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View Full Version : Spring Training in Person, What are the chances of meeting a player?



bluejaysfanzach
01-18-2011, 04:05 PM
I've got tickets to 2 Blue Jays spring training games, what are the odds of getting autographs in person? What are other peoples experiences? Should I buy balls and cards in advance? Any advice is welcome.

Deadshot
01-18-2011, 08:43 PM
Your success at the actual game will depend on the ballpark you're at. Most of my experiences come from Lakeland and Winter Haven, but I can assure you that you will likely have better luck the weeks before games actually start when teams are practicing more. Also, you never know what players a team will bring, so you could show up expecting to see Major Leaguers and end up seeing primarily AA and AAA guys. Another option is to find out when the team bus is loading up and leaving for an away game and wait there hoping that some players will sign.

As always, if you want anything signed, make sure to have it with you because you never know who you will run into. For example, one day I was sitting by a gate in Lakeland killing time between a couple of classes and Peter Gammons walked by me. Luckily I had a ball in my bag to get signed. I would suggest listing the park you are going to and the players you want to get ahead of time to figure out signing habits and estimated times to show up. The last time I did the Blue Jays was in Winter Haven so that was maybe 3-4 years ago, but maybe someone else will be able to help you. Good luck!

mnvikingstwins
01-18-2011, 08:45 PM
I got 7 guys when I went to an Angels game last year, and was 1 away from Torii Hunter and Scoscia. The ones I remember were: Nick Adenhart, RIP; Mike Butcher- pitching coach; Trevor Reckling- pitching prospect; Robb Quinlan- Backup utility; Mike Napoli- starting catcher, and 2 others

bluejaysfanzach
01-18-2011, 09:25 PM
It will be at Dunedin Stadium the Blue Jays park against the phillies and rays. In a dream world I would meet cliff lee, halladay, bautista, vernon wells etc but I'll still be happy with any one from the minors or majors. Our balls the best thing to get signed?

mnvikingstwins
01-18-2011, 09:37 PM
Unless you recognize all the minor leaguers, a ball or 8 by 10 team logo would be the best

bluejaysfanzach
01-18-2011, 09:49 PM
Ok sweet thanks for the advice.

Deadshot
01-18-2011, 09:54 PM
8X10 logos work great when you come across a bunch of people you aren't familiar with. If you have particular players you want to target, I would use a baseball. Most cheap baseballs will bleed over time though (they will have CHINA stamped around the sweet spot). The best baseballs to use are Official Rawlings Major League baseballs (abbreivated as OMLB). Do not get these signed with a Sharpie, instead use a ball point pen. I typically used a traditional Bic medium blue pen, but you can experiment a little to see what you like (sometimes the Bic's were hard to get started so I would scribble on some paper real quick before I got someone to sign if I had time).

Some days you will do really well, and others will be frustrating. Obviously the most frustrating are when you deal with major teams like the Yankees or Red Sox. When I did the Phillies in Lakeland I was having a rough day. I was only able to get two autographs, but they ended up being Utley and Howard, so it was definitely worth it. If nothing else, try your best, learn from your mistakes, and hope you get lucky.

Drago06-
01-19-2011, 10:09 AM
Deadshot is right on the money. When i first started i used the cheaper Rawlings balls and now a few years later most of my autos wich i worked so hard to get have the ink bleeding. so if you can spend the extra bucks us OMLBs the only 2 OLMBs auto'd balls are the only ones that look nice. You have some time from here till spring training, you can always hit up ebay. Sometimes you can get good deals on game used balles like foul balls. 8X10 pics are cool but they limit you to the one player ( i still have pics of jeff bagwell, lance berkmen, ichiro...ect that i never got autographed) So team logos are a pretty good alt. specially if you custom make them yourself.

Iv been pushed kicked and hit in the nuts for a super stars auto, so always be carefull, have fun and good luck.

bluejaysfanzach
01-19-2011, 10:49 AM
Is this the ball? http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4455474&cp=2367438.2367820.3940716.2344500
These balls are close to the price of my tickets.

Could these balls work? http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4005509&cp=2367438.2367820.3940716.2344500.2344571#green

I also look around at the minor league websites and its $8.00 for the entire 2010 team card set.

jyosi
01-19-2011, 10:55 AM
Nothing will work besides the real game balls. The leather on them is better and is stretched tighter and they are kept dryer than the other balls which is a lot of the reason why they hold ink better.

If you don't have the money to spend your best bet is what everyone suggested above like team logos and blank index cards.

