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Deuce
03-08-2006, 12:43 PM
A few notes with regards to the first three days of Spring Training and acquiring autographs:

1) Man Soo Lee should change his name to "The Man" Soo Lee. Not only did he come out 45 minutes to an hour before each game, he spent 20 minutes each day greeting the fans, taking photographs and signing balls. It's amazing how much this guy was willing to give all three days I was there, and it was quite refreshing given the attitude of some of the franchise players.

2) For some strange reason, the Sox players did not come out to stretch until around 20-30 minutes before the game. With that, most simply walked out to the field and began warming up without even acknowledging the fans. Some did say hi, like Jim Thome and Pablo Ozuna, but most didn't.

3) Jon Garland is without a doubt the most generous starter when it comes to signing autographs. He was out every day, even on the date he was scheduled to pitch, and signed for the fans. He was very good about it, and even jibed some of the other players to come out and sign as well. Neal Cotts signed for quite a long while as well, as did Brian Anderson, Casey Rogo, Joe Borchard, Jeff Bagenaru and Juan Uribe. Pods signed for a short while too, but he wasn't at the first two games due to an injury and spent a good deal of time warming up on the day he was there. As such, he didn't sign for long, though everyone understood.

4) What seemed to be the best technique to minimize signing autographs without ticking off the fans was to wait until just before the announcer introduces the singer of the National Anthem, sign a ball of two and then run off to the dugout before the music starts. This method was effectively employed by Dye, Konerko and Thome. It was pretty sad actually, since you would have thought the players would be overjoyed at the crowds of people who travelled a very long way to watch them play. Guess their hands were pretty tired from endoursing those huge checks.

5) The best way to get an autograph is to stand next to a very hot girl and feed her the name of the player that is walking by. Works 99% of the time.

All in all, I had a blast. I love Tuscon Electric Park, I love the White Sox and the weather was great on Thursday and Friday. I wish the players had been more generous to the fans, as they have been generous in coming out and buying season ticket packages. Still, it was a great time and I cannot wait till next year.

And by the way, the Island Noodle guy was there again and it was delicious!

Deuce

Chicken Dinner
03-08-2006, 12:46 PM
We'll see what happens today when the Sox play their first game away from TUS. I'll be heading out to Tempe here in about 45 minutes.

MarySwiss
03-08-2006, 12:54 PM
As I said in another thread, I went down to Tucson the final Saturday before the games started and was able to get Pods, Paulie, Mackowiak, and Crede to sign my "Dedicated to..." book. Jim Thome signed for a bunch of fans as well, but he stopped before I could get to him. I drove down there on purpose because I suspected it would be easier to get autographs at the workouts (fewer people, more relaxed).

I don't plan to try to get any autographs today, but it'll be interesting to see whether they sign a lot or not. Given it's Sox/Angels, I expect the place to be kind of a nuthouse.

mwc44
03-08-2006, 01:19 PM
A few notes with regards to the first three days of Spring Training and acquiring autographs:

1) Man Soo Lee should change his name to "The Man" Soo Lee. Not only did he come out 45 minutes to an hour before each game, he spent 20 minutes each day greeting the fans, taking photographs and signing balls. It's amazing how much this guy was willing to give all three days I was there, and it was quite refreshing given the attitude of some of the franchise players. Deuce

"The Man" is an understatement! This year was Man Soo's first year as a coach at the White Sox Fantasy Camp, and just about every camper insisted that he be made a permanent coach at the Camp. He was INCREDIBLE! And then, he even went out of his way to hook up with a few campers back in the Chicago area after camp, went to a few charity events with campers, and has been nothing but a "great-will" ambassador for the White Sox and Chicago Fantasy Baseball Camps, Inc. No question... Man Soo Lee is a great guy who loves life and everyone around him!

http://chicagofantasybaseballcamp.com/cfbc_news_updates.htm

http://www.leemansoo.com/

mjharrison72
03-08-2006, 02:05 PM
No question... Man Soo Lee is a great guy who loves life and everyone around him!
Man Soo Lee has my dream job.

