I was very fortunate this year to spend some time in Arizona for Cactus League Spring Training where I saw three San Francisco Giants games. If you are a big baseball fan, it is a must that you try and make it out to Florida or Arizona to catch some games at least once in your life. The parks are small, the atmosphere is great and you can get up close and personal with your favorite team in ways you can't do at the big league stadiums.
Get there early and watch batting practice from the front row, something that you can't do unless you have prime seats at an MLB game. And if you like to collect autographs - bring your stuff because there will be several opportunities to nab auto's of not only players, but anyone associated with the team. I saw kids get former Giants players Will Clark and Ryan Klesko at the games I attended as well as several current players stopped to sign pre-game. Giants broadcaster Jon Miller also signed after the game as kids would walk right up to the press box after the game and he would willingly sign.
In the concession areas behind the stadium, one of the local charity organizations had legendary players signing autographs everyday. Among the players I saw signing were Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers, Fergie Jenkins and Gaylord Perry. The day I saw Perry, I tweeted this picture of him as you could walk right up to them as they signed.
Fellow Blogger Baseball Nut was quick on the draw and let me know on Twitter that Perry was one player he needed an autograph of. Baseball Nut also has maybe the 2nd or 3rd most posts on the Sports Card Radio Fan Forum - so anything I could do to take care of my guy I had to do.
As it also turns out - Perry was my Grandfathers favorite player. I never met my Grandfather as he passed away before I was born. Meeting his favorite player was a pretty cool moment for me.