Edit: I don't mean to say nothing will work. Nothing will work as good though. Everything else will fade faster over time. That second ball you showed is probably better than other balls, but it will still fade faster than an OMLB.

Deadshot
01-19-2011, 11:42 AM
$12.99 is the realistically the best price for them unless you buy them in bulk (they come in the dozen, but that can be a big hit financially as well). That's why I save the baseballs for the people I really want. Towards the end of my baseball graphing days, I rarely got balls signed, unless I got a chance to get one of my favorite players (such as when I got Ryne Sandberg). Don't bother with the other baseballs - they will just frustrate you later (if I wasn't so lazy I would take some pictures of my faded baseballs and post them).

jyosi
01-19-2011, 12:02 PM
Buying them in bulk hardly helps, too. I had to buy 6 dozen to get the price below $10 per ball and believe me I researched my pants off looking for the best deal.

To put that into even better perspective 34" Big Stick bats only cost me $16 a piece when I bought 3 dozen.

Seems crazy that a bat only costs a few bucks more than a ball. This spring training I'm trying jersey numbers and seeing how that works out. First thoughts are that at least it is 90% cheaper (105 digits for $108).

Deadshot
01-19-2011, 12:42 PM
Towards the end of my Spring Training adventures in the past, I got tired of carrying a bunch of crap around and eventually switched to just cards for the most part. The downside to this is that I have some tough autos on cards (like Sabathia), but its still better than not having them at all (and it's easier to store). If you get real serious about getting stuff signed in the future, you will eventually run out of places to display everything and your awesome autographs will end up in a box somewhere lol.

mnvikingstwins
01-19-2011, 09:21 PM
Has anyone gone to a Brewers ST game and got autos? Might be going to one

bob9826
01-20-2011, 04:18 PM
Baseballs are horrible to me from a financial standpoint for 1 player
you can get 8x10s for $1.49 each and you dont have to worry about fading
but for one game i like baseballs because they are easy to carry and can be signed by anyone at the game

Deadshot
01-20-2011, 04:40 PM
You might suggest how one would go about getting the 8X10s for that price. Obviously if you buy them off ebay, they will be more than that. I'm assuming you take a picture from the Internet and have it printed at Wal-Mart (and if you have a Sam's Club membership, I seem to recall it being really cheap to print them there). I don't have a lot of experience with this, but it might help to provide some tips on where to get better quality images, etc. I know with the Tigers, I had a friend who took pictures of the minor leaguers and would post them online for use on his Flicker account (although I never really ventured into getting 8X10's signed). Usually I would just buy some photo paper and print a page with a team's logo in the center of the page. Those were relatively cheap and turned out well.

jyosi
01-20-2011, 04:49 PM
You might suggest how one would go about getting the 8X10s for that price. Obviously if you buy them off ebay, they will be more than that. I'm assuming you take a picture from the Internet and have it printed at Wal-Mart (and if you have a Sam's Club membership, I seem to recall it being really cheap to print them there). I don't have a lot of experience with this, but it might help to provide some tips on where to get better quality images, etc. I know with the Tigers, I had a friend who took pictures of the minor leaguers and would post them online for use on his Flicker account (although I never really ventured into getting 8X10's signed). Usually I would just buy some photo paper and print a page with a team's logo in the center of the page. Those were relatively cheap and turned out well.

Welcome to the new generation of autograph collecting. Getty Images is a company that sells media rights of images to media companies. I don't know how it started or how people have it, but now tons of people have access to Getty and hundreds of photos of every player in the highest quality. Then you have your online photo labs that will print anything and are super cheap. No one buys licensed photos any more.

DETFAN1
01-20-2011, 04:59 PM
I would suggest purchasing the official balls from www.andersonKPT.com (http://www.andersonKPT.com). I have bought them from this site several times and they are generally pretty fast. I usually buy a half dozen at $11.00 a piece. It's not bad and generally a few bucks cheaper than the local sporting goods store.

braun4mvp09
01-20-2011, 06:43 PM
Has anyone gone to a Brewers ST game and got autos? Might be going to one

Yes, the Brewers players sign a lot of autographs especially at away games

howiek
01-20-2011, 08:39 PM
Use Blue ball point and only Blue. The Black will turn a funny color. <br />
if you can go to the same camp more then once. Skope out where and when others are getting auto's. The next day you can be in...

mnvikingstwins
01-20-2011, 08:44 PM
Yes, the Brewers players sign a lot of autographs especially at away games

It's a home game vs. Chicago White Sox. Who normally signs more, home or away team? At least I can wear my Crain jersey to the game

bluejaysfanzach
01-20-2011, 09:11 PM
I have front row seats in right field so I was hoping to meet someone in warm ups. Any one I meet from the Rays, Jays, Phillies I'll be happy. Its my first spring training.

