Spring training used to be fertile hunting grounds for autograph collectors and fans. 25 or 30 years ago, there wasn’t much competition.
It’s still easier to land a few signatures in Florida or Arizona than at Yankee Stadium in July, but you’ll have plenty of competition as you chase down players or wait for them to stop and sign. Some of those carrying baseballs and photos are dealers, but many are just adult collectors.
The autograph hobby’s continued growth means you’ll find fans of all ages and both sexes at spring training sites. Many arrive early enough to beat players and coaches.
“I’ll be 50 or 60 years old, and I’ll still be out here getting autographs,” says one. “It helps you feel like a kid.”
The Fort Myers News-Press visited with collectors for this story— and also with a Minnesota Twins player who says he’d prefer to sign for kids.