Corey Seager Q&A, Julio Urias, and Other Lessons Learned: Dodgers 2019 FanFest Experiences

The 2019 FanFest at Dodgers Stadium was a huge success. I see it, in many ways, getting better each year. The differing experiences along with improved customer service are part of the reasons for the continued growth and improvements. Most importantly, running into fellow Dodger fans reminds us of how excellent it is to be a Dodgers fan. This article will document my experience at FanFest and will be used to update our FanFest Tips and Tricks article.

Getting There

My wife and I left San Diego before 7:00 AM and I am glad left that early. We had a couple of appointments early in the day and could not be late. We ended up getting to the Lot E gates a bit after 9 AM. The gates opened around 9:20 and, after parking, we headed to the right field plaza gates. We told an attendant about our appointments and he sent us to a gate they’d set aside for people in our situation. For one of our experiences we had to get a VIP pass to start the day. Again, Dodgers Stadium personnel helped us get it quickly.

Selfie With Kiké Hernandez Experience

Our time with Kiké was set up for 10:10 and he arrived a little late. For us, we had to be somewhere else at 10:30, or so we thought. The line did move quickly and my wife and I planned on snapping each other’s picture with Kiké. As we moved to the front of the line we were told we couldn’t do the pictures our way. We needed to actually take a selfie. No problem so my wife went first. I went next and spoke with Kiké while taking the picture. Last year I did the autograph experience with him and, as he was today, he is gracious and easy to talk to. The sometimes goofy guy seems to be a downright good person.

Corey Seager Meet and Greet

We were told to be at the meeting point for the Corey Seager meet and greet at 10:30. It turns out we could have been there by 11:45 and easily been on time for the 11:00 experience time. The took us all down to an area most hadn’t been in before; some kind of owner’s dining area. The format was Corey sitting up front with us having a few minutes to ask some questions.

Questions for Corey

There were some great question summed up here:

Q: How is the new puppy?
A: Puppy is already potty trained

Q: What did you do while you were injured?
A: He played a lot of Fortnite.

Q: Did you have nerves before your first World Series game?
A: He had some and didn’t want to trip on his way up the stairs. Once the game started he was fine.

Q: Did you know you hit that ball out in the second game right off the bat?
A: He did but the emotion wasn’t trying to show up the pitcher.

Q: If the Dodgers were to re-sign Manny Machado would you be willing to play second base?
A: I will do whatever the team wants me to do.

Q: What is your favorite thing about baseball?
A: Hitting

My question:

After about 10 minutes of questions they lined us up for photos and autographs. The time you spend with the player is pretty quick and security seems to want to rush things. While Corey was signing I told him about my experience being at his first Major League game. Like Kiké, he was very kind and gracious. There is not one ounce of evidence that he’s anything but a good guy.

A friend of mine had a picture that his 16 year old nephew painted that Corey signed. Corey’s girl friend really liked it (as did a lot of others) so she took a picture with it.

I was able to get a bonus picture on the way out with the Dodgers Media Queen, Sue Jo.

Autograph Sessions

For the autograph sessions one of the sessions was marked as TBD. With some Instagram tips we determined that the TBD was going to be Julio Uriás. I’d covered his fourth rehab start with the Quakes and I wanted to catch up with him. The times are brief but I was able to quickly reconnect with Julio and Dennis Santana who I’d covered in his first rehab start in September. Below are the players I was able to get autographs from.

Catching Up

A great part about FanFest is running into other fans that I’ve gotten to know over the last few years. Here’s just a sample of a few of them.

Some New Tips and Tricks

Based on talking with others and my own experience at the 2019 FanFest here are some new tips and tricks.

  • Get there early if you have appointments, even up to 11:00 AM
    • The lines for VIP passes were bad. There is room for improvement for the Dodgers in this area.
    • Ask someone for help if time is tight for you
  • For the selfie experiences it really is a selfie you take. Make sure you are ready
  • If you are getting autographs consider the front of the line pass
  • For meet and greets come prepared with a question
  • If you see someone struggling with trying to get a picture during a session, feel free to help them out. Plenty of people come solo and can use a hand sometimes
  • If you want to do the uniform grab bag, they sold out by 11:00 AM this year
  • The line for the garage sale is outrageous. Either go there first or be prepared to wait almost 2 hours

Final Thoughts

The 2019 Dodgers FanFest was a true success and was the best I’ve attended. The weather was like a late Spring day and it was great to be back at Dodgers Stadium. The last time I was there was the epic game 3 of the 2018 World Series. It was great to be back and great to see some old friends and make some new ones. The Dodgers players were all friendly and I’m proud they are on the Dodgers. It is nice to like the players that are actually on the team you root for.

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