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as a baseball fan, over there is no better feeling than obtaining an autographs from one of your favourite players. I had actually the chance to sit under with previous MLB star, Brent Lillibridge, to obtain his view on signing autographs. He spilled the bean on all the tips and tricks on how to gain autographs from where to sit during spring cultivate to once to come at baseball games during the season.

For united state collectors, there is no much better feeling than gaining an autograph from one of your favourite athletes. You might have captured this an insect from a young period meeting a sports superstar who you pretended to be on the field, wearing your number or trying come replicate your homerun swing. Also now, I get that feeling of nostalgia when I accomplish athletes. That that pest that keeps me collecting.

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People will go to good lengths for autographs, consisting of sitting external team hotels and also dugouts v their Sharpies ready simply hoping for the possibility to talk through an athlete. Or because that those with the means, you deserve to pay end $500 to get Tom Brady’s autograph today. This acquired me thinking, what is this entirety autograph experience choose for this superstars?

Luckily because that me, one of my closestly childhood friends is a former major league baseball player and was ready to phone call all. Brent Lillibridge thrived up in the Seattle area and played in the majors native 2008-2013. He has actually played alongside several of baseball’s best stars throughout his stints v the White Sox, Cubs, Braves, Red Sox, Indians and also Yankees. It i will not ~ be unusual to view him make Sportscenter’s top 10 with plays like these, robbing Robinson Cano from game winning access time in Yankees Stadium: 


 

I spent time picking his mind on everything autograph-related that could help those of us who collect baseball memorabilia, including: the best places to get baseball autographs, ideal etiquette on obtaining autographs and Brent’s favorite autograph stories.

 

THE best PLACES TO obtain AN AUTOGRAPH

 

From Brent’s perspective, the four ideal places to acquire autographs for free, and also where athletes are many receptive come greeting fans and also providing autographs are: feather training, prior to baseball games, team hotels and mail-in.

Before i share details, it’s essential to note that these recommendations don’t incorporate signing occasions where you salary to acquire an autograph (typically $100-$300 per event) – more on that below.

Spring training

If you space able to make it to Florida or Arizona in February – march for feather training, this is hands down the best time and also place to gain autographs from players of all calibers. Players are more relaxed and also there is much more downtime v the players practicing in the morning and also games in afternoon. Most players have actually their functions established, so they don’t feel prefer they room fighting because that a spot. Prospects who space fighting for spots room also an ext inclined to authorize autographs because it is interesting for castle to satisfy the fans as it may be their first time play for a big league team. Also the most famed athletes will invest 5-10 minute before and also after practices and also games to authorize autographs.

These room the four ideal times to gain signatures during a usual game day. Ideally, you would hang out about the clubhouse and catch them walking to and also from the practice field or stadium.

9 am – practice starts. Have the right to ask ~ above the means from clubhouse to exercise field10:30 – 11:00 to be – exercise Ends. Can ask on the way back indigenous the practice ar to the clubhouse12:30 pm – Players start to come to the stadium generally 20-30 minutes before game time (usually 1:00 PM). You have the right to either wait in ~ the clubhouse as they begin to walk come the stadium or at the stadium close to the dugout as they are getting loose before the game.4:00 afternoon - video game over. Players will certainly stick around the field for 5-10 minutes to authorize autographs or you can wait outside the clubhouse together they come back.

Here is a map that Peoria sporting activities Complex, which is a great example of most spring training complex set-ups and also where you deserve to expect to cave out. 

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Looking wherein your favourite team or player plays during spring training? examine out both the Grapefruit League (Florida) or Cactus League (Arizona) maps.

Games during Baseball Season

While not as basic as obtaining an autograph at spring Training, there is still an opportunity to snag one autograph native players. Brent do it really clear that there isn’t much of a happiness or reason why part players will sign and also other won’t. If a player has a bad game, you most likely won’t watch them wanting to prevent for the fans. Here are the two locations you can obtain autographs while in season.

Batting practice, this will certainly be your finest chance and also he recommends coming to the dugout area best when entrances open 2 hrs beforehand. The residence team hits first, typically from 2 ½ hours prior to game time for an hour and also then the tourists will hit right after that for about an hour generally ending 30 minute before first pitch.After the game – no recommended due to the fact that players commonly want to gain home appropriate after the game, specifically if they play poorly. Top top the rarely occasion, you may record them around the dugout because that a rapid signature for as much as 30 minutes after.

Team Hotel during the Season

There are typically a couple of hotels the will constantly host the visiting team in every city. They are usually the larger 4-5 star properties choose a Hyatt or Sheraton the are situated downtown. Over there isn’t any type of site out there (that I understand of) that short articles where the groups are staying at, mostly because those team rates room negotiated between the team and also hotel and also that info doesn’t generally leak. I am sure there are super-fans in your city that will short article where the team is staying, generally through tip-offs native the hotel staff or someone that notices the team busses arrive. Intend to perform a lot of waiting if you go this path for an autograph, but if you do, there is a much far better chance you acquire an autograph with smaller crowds to complete against.

Players commonly leave the hotel 3 hours before game time and also 1-2 hrs after the game. If girlfriend camp out roughly those time, it is your best chance.

