Former NFL quarterback and Fresno State alumnus David Carr made an appearance at the Sierra Vista Mall to meet with fans and sign memorabilia on May 31.
The event, which included a question and answer session before the signing, was coordinated and sponsored by A to Z Collectibles.
“Any time I get to come back to Fresno, I enjoy it. I had some pretty special times here,” Carr said. “It’s fun for me, it’s a little nostalgic.”
Fans brought their favorite Carr items, including game-worn jerseys, helmets, framed photographs and other collectibles for the former Bulldog quarterback to sign.
Carr spoke casually with guests for about half an hour before the formal question and answer session, which lasted for almost an hour before fans had the opportunity to present their memorabilia for Carr to sign.
Carr also took time before the question and answer forum to chat briefly with the younger members of the audience, something Carr said he enjoys.
“That’s honestly probably my favorite part,” Carr said. “I remember being a young kid, kind of like Austin, around that same age, and I had a chance to meet different players, college players, even high school players, to me it was a big deal. So I try to make their night as memorable as possible, make them feel special.”
One attendee brought a piece of custom artwork for Carr, a black and white sketch of Christopher Reeves as Superman.
“One guy, Robert, drew this for me. He knew that I liked Superman movies, the original Superman,” Carr said. “So that’s a picture he drew, and he just gave me. I didn’t come here expecting any gifts from the people that I was here with. But you start to get to know some of the people that have pulled for you and watched you play and then end up forming relationships that are pretty cool.”
Carr graduated in 2002 and is the only player from Fresno State to be selected as the first pick of the NFL Draft.
After being drafted by the Houston Texans, Carr played for three other NFL teams, including the Carolina Panthers, New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers during his 11-year career. He now works as an on-air analyst for the NFL Network.
George Gonzales, owner of A to Z Collectibles, said he had done events with Derek Carr in the past and thought bringing David out to give fans an opportunity to meet him was the next step.
Gonzales opened his store in 1996, and has been active in bringing top sports names to Fresno for the fans to meet.
The next meet and greet Gonzales has planned is Fresno State alum and former NFL wide receiver Stephone Paige, scheduled for Father’s Day weekend.