Best Autograph Opportunities (part 2 of 3)

In my last article about the Best Autograph Places part 1, I hit on probably the two easiest places to get autographs.  Fan Fest events and Caravan events, which are perfect for fans not wanting to work too hard to get an autograph, and provide, in most cases, a guaranteed autograph.  Once we get closer to the 2013 Seattle Mariners Fan Fest event I’ll probably do a breakdown of how my family approaches the event to maximize our autograph seeking.  In the mean time I’m going to talk about my absolute favorite place to get autographs and my soon to be second favorite place to get autographs.

Peoria Spring TrainingMy Favorite Autograph Place

Spring Training is easily my favorite place to not only watch baseball but to also get autographs.  The weather is normally in the 70’s or 80’s.  The games are usually at 1:05 pm for the day games so if I want to go to a nice dinner or have some fun in the evening with family I can.  Of course I normally end up going to another game at 7:05 pm which is another reason why I love Spring Training, two games in one day.

Spring training is a relaxed place not only for the fans but also for the players.  Most of the veterans are simply getting their reps in each day and then they either head to the golf course or head out to spend time with their families.

In my two most recent trips to Spring Training I’ve gotten players like Jim Thome, Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Tim Lincecum, Michael Young, and hundreds of other players.  In fact I think between my last two trips down I have gotten over 100 different players and over 200 autographs.

If you are interested in doing a Spring Training trip check out my previous two blogs about things to do and places to stay.

Peoria Spring trainingMy Soon to be Second Favorite Autograph Place

During the Fall six of the same ballparks used for Spring Training hosts top prospects from each major league team.  These players make up six teams that compete in the Arizona Fall League.  Although I haven’t been to the Arizona Fall League I can tell you that from all I know of the league I am REALLY excited to go in the fall of 2013.

In the fall of 2011 Bryce Harper and Mike Trout both played on the same team in the Arizona Fall League.  This Fall, players like Mike Zunino, Billy Hamilton and other top prospects played together.  This is an amazing opportunity to get autographs of players who will make up future all star teams, win MVPs and there may even be a few Hall of Famers in the making.

This year’s attendance for games seemed to range from 400 to 600 people.  In fact on the final day of the Arizona Fall League regular season the attendance numbers for each of the three games were 449, 609 and 280 total fans.  In my three years of working with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes I’ve never seen a crowd that was as small as all three AFL games combined.  For the baseball fan this means you can sit anywhere you want, and for the autograph seeker it means the only competition you have for getting autographs is the guys who go with you and maybe a kid or two that was allowed to skip school with their dad for the day.

If you are interested in checking out my mock trip for 2012 and my thoughts for next season check out my AFL blogs.

In my next blog about great places to get opportunities I’m going to talk about both minor league and major league baseball games.

5 thoughts on “Best Autograph Opportunities (part 2 of 3)

  1. Pingback: Best Autograph Opportunities (part 2 of 3) « Sports NorthWest

  2. Pingback: Autograph Opportunities Part 3 of 3 « 9 Inning Know It All

  3. Are you headed to Phoenix for spring training this year? I live in Surprise so maybe we could meet up for a game. Let me know.

    • Graham,

      We aren’t going to make it to spring training this year but Kelly and I (Josh) are planning on going to the Arizona Fall League this fall and possibly spring training in 2016. We would be excited to meet up with you this fall and watch a game and talk baseball.

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