Saturday, March 19, 2005


Celebrity Autographs And Celebrity Addresses

Former WWF and WCW World champion Bret Hart will be in the Los Angeles, California area on Saturday 4/2 for an autograph signing at Rob Van Dam's Five Star Comics, located at the Lakewood Center Mall from 10 AM- 12 PM. Of course, that falls right into the midst of Wrestlemania 21 weekend, just a few hours before that day's WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, so it's interesting timing to say the least.

Also scheduled to appear for signings at the store are Spike Dudley on Wednesday 3/30 at a time to be announced, Chris Benoit on Thursday 3/31 at 6 PM and Kane on Friday 4/1 at 6 PM.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Soap stars to return to Marco  

Celebrity Autographs And Celebrity Addresses

Soap stars are returning to Marco Island for the sixth year to raise money for the Marco Island Film Festival's Young Filmmaker program.

From April 29 through May 1, you can visit with stars from All My Children, As The World Turns, One Life To Live and Guiding Light, as they mingle with Southwest Florida residents and visitors during three days of cruises, parties and fun.

Here's the guest list so far:

* All My Children: John Callahan (Edmund Grey).

* One Life to Live: Mark Dobies (Daniel Colson), Dan Gauthier (Kevin Buchanan).

* As The World Turns: Marie Masters (Dr. Susan Stewart), Sarah Brown (Julia Larrabee).

* Guiding Light: Kim Zimmer (Reva Shayne Lewis), Michael O'Leary (Dr. Rick Bauer), Mandy Bruno (Marina Cooper), Beth Ehlers (Harley Davidson Cooper), Frank Dicopoulos (Frank Cooper), Stephanie Gatschet (Tammy Winslow), John Driscoll (Henry "Coop" Bradshaw), Doug Hutchison (Sebastian), Ricky Paull Goldin (Gus Aitoro), George Alvarez (Father Ray Santos), Crystal Hunt (Lizzie Spaulding), Tom Pelphrey (JB/Jonathan Randall).

The list continues to grow.

The 2005 event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 29 aboard the beautiful Ramblin' Rose with an exclusive VIP Champagne Dolphin Watch Yacht Cruise followed by a private welcome party for the celebrity guests. This event is limited. Tickets are $100.

At 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, it's a "can't miss event" with the popular Brunch In Springfield. This year it will be held at the Radisson Hotel on Marco Island and will feature photo opportunities with such residents of Springfield, Oakdale, Pine Valley and Llanview. Celebrity guests from All My Children, As The World Turns, One Life To Live and Guiding Light will be available for autograph signing, photos, Q&A, auctions and much more. This event sells out fast so get your tickets early. Tickets are $65 per person (includes lunch).

The fun continues later that night at one of Marco's popular nightspots with Celebrity Bartender Bash at BlĂș Fusion. Daytime celebrities will be pouring drinks all night long to raise money for the kids. Tickets are $20 and include entertainment, raffle and a party.

From noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 1, you'll hop aboard the Marco Island Princess for an afternoon of Cruisin', Boozin', & Schmoozin' With The Stars. This event provides the perfect opportunity to mix and mingle with daytime's best during this sightseeing tour of Marco. Get autographs, photos and enter to win raffle prizes. Cruise tickets are limited at $65 (includes food).

For ticket information, call 642-3378 or visit www.marco

"Monster Garage" pitchman "The Big Schwag" to sign Autographs at Food Lion AutoFair 

Celebrity Autographs And Celebrity Addresses

CONCORD, N.C. -- "The Big Schwag," leader of Discovery Channel's "Monster Nation" and host of the cable channel's hit series "Monster Garage," will greet fans and sign autographs as part of a special "Monster Garage" display during the April 7-10 Food Lion AutoFair at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Joining "The Big Schwag" for autograph sessions on Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9, in the Food Lion Pavilion will be "Monster Garage" regular Chris "Body Drop" Artiaga. In addition to greeting fans and signing autographs, the two will supervise a "Monster Garage"-style build that will take place throughout the four-day show.

"We are going to take a Legends race car and cross-breed it with a golf cart," Wagner explained. "What we are going to end up with is a 100-mph golf cart on low-profile tires and big wheels."

With Jesse James and gang building numerous wild-and-crazy automotive creations on "Monster Garage," Wagner is no stranger to custom cars and this will be his second visit to Food Lion AutoFair, the nation's largest automotive extravaganza.

"I've always been into cars," Wagner said. "That's what makes 'Monster Garage' such a natural fit. Through 'Monster Garage,' I discovered the Food Lion AutoFair, and I am glad I did."

Wagner's acting career started at age 21 and the Hollywood, Calif., resident has appeared in numerous movies and television shows. He recently inked a contract extension to continue as the voice of "Monster Garage" for a fourth season and is also slated to host four Discovery Channel "How to Monsterize Anything" specials during 2006.

At 6 foot 3 inches and 240 pounds, "The Big Schwag" is also known as professional wrestling's biggest manager. In addition to his work on Discovery Channel, "The Big Schwag" manages Ultimate Pro Wrestling, one of World Wrestling Entertainment's minor league companies.