ChiSox Fan 68
03-08-2006, 02:13 PM
We had a lot of luck at Spring Training with respects to autographs. Man Soo Lee was kind enough to call me over after the game Friday, pulled a ball out of his bag, signed it and gave it to me. What a guy. Our friends got a ton of signatures last Wednesday and Friday at TEP before the game. At Hi Corbett on Thursday, Ozzie signed my friend's Sox jersey. And during the game, when AJ was running back to the dugout, we yelled out his name and he tossed a baseball to us. We had a ton of fun at Spring Training!

manders_01
03-08-2006, 02:31 PM
Okay - two things...

1. This thread makes me super excited for next weekend when I'm down. I am however, super nervous about the autograph thing. I am not the type approach someone, especially someone "famous". Were some of the autographers outgoing enough to sign for someone without them asking for it?

2. I need suggestions on what to get autographed. I figured a baseball or two would be good and after that I'm out of ideas. I don't have a "Dedicated to..." book (and don't have time to get one) so that's out. No jersey either (although the possiblity to get one is there - but probably only if available in AZ).

ChiSox Fan 68
03-08-2006, 02:45 PM
Okay - two things...

1. This thread makes me super excited for next weekend when I'm down. I am however, super nervous about the autograph thing. I am not the type approach someone, especially someone "famous". Were some of the autographers outgoing enough to sign for someone without them asking for it?

2. I need suggestions on what to get autographed. I figured a baseball or two would be good and after that I'm out of ideas. I don't have a "Dedicated to..." book (and don't have time to get one) so that's out. No jersey either (although the possiblity to get one is there - but probably only if available in AZ).

My suggestions:

1. At TEP, go to the large metal blue fence between the back fields and the park (you should see a decent size crowd of Sox fans there). Get there early so you can get front row. The players will come by, everyone will be yelling out their names, and they'll come over and sign autographs. We just pretty much stuck out the baseball through the fence and they would sign it.

2. We saw a lot of original things signed like: the Tribune front page from when they won the World Series, the White Sox Monopoly board, and blown up pictures from the games (my friend had Bobby Jenks sign a picture of him after the final out of WS Game 1). One woman even brought the Wheaties box with Mark Buehrle on it for Mark to sign - I would have never thought of that one!!

manders_01
03-08-2006, 02:49 PM
My suggestions:

1. At TEP, go to the large metal blue fence between the back fields and the park (you should see a decent size crowd of Sox fans there). Get there early so you can get front row. The players will come by, everyone will be yelling out their names, and they'll come over and sign autographs. We just pretty much stuck out the baseball through the fence and they would sign it.

2. We saw a lot of original things signed like: the Tribune front page from when they won the World Series, the White Sox Monopoly board, and blown up pictures from the games (my friend had Bobby Jenks sign a picture of him after the final out of WS Game 1). One woman even brought the Wheaties box with Mark Buehrle on it for Mark to sign - I would have never thought of that one!!

Thank you - your suggestions definitly help!

maurice
03-08-2006, 04:10 PM
To be fair, Scott Reifert said that Thome signed a bunch of autographs after the 3/4 game.

In general, however, the players were far less willing to come out early and sign before games this year. Then again, two of the most fan-friendly players just departed (Rowand and Thomas). Garland went above and beyond the call of duty, and even ribbed Konerko for his reluctance to sign for a group of pleading kids. As noted, Cotts spent a lot of time signing, and other young players (like Anderson, Borch, Owens, Rogowski, and Bajenaru) were much more willing to sign than their multi-million-dollar co-workers.

Disclaimer: I never try for autographs, but get POed when a bunch of polite kids come up empty.

logansquaresox
03-08-2006, 08:43 PM
Man Soo Lee should change his name to "The Man" Soo Lee.
This is absolutely true. I was kind of nervous about getting autographs (it took me two whole days to work up my courage) and he came right up and hugged me when he got to our section of railing--after lifting kids up for pictures, signing every ball and every cap and generally jollying everyone along. He also offered to take a picture with my sister and me. (He smelled good, too. :D:)

Don Cooper and Greg Walker also came over to autograph (this was 3/4), which was kick ass. Walker booed AJ after he was announced on the PA system and Coop chatted a little bit but demurred when asked how long the Sox can expect to keep him.

