Monday, April 5, 2010

How To Annoy a Pro Baseball Player - Ask For an Autograph

My boys are HUGE Rockies fans! Like many little boys, they admire and look up to professional athletes. (Brody wants to be one)!

All of our vacations are baseball-related. We drive to wherever Brody has a tournament where we watch tons of games in searing heat and humidity. (Most recently, our travels have brought us to exotic places such as Omaha and Kansas City.)

So when Dan suggested we travel to Tucson to attend a couple of Rockies spring training games, I figured, in the grand scheme of baseball vacations, we were improving. (The added benefit of the games being played by cute men, rather than cute boys, didn't hurt.)

After Matt Holliday left the team, I had to pick a new favorite player. It's this guy, Seth Smith. Tell me he's not cute!

The major draw of spring training, though, is the vastly increased likelihood of getting player autographs. In preparation, the kids bought Rockies baseballs.

Even I bought a hat (which I gave to Gunnar to get signatures since cute players don't sign middle-aged women's hats no matter how much cleavage they reveal - and I'm not saying that based on experience, it's just a guess).

They don't make it easy for the kids, either.

The fans start lining up in the designated area two hours before game time.
It's 90 degrees.

They wait. And they wait. And they sweat. And they wait.

Then it happens; a player has to walk from one building to the clubhouse. To do so, he must pass by this line of adoring fans who have traveled great distances for this one chance to get an autograph from the players they so admire.

"Hey (insert player's name, i.e Seth, Brad, Tulo ...). Can you please sign my (insert name of object, i.e. baseball, hat, program, shirt ...). Please. Please. Please."

"Uh, sorry guys. (Insert lie, i.e., I'll be right back. I gotta get ready. I gotta eat....)

Eventually, a player goes by who remembers what it was like to be a little boy looking up at famous players and wanting to be just like them.
"Eric, Eric, Eric. Please sign this ball."

PLAYER: He stops, walks down the line, and signs as many autographs as he can.

Thanks, Eric Young, Jr. You're pretty cool!

That evening, we discovered Manny Corpus sitting in the pool area of our hotel. We sat with him and his family toasting marshmallows around the fire pit for an hour. Then he posed for pictures with each of my boys and each of their friends.
VERY cool!


That One Mom said...

That is so awesome! The boys will always remember that!

SSP said...

i think you should have tried the cleavage trick - it might have worked on those who were in tooo much of a hurry for pesky little kids.....

Briana said...

I think they let me stay right by the line was BECAUSE I showed no cleavage!

I did get away with being where I wasn't supposed to be for a long time. So I still got pictures of the guys who didn't stop. So there!

Anita said...

What a great experience for your boys! Thank goodness there are still a few players in the game with grace and class. Their moms would be proud!!