeing how things were done. This could be my first and last time going assuming they do it again.

I was supposed to attend a Steiner show this week. But, with the Blizzard coming. The event was canceled.
I'm not sure when I'm graphing again.

Thanks for Reading and Check Back Soon!!!