I am however, super nervous about the autograph thing. I am not the type approach someone, especially someone "famous". Were some of the autographers outgoing enough to sign for someone without them asking for it?
Like I said, I was pretty nervous too but was able to get into the spirit of shouting with everyone else after a bit. If you are right along the railing, you probably wouldn't have to say anything but "thank you" as a lot of the young guys like Casey Rogowski, Brian Anderson and Ryan Sweeney kind of make their way down the line and take balls and caps as they are proffered. Oh, make sure you have your own Sharpie!

For the more outgoing, my sister had a lot of success with standing right behind the dugout, calling to players and then tossing them her ball and pen. She got Jenks to sign her jersey that way.

Good luck!

salty99
03-08-2006, 10:50 PM
Monday at Hi Corbett I got: Bajenaru, Stewart, Raines, Baines, Politte, and Cooper. I didn't know about the tunnel where they leave where AJ, Pods, and Dye signed a bunch. Ozzie literally ran out of the place after the game.

Tuesday at TEP they signed a TON: Buehrle jersey and ball, Hermanson, Contreras, Iguchi, Garland, Jenks, Thome, Konerko, Cora, and a bunch of minor leaguers. Crede left without signing anything

Wed at Tempe: Got Konerko, Uribe, Ozuna, Gload and a bunch of minor leaguers

mccoydp
03-09-2006, 07:23 AM
Garland went above and beyond the call of duty, and even ribbed Konerko for his reluctance to sign for a group of pleading kids.


Is Konerko not big on signing autographs? Seems odd given his demeanor. I've never been to a game where he has played, however, so I don't know his tendencies.

MarySwiss
03-09-2006, 08:54 AM
Is Konerko not big on signing autographs? Seems odd given his demeanor. I've never been to a game where he has played, however, so I don't know his tendencies.

I think he's fine with it, although he does seem a little bit reserved. When I got his autograph in Tucson, he signed for a whole bunch of people and was very pleasant and accommodating, but as I said before, he seemed almost embarrassed when people thanked him for the World Series and for re-signing with the Sox. Crede, Mackowiak, and Thome also signed for quite a while.

manders_01
03-09-2006, 10:35 AM
If you are right along the railing

So is this the railing by the big blue fence or on the field? And if it's on the field, is it by there dugout? I'm sure there will be plenty of people there wanting autographs so it shouldn't be hard to find people I just kinda wanna have an idea in mind prior to going.

Also, what about pics? Was everyone okay with people snapping away? Did they take any with the fans if asked?

ChiSox Fan 68
03-09-2006, 11:51 AM
So is this the railing by the big blue fence or on the field? And if it's on the field, is it by there dugout? I'm sure there will be plenty of people there wanting autographs so it shouldn't be hard to find people I just kinda wanna have an idea in mind prior to going.

Also, what about pics? Was everyone okay with people snapping away? Did they take any with the fans if asked?

I think she's talking about the railing by the dugout (but I'll let her clarify). The blue fence will be on your left as you walk from the parking lot to the park. The warmup area will be on your far left, with the clubhouse next (with the gigantic Grinder Rule #71 sign on it - so cool), then the fence/walkway is next to that.

For the pics, I took a ton of pictures as the guys were walking by and stopping to sign autographs. The fence is really high so you can't get pictures actually with them but they are so super close that you can get some great shots!

Vegas Sox Fan
03-09-2006, 12:19 PM
I was also suprised at the way some of the players treated the fans.:whiner:

Most of the big name players would just run by all of us (20-30 people most of who waited there for hours before game time). Some of them would pretend like we werent even there and just keep on walking into the stadium.

Many of the players said they would sign after the game. The roster players come out of the game after the fourth inning so if you want to get them you dont get to watch the whole game.

Some of the nicer guys were Kenny Williams, Bobby Jenks, Jon Garland,Don Cooper, Greg Walker, D.J..