As leader of the "Monster Nation," "The Big Schwag" thrives on all things mechanical, but being surrounded by thousands of cars is not the only attraction that has him packing his bags for the April 7-10 Food Lion AutoFair.

"I like meeting the people," said Wagner. "I also like the city of Charlotte-it's NASCAR country and I am going to spend a few days checking out the attractions. I plan on touring all of the race shops and I am looking forward to a fun weekend at the giant car show."

The four-day Food Lion AutoFair includes a car show featuring various makes and models from more than 50 clubs, thousands of parts and memorabilia vendors and a collector car auction conducted by Tom Mack. A car corral, located on the speedway, features nearly 2,000 vehicles of all makes and models that are available for sale or trade.

Food Lion AutoFair hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking for the event is $5.

Contact the Lowe's Motor Speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com for additional information.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Kerry Earnhardt will be at Montgomery Saturday 

WhoWon.com ... The Internet Source for Motorsports News and Information

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Grand Opening night of the NEW Montgomery Motor Speedway will be this Saturday, March 19th. Nextel Cup Driver Kerry Earnhardt will be at the Speedway to visit with the fans and sign autographs.

In addition, there will be a $5000 to win Super Late Models event, a 40 Lap Pro Late Model Points Race a 30 Lap Super Stock Points Race and a 25 Lap Pure Stock Points Race.

There will be a FIREWORKS display at the end of the race! Racing begins at 7:00.

For more information, check out the Speedways website at www.montgomeryspeedway.com

Monday, March 14, 2005

Proposed law to ban sales of autographs is out of bounds 

Proposed law to ban sales of autographs is out of bounds

Here's a tricky question: Should any kid under age 16 be allowed to fork over his or her allowance to buy an autograph from a professional athlete or celebrity?

Lawmakers in Rhode Island stepped up to the plate on this one last week. A Senate committee approved a bill that would prohibit athletes, entertainers and promoters from charging a fee for any autograph to a child under 16. The measure goes next to the full Senate for a vote.

Such a law sounds like a good idea, combining the elements of rich, spoiled celebrities and vulnerable children. Pending further review, however, the proposed law is out of bounds.

The concept of kids shelling out cash for some ballplayer's signature is hard to stomach. Who wants to defend the right of wealthy "heroes" getting richer off starry-eyed youths, especially as so many celebrities are revealed to have stature in talent, not character.

A ban on charging youths for autographs, however, has several flaws. For one, it creates a scenario of newly entitled kids going to an autograph show demanding their "free autograph." Worse, it's likely that unscrupulous collectors would learn to dangle a few bucks in front of those kids - buying those free signatures then selling them on the Internet. It's a fact that celebrity autographs are a big business.

No, the best route here is for parents to advise their children on the wisdom of paying good money for a piece of memorabilia. Have a conversation about it, and then, if that autograph still seems worthwhile, so be it.

A year later, that young teenager might be so much wiser when he or she does the fiscal math: Four hours of mowing lawns in exchange for five brusque seconds with a celebrity wielding a Sharpie marker?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Baseball fans trek to Arizona 

Living - The Olympian - Olympia, Washington

Spring training and warm weather combine for the perfect getaway


Of course you do.
If you're a baseball fan -- and you want a getaway during the next couple of weeks -- look no further than Arizona, where the highs are in the 80s and baseball players from superstars to rookies are nearly everywhere, usually available for autographs and maybe even a quick photo opportunity or two.

Exhibition games started March 3, and they're going on through April 2.

It's not too late. Steal away to a weekend or week of summer and pump yourself up for the Seattle Mariners' home opener April 4 against the Minnesota Twins. All you need is a flight, probably a rental car, accommodations and a sense of adventure.

Mariners fans Bud and Mary Johansen of Olympia are going at the end of March to enjoy the warmer weather and to celebrate their birthdays on March 31 and March 28, respectively.

"My students would say that I'm an avid fan," said Bud Johansen, who owns Johansen School of Ballet with his wife. "I would say obsessive. I still listened to every game last year. I won't give up. I'm sorry."

While the Mariners didn't have a stellar season last year, spring training is a gloriously new start where what happens on the field and how is more important than the final score as fans look ahead to the regular season, full of potential. Here are the top six reasons to attend spring training in 2005:

- Variety: In addition to the Mariners -- who share a sports complex with the San Diego Padres in Peoria, about eight miles northwest of Phoenix -- players from 10 other major league teams (and minor league teams, such as the Tacoma Rainiers) all are in the same state trying to get their baseball grooves back and perhaps move up the food chain.

If you play your cards right, you can see games or players from many of the other "Cactus League" teams, including the Anaheim Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers.

- Intimacy: Watching spring training -- also going on now for 20 teams in Florida, where it's known as the "Grapefruit League" -- is one of the greatest things a baseball fan can do, said Stephen Bray of Olympia, who has attended numerous spring trainings in Arizona, including many he covered for The Olympian.

