You could say they’re die-hard fans. Dedicated collectors. Addicted to the chase.
You could also say they’re crazy.
Every day, a big line of adults and a few kids wait for Derek Jeter to finish his morning workout in his hometown of Tampa. He won’t report to spring training for quite a few more days. Some of those in line have been waiting for hours.
For an autograph they can buy online for a few hundred dollars.
But it isn’t the same.
So wait they do, trying to obey the orders of a security guard who seems hell bent on humiliating them for what they’re trying to do.
The odds that the Yankees’ long-time captain and most popular player since Mickey Mantle will stop and accommodate them all with a quick signature are pretty long. The odds that he’ll stop and sign a few are less than 50/50.
But, as this story and photos from the New York Times indicate, there’s always hope and sometimes there are other players to get.