This is Fan Tales, a Sunday feature that presents a topic of fan-related fun. Share your thoughts and memories in the comments.
I’ve never been a truly lucky collector of autographs. Sure I got an Ozzie Smith autograph, but who hasn’t? Most of my winning autographs came with arms hanging out, leaning against the fence at Veterans Stadium. Or, if you go back enough, those photo nights at the Vet — 5 p.m. on a Saturday hanging out on the field as Roger McDowell flashes you a funny face.
Photo night aside: McDowell actually took our camera and snapped a photo of my family. He was always fun.
Getting autographs, for some, is a lifelong hobby. For most children, it’s one of the main reasons to attend a baseball game. At the Vet, if you’re not lining up before the game, you’re hanging out way afterward by the players’ tunnel. Maybe Mike Williams tosses you a baseball. Maybe Doug Glanville flashes you his winning smile.
My best autograph at a Phillies game? Probably Ricky Bottalico, who signed my brother’s hat after telling the kids “OK, one more.” He selected me. Ha. The other autograph I remember vividly? Tony Womack. A rookie with the Pirates, he did something good the day before, so when he approached the fence, I told him “good game yesterday, Tony,” and he promptly signed my scorecard and thanked me. Ah, memories.
What about you? You must have better autograph memories than I.