Wednesday, March 16, 2016


One of my favorite things about chasing autographs at Spring Training is that it seems like the time of year when star players are more likely to take the time to sign. I don't know exactly what it is, but in my experience, players who rarely or never seem to sign in Baltimore typically do take the time for the fans in Sarasota. One great example of this is Manny Machado, who signed at least 4 different times that I saw over my five days around Sarasota. That's pretty impressive.

I talked to a few fellow autograph collectors about why players seem to sign more in Spring Training during my time in Sarasota, and there seems to be a few thoughts. Overall, it's a more relaxed up-close experience than during the regular season. Players know the games don't count and most regulars only play about half a game each day, at least for the first half of March. There are smaller crowds and everyone is a little closer the action. Some combination of those events seem to make most players more open to taking the time to sign for fans.

I can still recall some family trips to Florida in the early/mid '90s when you could practically hang out with the players, before Spring Training became the more hyped and inviting experience that it is now days. And things will never be like that again, but it's still a nice change of pace from how things are in Baltimore. I'm sure that some of you out there can remember how things were with players in the 1950's, '60's, & '70's when, from what I hear, players were much more like average Joe's than the highly paid star athletes they are now.

I really like who Manny took his time on the dual signed Bundy card, giving the "full" M M auto, that is about as good as it gets for Manny's signature. I was happy to help my buddy, fellow O's autograph collector, Aaron, finish off that card, as he left town the day before I did. The funny part about it is that I have carried around my own version of that card, signed just by Bundy, for some time and had just stopped bothering with it by the end of last year. Oops! I guess I know to at least bring it next Spring!

And to wrap things up, here are the signed OMC Audry Perez autos that I forgot to include in yesterday's post.

I don't really have a plan for how I'm going to show off all of the autgoraphs I got in Sarasota. In the past, I might have grouped them in some way, but I think this year, I'm just going to post what I have scanned and go from there. I think it's best to just keep the momentum going and show off some autographs, at least as opposed to lapsing back into inactivity.


Aaron said...

Thanks again Ryan! Was good to see you and hang out a bit down there! Had a great experience for my first Spring Training and learned a lot for the next one. Thanks for the help!

Aaron said...

Oh and its good to see some fresh posts on the blog again! Looking forward to reading more this year...

zman40 said...

Looks like you did some serious work down there.

Keep that momentum going!

Orioles Magic said...

Thanks guys, it's nice to have some new autographs to write about, and it's nice to get back to the blog.