go_deacs14
01-22-2011, 08:35 AM
Hey guys. Has anyone ever attended spring training games at Surprise Stadium in Arizona? I will be seeing the Royals, Rangers, Giants, and Cubs play. Does anyone know how good of signers theses teams are IP? And is Surprise a good stadium to graph in? Thanks in advance.

chipperjfan10
01-22-2011, 11:29 AM
chances are 100 percent ive gotten almost every star at st and chipper always signs

gatorfan234
01-24-2011, 12:21 PM
I get cards signed, ive been to; kisssimee (astros), Orlando (braves), Viera (nationals), Bradenton (pirates), Port Charlotte (rays), and Sarasota (orioles), go to spring training online 2011, look at the jays minor league schedule see if they play while you are there, go to their minor league team rosters, and order cards, and see if you can get those players befor those games.

Minor league Spring training games are a lot more successful last year nationals vs. braves i got 150+ cards signed good luck

bluejaysfanzach
01-24-2011, 01:19 PM
The minor league card packs our $8 and Jays team sets can be found for like $6 so I think I might just spend my money there instead of $15 for the good balls.

everythingcollect
02-02-2011, 05:25 PM
Not to familiar with dunedin but if there minor league facility is on the same site check prior to see if there will be a game that day as a lot of minor league coaches are EX ball players and if you can pic up there cards from here till spring traning you will have very good chances of getting the minor league coaches and the minor league games are Free to attended. also in the major league game the starters are usually pulled after the 5th inning they do there running and usually will sign if you strike out then i suggest your last resort try to get them as there walking to there bus. how i do spring training is ill get there early (thats the major thing) probably around 7 or so try to get the major leaguers as they arrive then wonder over the the batting cages and see if you can snag a few after or before they bat. after that i walk (if the minor league facility is on the same site) to the minor league fields and try to get the visiting team also about minor league spring traning games most of the teams will have one or 2 of there major leagues get "extra practice" in a few innings of a minor league game did really well last year was able to get josh beckett, tim wakefield, brett saberhagen, clay buckholtz, john lackey, Carlos Pena, David Price, brad penny all in minor league spring traning games. also at spring traing major league games see who the Broadcasters and radio people are as alot are EX players as well, mets usually have keith hernandez, ron darling, twins have bert blyleven, jack morris, dan gladden red sox have jerry remey as someone else said Keep your eyes out. Best thing to do is pic up some cards there cheap and easy to carry with you. or a pack of index cards as well. there may be celebs at these games too as i have run into regis philman, Stephen king, and sometimes there are retired players that will come out just to watch the game (your index cards will come in handy) Hope this info helps you as well as any others that are planning to do spring traning

metsmagic18
02-02-2011, 09:32 PM
I've got tickets to 2 Blue Jays spring training games, what are the odds of getting autographs in person? What are other peoples experiences? Should I buy balls and cards in advance? Any advice is welcome.

The Blue Jays might be the best of the Spring Training signers. Their players usually line up on the 1st baseline on sign auto after auto. Last year I got Jose Molina, John McDonald, Mike McCoy, Vernon Wells, and Adam Lind. Keep an eye on the away team as well. There is a gate area, (sorry I can't decribe it) on the 3rd base sign where players have to pass through to get to the field. I got Phil Coke, Gerald Laird, Gerald Laird's batting gloves, Rick Porcello, and Clete Thomas. I've got the most IP autos at the Blue Jays park than anywhere else.

metsmagic18
02-17-2011, 05:03 PM
I've got tickets to 2 Blue Jays spring training games, what are the odds of getting autographs in person? What are other peoples experiences? Should I buy balls and cards in advance? Any advice is welcome.

Good job, the Blue Jays are the greatest team and stadium for an autograph collector. The odds of getting an autograph in person are extremely high. Should you buy balls and cards in advance? Sure, never hurts.

tampacannon
02-19-2011, 06:45 PM
What I did was bought 2 balls @ $15 a piece(sucks), brought bunch of cards. Use one ball to get all autos of guys I didnt have cards for, so its kind of like a team ball, then save the other ball for a big name guy you really want for a sweet spot auto.

Edwards2Evans
02-20-2011, 12:13 AM
I went to ST in Arizona a couple of years ago, and your odds of getting at least some autos are almost 100% if you know what your doing. Most of those guys are in no hurry don't have anything better to do then to sign autographs, at least when I went. Good luck let us know how you do