Saturday, February 26, 2005

Polite To Their Fans

We have been making our way around the pre-spring training baseball sites to look at, talk to and hang out with players and other fans that cannot wait. It is unreal as you are upclose with the players, coaches (often former stars or Hall of Famers) and other nutso fans. At one park, the players are using the same restroom as the fans.
Two incidents stick with me -- Dave Winfield was walking onto the field in this roped-off area, with a new young player. He is obviously helping coach as we witnessed him tossing and catching some balls. A young boy, about six years old carrying a binder full of cards, said "Mr. Winfield, can you please autograph my cards?" Mr. Winfield kindly replied, "Not right now, young man. I am working." How nice was that and it is something that boy will remember always, even if he never did get that autograph.
Another park, no roped-off area, an up-and-coming future "Rookie of the Year" (according to my husband), Huston Street, was signing autographs on bats, balls, spring training roster sheets, you name it. He posed for pictures with a big smile. He thanked people for waiting, apologized for the wait, and, meanwhile, the circle around him got larger.
I got an autograph and told him we had cheered him on in Fall League. We inquired about his parents, whom we met at the Fall League World Series. I believe, by next year, they won't even allow you to get close enough to get an autograph. A really nice, polite, appreciative young man -- what a treat. And when he throws the ball, you know that he stands out from the others -- he throws hard and fast. I told him to "have a good season." He smiled graciously and said thank you.