Mary Louise Kulsick has two bits of advice for fans seeeking autographs at spring training games: arrive early and be persistent.
The Sun City West resident did both at a recent game at Surprise Stadium and in the process snagged a signature from shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who plays on her favorite team, the Cleveland Indians.
“He’s my favorite. You have to come early and have a ball ready for these guys to sign,” said Kulsick, who grew up in Cleveland.
Like Kulsick, many autograph-seekers arrive early and remain courteous and patient during the waiting process as players stretch and play catch before the start of the game.
Other fans advise signature seekers to keep gloves, baseballs and ticket stubs — along with a pen or magic marker — at the ready as players quickly sign one piece of memorabilia and look to sign another before walking back to the dugout or field.
Knowing the names of players instead of mistaking them for another can go a long way. So can saying thank you, fans advised.
Lynda Monroe, who hails from Plano, Texas, said she was impressed with the generosity and good-natured spirit of the Texas Rangers. Monroe didn’t know if it was their nature or the afterglow from the club reaching the World Series last year for the first time in team history.
Either way, Monroe said she has made out nicely during several games this season, acquiring autographs from manager Ron Washington and pitchers Colby Lewis and Derek Holland, both of whom were integral in the team’s success during the American League Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“Do this for granny,” she yells to the players in attempts to get their autographs.
Catcher Mike Napoli is a fan favorite, always making time to sign autographs.
“He said to me, ‘It’s part of my job to sign autographs,’” Monroe said about Napoli’s willingness and eagerness to accommodate fans.
Now, she’s hoping to get autographs from third baseman Michael Young and second baseman Ian Kinsler.
“Hopefully, they come around,” she said.
Zach Colick can be reached at 623-876-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.