Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Spring Training Autographs of Fergie Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, and Lee Smith

While vacationing in Arizona last week, I just had to hit up a Spring Training game to see my favorite team, the Chicago Cubs, get ready for the upcoming baseball season. The atmosphere at Sloan Field is great, and my wife, my dad, and I got some cheap tickets in the outfield lawn, which is a great place to lay down a blanket, sit on the ground, and watch a baseball game.  They actually have the grass beginning at the top of the outfield fence, and going on a bit of an incline, which allows fans to get a great look at the game.

The Cubs beat the Oakland Athletics 9-5, and man, there was some power behind the Cubs' bats, as four home runs were hit into the outfield during the game. I also got to see 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta pitch for a few innings. I'm not one to predict this early on that this year may be "The Year," but the Cubs are looking VERY impressive so far.

Also at the game, just like at the one I attended last year, was an autograph signing session hosted by the Fergie Jenkins Foundation. The organization was founded in 1999 and raises money to support a number of humanitarian charities, "through the love of sport." One of their fundraisers is through autograph signings at Spring Training games, which Jenkins attends, and he brings other former ballplayers and athletes along, as well. Each of the guests has a basic $20 charge for smaller items and anywhere from $30-$50 for larger items, which makes them quite affordable, especially when a couple Hall-of-Famers are thrown in.

I ended up getting autographs and photos from three of the guests, and here's what I ended up with:

Fergie Jenkins

Gaylord Perry

Lee Smith

And here's a picture of the wife and I at our spot on the outfield lawn.

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