Best Autograph Opportunities (part 1 of 3)

With the baseball season officially over it is now time to start the planning for the 2013 autograph season.  Autographers can either approach each season with a wait and see attitude or they can get down to business and find ways to maximize all of their opportunities for obtaining autographs.  This post will hopefully help those ‘down to business’ autographers get ready for the next year.

Often times I will tell others about different places I have gotten autographs and they will respond with looks of astonishment and comment on how they didn’t know events like that went on.  Well today is the first of three blogs posts to discuss some of the primary places and events I get my autographs.

The first two events I use to get autographs are possibly the easiest places to get autographs.  Team caravans and Fan Fest events are an opportunity to meet players, and sometimes even interact with them about baseball.

Michael Saunders and Dustin Ackley at a Mariners Caravan Event

Michael Saunders and Dustin Ackley at a Mariners Caravan Event

Caravan Events

One of the least known ways to get easy and free autographs is by going to caravan events put on by different teams during the off season.  The Seattle Mariners do a caravan each year, which usually runs through the month of January.  They will do private visits to schools and hospitals but will often do times open to the public.  A normal event for the Mariners includes about a half and hour of questions from the fans and then a half an hour of autographs.  I’ve gotten Michael Saunders, Dustin Ackley, Brandon League, Danny Hultzen and quite a few others at these events.  There usually aren’t big crowds so I am able to get photos of my nieces with the players as well as a few extra autographs for my collection.

Here is the link to the 2013 Seattle Mariners Caravan.

King Felix Hernandez at Mariners Fan Fest

King Felix Hernandez at Mariners Fan Fest

Fan Fest Events

I believe almost every MLB team, if not every team, has a Fan Fest event.  Some events are bigger than others.  I know for the Dodgers Fan Fest event they will bring back some of the legends of the past to do an autograph session, while other teams will have more of a rally type Fan Fest.  The Mariners have recently taken on the format of having Future Stars, Current Stars and Past Stars all present to do autograph sessions.  I’ve gotten Felix Hernandez, Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, Taijaun Walker, Jesus Montero and a ton of other Mariners players.

Fan Fest events are more of an assembly line type mentality because the players have to sign so many autographs but if you are going for autographs, then it is perfect.

The Mariners Fan Fest usually costs $10 per ticket. The autographs you get is dependent on what voucher lines you get into.  Some Fan Fest events will charge different prices depending on who you want an autograph from but the Mariners just do the onetime charge.

Kyle Seager and Dustin Ackley at Mariners Fan Fest

Kyle Seager and Dustin Ackley at Mariners Fan Fest doing the Dugout Dialogue

Now I know not everyone cares about getting autographs and that is ok because there are some amazing baseball things to do at the Mariners Fan Fest event.  Ever wanted to play catch on a major league baseball field?  At the Mariners Fan Fest they give fans the chance to play catch in right field.  Additionally kids can take a turn in the bullpen or hit balls off a tee and try and hit home run.

For a lot of fans they go the Fan Fest event to listen to the interviews that go on all throughout the day.  Each player who is a part of the autograph sessions also takes part in a half an hour interview and question session.  The Mariners General Manager and Coach also take time to talk about their hopes and plans for the new season.

There is something for all baseball fans both young and old at the Mariners Fan Fest event.