"There is a romance and innocence about spring training baseball that's missing from the regular season," said Bray, who has attended with his sons, Joel and Aaron, as well as his wife, Diane. "There's the opportunity for most fans and kids to get closer to -- feel closer to -- the players than they can get at Safeco or any other major league ballpark."

During spring training, players and fans usually are separated only by chain-link fencing and sometimes -- especially on the practice fields where players do drills -- nothing at all.

"It's not like in Seattle, when you get no physical contact at all," Mary Johansen said. "I am interested in seeing all the new players."

The Peoria Sports Complex is the spring training and player development home of the Padres and the Mariners. It sits on 145 acres, and each team has six and a half major league-size practice fields, a 35,000-square-foot clubhouse as well as batting tunnels and cages.

Kids can hang around practices for free and see what it's like to prepare for a season.

Games happen in Peoria's 11,000-seat stadium, which creates an atmosphere that spring training veterans say is even more personal than Cheney Stadium, home to the Tacoma Rainiers.

- Ticket prices: Seats at the Peoria Sport Complex and other stadiums in the Phoenix area usually are much cheaper than at major league ballparks. Club seating in Peoria goes for $22, followed by infield box seats for $17, outfield box seats for $14, bleacher seats for $9 and lawn areas for $5, all compared to $50 infield box seats or low outfield seats, for example, at Safeco Field.

Tickets usually aren't hard to come by unless you're going to see a team with particularly die-hard supporters.

"Cubs fans are legendary for their enthusiasm," Bray said, adding that some Cubs games might end up being sold out.

Weekend games are busier, but it's usually possible to get tickets at the complex or online in advance, even before leaving town, so you can be guaranteed a spot.

"If you're going down just as a Mariners fan, you might just want to go to all the Mariners games," Bray said. "You have access to so many different ballparks."

- Autographs: Kids who love autographs might particularly enjoy spring training, of course.

"You can get right up to the fence, and many of them will come over and sign autographs," Bray said. "Players are more relaxed in the spring than they are during the regular season."

Bray's sons have met Mariners and other big-league players, including Joel Pineiro and Alex Rodriguez. They have side-by-side pictures with them to prove it, too.

"They all have their little baseballs and their Sharpie pens," Bray said of youngsters who attend spring training games, which also feature young prospects trying out for major league teams. "From a kid's point of view, anybody in a Mariners uniform is a star."

Bray has met plenty of famous players, too, including Edgar Martinez, whom he met at a restaurant during spring training when Martinez still was a minor league player.

Marc Pease and Suzanne Mager of Olympia went to spring training last year. Pease has attended in the past, too, with other family and friends, including his young baseball-fan nephew.

"You get the real energy and the feeling of what a major league baseball player is going through," Pease said. "It's such a great learning experience."

- Solidarity: Pease enjoys encountering other die-hard fans from Wisconsin to Texas.

"You're going to meet the most wonderful people who are in love with the sport of baseball," Pease said. "The camaraderie of people from all over the county that are there -- it's a wonderful experience."

All sorts of fans are drawn to spring training and the other tourist attractions in Phoenix, which include theme parks and plenty of other activities for kids.

"You'll see couples, you'll see families, you'll see single people," Bray said. "You have retired people, you have school teachers."

- Weather: It's a great feeling to sit back and relax in dry heat, even if South Sound's wonderfully mild winter days are holding strong this year.

"You're wearing shorts, Hawaiian shirts, sunglasses and straw sunhats. That's the deal," Pease said. "You can sit out on the grass outside in left field and have a picnic, or you can sit in the stands. It's a baseball vacation."

Springsteen rehearsing in Asbury Park 

Newsday.com - AP New Jersey

ASBURY PARK, N.J. -- Bruce Springsteen is rehearsing in this downtrodden seaside city for his upcoming tour.

The Boss was inside the Paramount Theater Thursday with guitarist Nils Lofgren, rehearsing for his upcoming tour in support of his new album, "Devils and Dust," to be released on April 26.

Manny DeCastro, 21, and his friend Sam Constantino, 20, both of Lacey Township, waited outside the Paramount to get a listen and maybe a look at their musical hero.

"I'm a mail carrier, and people on my route were telling me that Bruce was going to be here today," DeCastro told the Asbury Park Press of Neptune for Friday's newspapers. "I had the day off, and thought I'd come."

Constantino acknowledged some would find it strange that they would stand for hours in near-freezing temperatures for a brief encounter with The Boss.

"It's stupid," he said, "but it is something to do."

Four hours after their vigil began, the got a meeting with Springsteen, who walked outside at about 6 p.m. By that time, the pair had been joined by just a couple of other curious fans.

"Hey Bruce," said one of them, "can you sign some autographs?"

"Let's see what you got," Springsteen replied.

As Springsteen signed autographs, DeCastro said, "We've been waiting 3{ hours."

Springsteen paused, shook his head and smiled.

"You kids need to get a life," he said.

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