Marlins Fan Fest 2009

What I Learned From Attending Marlins Fan Fest 2009

1. Regular people are not “very important”

From the time the doors opened at Noon till 3 P.M Tatiana and I managed to get 7 autographs, with Jorge Cantu being the biggest name in the group. To get an autograph it would take waiting in a line while not knowing who was signing for 30-45 minutes.

Without waiting in line you had to be extremely lucky and hope to catch a player walking around without a swarm of people following them. In the meantime, we got shut down for autograph requests by Chris Volstad, Tony Perez, Andre Dawson, Wes Helms, Matt Lindstrom, Jeff Conine, Fredi Gonzalez, and Ryan Tucker.

At 3 P.M I struck up a conversation with two female fans who had been there for quite sometime who managed to get an autograph from Dallas McPherson. They were on the way out and asked us if we were “VIP”. Of course, we were not. As they were leaving they donated their VIP passes and off we went to the second floor to an exclusive party.

The following players signed & posed for photos in the party: Cameron Maybin, Jeremy Hermida, Fredi Gonzalez, Alfredo Amezaga, Hanley Ramirez, Cody Ross, Matt Lindstrom, Ryan Tucker, and Jack McKeon.

2. Baseball Card Shows are depressing

The last time I went to a card show was way back in 1992. Today, I rediscovered the card show and went home with just three cards. The first two were worthless oddballs and the other was a 1993 Upper Deck SP die-cut parallel Jose Canseco I needed.

The rest of the show was full of tables with junk wax, Marlins singles, and memorabilia that many would not pay for in a million years unless they were living in 1995 and didn’t know what the Internet was.

The worst was a dealer with over ten binders full of mixed baseball cards and no order whatsoever. I spent over twenty minutes desperately searching for a Jose Canseco he might have, only to find nothing but 1988 Donruss all over the place.

3. Some players are just not very friendly

Chris Volstad, Wes Helms, Tony Perez… it was clear some of them just had no interest in being at Fan Fest and around the fans in general.

Meanwhile, players like Dan Uggla and Hanley Ramirez… the two biggest stars on the Marlins completely shocked me and other fans by going out of their way to sign as many autographs and pose for as many photos as possible. Out of the entire event, Dan Uggla may have been the “M.V.P” for being perhaps the most fan-friendly Marlins player on the field at Fan Fest.

4. People love free stuff…

Last year’s Fan Fest was fun but was not as full of fans as today’s version. Not only that, it’s the most fans I have seen in the stadium in a long time not counting Mets/ Phillies games. I just have to wonder where these people will be throughout the 2009 season cause it sure as hell won’t be Dolphins Stadium showing their support.

Many fans I witnessed were walking around asking for autographs of players they did not even know the name of. Some other “fans” knew the name, jersey number, and even language the players spoke… that’s cause they were carrying cheat sheets and a binder full of M.L.B photos ready to sell anything autograph they got.

5. Andrew Miller collects baseball cards!

While waiting in line at 8:30 A.M with my wife and a few other crazy fans… a man walked up behind me and offered free donuts. When I turned around I found a giant, goateed-Andrew Miller. While I did not get a donut, I did have him sign Tatiana’s bat and my 2008 Allen & Ginter base card.

At the time, Tatiana had left for the car to pick up a jacket but Andrew recognizing his two biggest fans asked me where she was. A few minutes later, Tatiana, Andrew, and I were having a short, friendly conversation. It was great!

A few hours later while asking a dealer at the card show if he had any Andrew Miller cards (he didn’t), he mentioned that just ten minutes prior Andrew had been to his booth and bought off a bunch of vintage cards. Yes, Andrew Miller is a baseball card collector!

Stay tuned for a full review of Marlins Fan Fest 2009 from Tatiana’s blog.

In the meantime, enjoy these photos!

Pablo Blarto - Marlins Cop
1 of 12 in-person autographs of Andrew Miller
Just a few of the tables at the card show
Simply beautiful...
Perhaps the hardest Marlins player to get an autograph from
Jeff just was not happy to be there today
Total prick. There, I said it.
Alfredo, a class act as always!
Marlins pitcher or criminal? Probably both!
As close as you get to Hanley without VIP
God's gift to a baseball fan



  1. Sounds like a great time for the most part.

    Can’t wait til I’m done with college and can attend SoxFest (White). Reading/Hearing about it from all my friends back home every year makes me very jealous.

  2. Jeez- no mention of meeting your favorite blogger from the ‘954’??? LOL!!!
    Just kidding. I’m happy to hear that you were able to enjoy the backstage experience!!

  3. I guess the miserable players needed the money. Why else would you show up if you didn’t want to interact with the fans. Sheesh.

    Love the Pablo Blarto, LOL.

  4. Tony Perez was the biggest ass i got to sign all day…. he got mad when i asked him to put HOF 2000 on the baseball that i had handed to him….. overall tho great time at fanfest!

  5. Mario, I know your frustration about card shows, recently I was in the Tristar cards show in Houston, of course there were some prospects signing for free but if you want an auto for retired player or astros star, well, that was another universe. On the other hand dealers keep using Beckett guides for their products, so just try to figure out the rest. I forgot to mention that the admission fee was 10$ for person plus 10$ more for parking. The conclusion was I finished up purchasing a bunch of J. Bagwell and C. Biggio for 10c each, most of then commons. Totally disappointing…!!!!!

  6. Hello readers of Wax Heaven, I’m Rab making my first post here since last FanFest.

    First, great photos. You’re camera always has such crisp textures. It’s actually because of you that I plan on getting that same camera.

    Also, I need to interject on one thing. I saw Wes Helms go out of his way to sign some autographs even when security was trying to get him to move on. In addition, Niner was ridiculously nice to me when I met him yesterday and seemed happy to be there, making it one of the best days of my life (he was my hero when I was a kid and this was the first time I was actually able to talk to him).

    Sometimes you just catch guys at the wrong time. The only time I’ve ran into Hanley at FanFest was back in 2007, and he didn’t seem to be happy at all. But I’ve been told that he is one of the nicer guys on the team so I just attributed it to timing. In addition, Andrew Miller was a bit of a jerk to me back at FanFest 2008, but given your story it might have just been the timing of it.

    And about the VIP passes, I actually have the cheapest ticket plan that the Marlins offer and they did send me a couple passes as a “ticket plan holder”. So I guess they give them to all plan holders.

    And lastly to Paulb, every Marlin player actually has it in his contract that they have to be available to attend FanFest and the caravan. Every once in a while a guy won’t show up, like Miguel Cabrera in 2007 during arbitration, but they are all supposed to show up if told to.


  7. Rab,

    Thanks for your feedback. Just curious, how was Andrew a jerk?

    With the VIP passes, did it have a gold star by any chance? I was told that is what was needed for the party? If so, I am getting a ticket plan ASAP.

    One last thing, out of all the players I was most bummed out about Wes. He turned us down a good 3-4 times. So did Lindstrom but eventually we got him.

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