The Art Of The Autograph: A Blue Jays Year In Review

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent INovember 15, 2008

The MLB season has concluded and I've had some time to sit back and think about the season as a whole, not with regards to how the Toronto Blue Jays did or whether or not AJ Burnett will ever see Toronto again but about Autographs.

It started around March of 2008, when I realized the you could attend all 81 Blue Jays home games for the low price of $99. With individual tickets being 9 dollars a piece, i figured I'd easily attend 11 games so I went out and bought a pass.

The Skydome or Rogers Centre isn't the best place to sit back and watch a ball game, but their newly implemented policy of allowing food and drinks into the stadium really made ball games tolerable.  You could stop at one of the many fast food places around the Dome, grab yourself a lunch and coke and pop over to the game. Saving $20 a night really makes the game easier to sit through.

About a month into the 2008 Season, I realized you could show up an hour and a half before the game and regardless of where your seat was, you could step down to field level and try and snag a ball, and ask for a few autographs.

I found myself getting bored of the signed balls, cards and ticket stubs pretty quickly and figured it woudln't be too hard to actually sketch the players out before the game and try to get their autographs.

Frank Thomas was amazing, as i'd tried while he was with the Blue Jays but couldn't get him until he came back with the Oakland A's.

Joe Mauer was probably the highlight of the season for me, and the Twins were far and away the team that signed the most.  A simple please and thank you, without sounding like a complete idiot, went a long way. 

Brad Ziegler renewed my hope in Major Leaguers as a whole.  Here was a man who stood outside long after all of his teammates had went in to the clubhouse.

I'd like to know what people think of the Autograph Experience at their local ballpark and whether or not its tolerable. I realized pretty quickly that the standard autograph hound is about 6', 270lbs, lacking deodorant and manners. I'm not sure how the autograph experience could be improved but it really is survival of the fittest.  A small child has no shot, unless a player comes directly to him.