Mail-In to Clubhouse

The best part about mail in to the athlete at their clubhouse is your pan mail will constantly get come the player. That really up to them if they desire to authorize it or not. Brent claimed it can take as much as a year for players to gain through every the pan mail.

There space two areas you have the right to mail in a request to gain an autograph:

 For your best chances of acquiring an autographed returned, make sure you send:

Pre-stamped and addressed return envelope or package – do it as easy as possible for the football player to send the map or item back.Keep it little – A baseball card or photograph is fine; nothing send anything enlarge such as a bat or glove.Make it personal—A quick letter, 2 to 3 sentences saying just how much that player method to you and also thank you for signing this map is sufficient.Limit amount – that OK come send a couple of cards, however don’t push your luck. 15 maximum, much less is ideal.

It is absolutely not recommended to mail anything come a player’s home. Brent stated to stop this at every costs and there is more than likely no opportunity you would gain your item back. Be respectful of their privacy, since it doesn’t feeling secure once fans uncover a player’s home resolve through tax returns or residence records. Football player will contact the MLB protection team if they feel unsafe around how fans have contacted them around getting autographs.

Through The letter (TTM) - brand-new Update (!)

I"ve linked with Brent freshly on his view on having actually cards sent to his home attend to and he appears to have taken a lot softer approach. Now that that is a couple of years eliminated from the league, he really enjoys gaining fan mail and also cards asking for a signature. His newest recommendation would be to try through the mail (TTM) because that retired players only. Because that players still in the league, you have actually a very great chance to not obtain your items back, or to obtain it ago unsigned. 

One last recommendation is to keep it little and straightforward in the mail. Cards are the best to send in and also out. Don"t send anything big like a bat or a helmet. Also, because that you the sender, friend don"t desire to hazard not having a good item sent out back. 

For v the mail (TTM) addresses on previous players, the most trusted resource on the market today is sports Collectors. Over there is a totally free version and a membership version that allow you accessibility to players home addresses come send cards to. 

Signing Events

There room pros and also cons to signing events. While they space the best method to gain an autograph and also meet the players, they can be expensive and you may not feeling as much of a an individual connection because it’s a payment event. Still, this is my favorite way to satisfy players and even grab a photograph with them – without all the job-related of waiting about hotels or walking to spring Training.

Look the end for neighborhood sports memorabilia shop for regional sports stars. Below is a list of national signing events, services and also conventions:

Do’s & Don’ts

Baseball players by and large love to offer autographs, it’s their way of giving back to their fans. Unfortunately it have the right to be very complicated for football player to determine what to authorize with a huge group of fans. Unsurprisingly youngsters have the finest chance to gain an autograph. The feels more genuine having a son ask since you know it is walking to do their day. The shortest priority are what Brent phone call “card guys” – these space the males who space sitting in the bleachers or hotel street with binders that cards or an envelope with 3 cards and also you will uncover them in every the locations we talked about. Football player don’t feeling it is really genuine and will constantly sign kids’ ingredient first. Players know when this “card guys” send youngsters too, therefore don’t shot to cheat them. If you are an adult with no kids, don’t feel choose you don’t have a chance, just be patient and nice and you may have the ability to get their attention.

Other Tips and Tricks

Bad to method if eat at a restaurant or out through friends. That rubs lock the wrong way to interrupt them. Wait till they room walking the end of the restaurant to ask.No more than 3 autographs at a time. Ideally, line up your three cards in a heat so it’s easy for them come sign.Bigger items prefer a bat or glove are wanted over a sphere or map if do the efforts to get a signature in person. Brent says that he to know you went out of your way to bring a large item to the game, for this reason he would certainly be an ext inclined to authorize a larger item.Knowing children may have far better chances of gaining an autograph, questioning a girlfriend or nephew or niece to come v you – that a win-win as they obtain to suffer a video game or conference an athlete and may aid you gain a signature.

 Q&A v BRENT LILLIBRIDGE

Do athletes collection autographs from the other athletes?

All the time. Prior to each game, us would provide baseballs come our clubhouse employees that would carry them over to a certain player on the various other team. Both teams do this and also everyone is happy to authorize autographs to “take treatment of each other”. Your baseballs friend send over would always get signed. I have actually an office complete of baseballs signed and also I am sure everyone else does too.

Weirdest location you got an autograph?

While playing v the Cubs, i took the subway ago from Wrigely Field. Nobody really well-known me as they more than likely weren’t expecting a player to take the subway after ~ the game. I did obtain a 2nd look from an additional guy who put it all together that ns was playing an initial base a couple of hours earlier. Ns have likewise been asked for my autograph while eat dinner through my totality family. It to be a bit awkward, however happy to perform it.

Weirdest thing you signed?

One time a human being didn’t have anything because that me to sign, for this reason they pulled out their cabinet phone! ns asked if they were sure, and also they said yes they desire me to sign it. One more time i as acquiring takeout at a restaurant and the employee asked if I could sign a take-out box to put on the wall.

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Today, Brent lives exterior of Seattle and also runs a baseball mentorship firm called, basic by Pros. “Building Athletes through Sport Education” help mentor young athletes by not only offering advice on exactly how to enhance an athlete’s performance, but also help equip them to handle the difficulties of the mental side the the game.