Kenny Williams should make every player follow Man Soo Lee around for a day to learn how to treat fans. After he signed my Tribune front page he held it over his head triumphantly and proceeded to lay a big kiss on it. This got the whole crowd cheering making for a great Spring Training memory.

The biggest dissapointment was Jermaine Dye:angry: he was bordering on confrontational with a few of the fans. This guy might put up some big numbers but he has "NO CLASS"!!!! Alot of people have been doing some
"Big Hurt Bashing" as of late but I haver never seen Frank Thomas turn his back on his fans leaving them high and dry for an autograph
at spring training.

The best part of spring training though is getting to take in the games with some "HARDCORE" Sox Fans. We did have a great time.

G

logansquaresox
03-09-2006, 01:20 PM
I think she's talking about the railing by the dugout (but I'll let her clarify).
Yep. Sorry I wasn't clear on that!

BainesHOF
03-09-2006, 01:32 PM
Athletes and other well-known people are asked for autographs when they're out in public every day of their lives. It's a constant barrage. A significant percentage are autograph hounds looking for stuff to sell. Who cares that a player doesn't choose to sign the day that you are there? Grow up, and be grateful for the players who do give you an autograph.

manders_01
03-09-2006, 01:43 PM
Athletes and other well-known people are asked for autographs when they're out in public every day of their lives. It's a constant barrage. A significant percentage are autograph hounds looking for stuff to sell. Who cares that a player doesn't choose to sign the day that you are there? Grow up, and be grateful for the players who do give you an autograph.

I'm kind of a on-the-fence person about that. IMO, when they are at the park, they are at work and part of their jobs is recognizing the fans and sometimes that recognition includes autographs.

However, when someone is at dinner with their family, I feel asking for an autograph is pretty tacky. That's their private time.

Just my 2 cents - I'll stop hijacking this thread now. :D:

MarySwiss
03-09-2006, 01:48 PM
I'm kind of a on-the-fence person about that. IMO, when they are at the park, they are at work and part of their jobs is recognizing the fans and sometimes that recognition includes autographs.

However, when someone is at dinner with their family, I feel asking for an autograph is pretty tacky. That's their private time.

Just my 2 cents - I'll stop hijacking this thread now. :D:

I don't think this is that much of a hijack; the topic is autographs. And FWIW, I agree with you. In fact, I have never given a damn about autographs, but I really thought it'd be great to get some of my favorites to sign my "Dedicated to..." book. Fortunately, it worked out well.

soxfanreggie
03-09-2006, 03:25 PM
I always have the autographs personalized if I get them at events (where the guys job is to sign). I will never part with them and love displaying them.

That being said, I bring my younger cousins to games and love to help them get autos, but I have taught them to understand to respect a player that doesn't give any. The worst people I have seen were Barry Larkin and Ken Griffey, Jr. They seemed to love teasing the fans by faking to come over to sign then turning around and walking away. I was sitting in the bleachers waiting for my dad to get off of work, and had to watch this sorry display. I just kinda shook my head.

officerron
03-09-2006, 03:40 PM
me and 2 of my friends were down there for a week and we had amazing luck getting autographs. as of tuesday afternoon when we left the game in the 5th inning to catch our plane, i got konerko and thome (at the same time outside by the fence), aj, dye, pods at hi corbet, ozzie, raines, widger, hermanson, cotts, uribe, jenks, anderson, clifford, owens, garland, buerhle on my wheates box, contreares, and baines. the few people i was disappointed with was iguchi, which i think the language barrier was an issue, and JOE CREDE. on tuesday, standing right by the dugout where our seats were ALL week, i asked him to sign a ball and he acted like he didnt even know i was there, which then big jim came over and signed for me. even after the game we attempted to get crede by the fence and he just walked on by, which made me very disappointed. every day we were there at least 2 hours early to see the guys come out, and even ozzie recognized us being there all week, showing that even the greatest manager ever realizes his fans.
PS. tucson is amazing. nightlife is great. fat tuesday night luis gonzalez was out drinking with us, and last monday at mcmahons steakhouse we were drinking with mack, jurko and harry, who were nice enough to buy us a round of cocktails. good times had indeed, cant wait for opening night.

