I attended my first minor league game back in 1995 in Wilmington and I became hooked. The minor leagues are so much more fan-friendly and the players (for the most part) are more accessible.
I began collecting autographs then, which being a shy girl, made me come out of my shell a bit. It also helped me get to know the players.
One of the first players I ever met was Mike Sweeney. Junior high and high school weren’t the best times for me, but he was always there to talk and give encouragement, either in person or in letters.
When the Royals were in NY to play the Yankees in July of 1996, my parents and I went up to see Mike.
We didn’t catch him before the game, but we did pass along a note saying we were there. After the game, we were just hoping that the note got to him. It did and he came out and called us down to the dugout.
Let’s just say we closed Yankee Stadium that night. Mike also gave me a game ball and signed it. It is still one of my favorite autographs.
I have collected a lot of autographs over the years and just about every one has a story that goes to it. If you do the autograph thing right (without yelling, badgering, or stalking), you can come away with some good stories. That, and the players can be really nice.
Next: Unique items of a favorite player