Deuce
03-09-2006, 03:53 PM
Athletes and other well-known people are asked for autographs when they're out in public every day of their lives. It's a constant barrage. A significant percentage are autograph hounds looking for stuff to sell. Who cares that a player doesn't choose to sign the day that you are there? Grow up, and be grateful for the players who do give you an autograph.I'm sorry, but that is BS. It costs those guys nothing but a moment of their already bought time to sign an autograph. Signing autographs is as much a part of baseball as the seventh-inning stretch and beer. You lose something when you actively evade the fans, even if you are just trying to get around some pros.

Heck, if you want to minimize the pros but still make good with the fans, only sign a little kid's ball. Sure some pros use kids to get signatures, but not all of them. A good deal of the kids those guys were turning their backs to were just kids. Leaving them hanging because of pros or because it gets tiresome is weak. You're a baseball player. You hit the ball, you catch the ball, you throw the ball... and before the game starts, you sign the ball.

You know the best way to make pros hate you? Sign everything. If everyone has your signature, it becomes worthless. Or personalize the signatures. Don't blow off the fans, though. They paid good money to see you. They cheer when you do well, they hurt when you fail. Least you can do is show them that you appreciate their effort, as much as you appreciate theirs.

Deuce

michned
03-09-2006, 07:06 PM
Heck, if you want to minimize the pros but still make good with the fans, only sign a little kid's ball.

I'm thinking that's why so many ballplayers are so jaded about the whole autograph thing. This is not a knock on any adult who wishes to get an autograph, but what I have seen at Spring Training this year (and at practice before the games started) is about 80% of the people seeking autographs are adults. On three different occasions this spring, I have seen players go out of their way to sign a kid's ball, kid's who look overwhelmed when trying to muscle their way up to the front (which they really have no chance of doing when their are so many adults around).

It has worked out for my kid, as he just stands there because he is so disappointed he has no chance to muscle his way in. Chris Stewart saw this and went up to him and gave him one of his bats (he is my new hero, nothing but best wishes for that guy), and on 3/4 the first base ump tossed him a ball. Last year Kevin Hickey did the same thing for him.

Those guys definitely get it. Putting a big smile on a kid's face still means a lot to a lot of these guys.

I just wish there was a way for the organization to have autograph sessions just for kids (they probably do this at USCF but I am talking about Spring Training).

Just my two cents.

MarySwiss
03-09-2006, 07:18 PM
I'm thinking that's why so many ballplayers are so jaded about the whole autograph thing. This is not a knock on any adult who wishes to get an autograph, but what I have seen at Spring Training this year (and at practice before the games started) is about 80% of the people seeking autographs are adults. On three different occasions this spring, I have seen players go out of their way to sign a kid's ball, kid's who look overwhelmed when trying to muscle their way up to the front (which they really have no chance of doing when their are so many adults around).

It has worked out for my kid, as he just stands there because he is so disappointed he has no chance to muscle his way in. Chris Stewart saw this and went up to him and gave him one of his bats (he is my new hero, nothing but best wishes for that guy), and on 3/4 the first base ump tossed him a ball. Last year Kevin Hickey did the same thing for him.

Those guys definitely get it. Putting a big smile on a kid's face still means a lot to a lot of these guys.

I just wish there was a way for the organization to have autograph sessions just for kids (they probably do this at USCF but I am talking about Spring Training).

Just my two cents.

This was my experience as well. And, unlike Michned, I WILL knock on adults. When I was at the workout down in Tucson, I saw "adults" literally muscle kids out of their way. And the players have no chance to differentiate; they just sign whatever is put before them. I heard "adults" talk about their experiences over the years getting autographs and comparing notes about who signs what.

Sorry. But I think these "adults" are scary people. I wanted to get my "Dedicated to..." book signed--and I did--but I would never have pushed a kid out of my way to accomplish it. And the adults who do so need to grow up and get a life.

WSox8404
03-09-2006, 08:19 PM
My parents called today and told me they got seven autographs today. Garland, Crede, Sweeney, Blakely, Fields, Stewart, and of course Hickey....lol. They almost got Ozzie's after the game but he left right before they got down there. Good work for one day.

BainesHOF
03-10-2006, 01:31 PM
Some complainers here need to grow up. I'm a huge collector, but I'm an adult who doesn't act like a petulant child when a player doesn't sign. Most adults understand there are countless reasons why a player doesn't sign.

And, no, players do not owe it to fans to sign autographs. The only thing players owe to fans is to give their best effort on the field.

manders_01
03-10-2006, 01:50 PM
Some complainers here need to grow up. I'm a huge collector, but I'm an adult who doesn't act like a petulant child when a player doesn't sign. Most adults understand there are countless reasons why a player doesn't sign.

And, no, players do not owe it to fans to sign autographs. The only thing players owe to fans is to give their best effort on the field.

IMO, I don't think anyone in the arguement over whether althletes should or should not sign is complaining or acting the petulant child that they've not gotten a autograph when they are looking for one. Seems to me that the general consensus of those posters (myself included) is that signing autographs is a part of being a professional athlete.

I think is that signing autographs, taking pictures with a fan, showing up at a charity function, etc. comes with being a celebrity and is expected not only by fans, but by the organaztions the athletes belong to. It wouldn't surprise me that if one was to get a hold of a contract, there would be a clause in it about autographs, etc. If players don't want to sign autographs (and let me remind you that I'm speaking of them at the ballpark - not during private time), then they shouldn't put themselves in the position to become famous.

maurice
03-10-2006, 04:05 PM
Like I said, I'm not a collector at all. I haven't asked for an autograph in more than 15 years. However, I share the other posters' concerns about kids getting shut down by players or muscled out by adults. Frankly, it's irritating to see middle-aged men running over children in an effort to get an autograph. Similarly, it's annoying to see a player who makes 8 figures / year ignore a polite group of kids for 3 days straight.

Here's a story from this spring that covers both types: A polite approx. 8-year-old boy was watching the players pre-game for 20 minutes, decked out in Sox gear. His timing and location were ideal, and he was not blocked out by adults. He received no autographs, despite numerous polite requests. (From my experience, in previous years, anybody in his situation would have received numerous autographs.) IIRC, he managed to receive a friendly wave from Thome as he sprinted by the kid. ******* dad blamed the kid, mispronouncing players' names and barking that the kid was at fault for failing to do a number of irrelevant things differently.
:angry:

MarySwiss
03-10-2006, 06:27 PM
Like I said, I'm not a collector at all. I haven't asked for an autograph in more than 15 years. However, I share the other posters' concerns about kids getting shut down by players or muscled out by adults. Frankly, it's irritating to see middle-aged men running over children in an effort to get an autograph. Similarly, it's annoying to see a player who makes 8 figures / year ignore a polite group of kids for 3 days straight.

Here's a story from this spring that covers both types: A polite approx. 8-year-old boy was watching the players pre-game for 20 minutes, decked out in Sox gear. His timing and location were ideal, and he was not blocked out by adults. He received no autographs, despite numerous polite requests. (From my experience, in previous years, anybody in his situation would have received numerous autographs.) IIRC, he managed to receive a friendly wave from Thome as he sprinted by the kid. ******* dad blamed the kid, mispronouncing players' names and barking that the kid was at fault for failing to do a number of irrelevant things differently.
:angry:

I agree, Maurice. However, you seldom see a polite group of kids standing off by themselves. And I guarantee that if you did, and if a player started to sign autographs for those kids, the pathetic "adults" in the crowd would soon have overwhelmed them. Same thing goes for the polite kid you referred to; the only reason he was not blocked out was because he was not getting autographs. I would bet that as soon as he did, the "adults" would have rushed over and swamped him. And what was that kid's "dad's" problem? Not bad enough the kid didn't get his autograph, but to have his dad berating him...well, just goes to prove that any ******* can be a father. Very sad.