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MLB Spring Training Camps

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MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by xtra-innings on Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:25 am

With MLB spring training camps right around the corner, anyone on the boards venturing out to any of them? If so, what teams do you visit? How long do you usually stay?

I've been graphing in AZ (Cactus League) for well over 25 years and have found most camps (and players) accommodating. I average several hundred sigs when I go ranging from cards, photos, helmets, bases, bats, and balls.

Here's a link to info pertaining to Cactus and Grapefruit League reporting dates and game schedules.

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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by Silly on Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:07 am

Man I would love to go. I use to go all the time in Florida growing up because my Uncle lived right there in St. Petersburg. I have a friend who lives down the block in AZ from the Cubs facility. I have to wait until next year though because that is when I get my extra week of vacation time.

Can't wait to see your results.

One of my favorite things to hear is always when "Pitchers and catchers report"

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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by cubsfan0303 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:56 pm

I have been out there for the last 4 years and going again this year. Always have good success and most players will sign.
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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by xtra-innings on Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:26 pm

Last year's ST camp was a success...I hit up the Padres, Mariners, Dodgers, Brewers, Rangers, and Royals camps.

I scored Hamilton, Mattingly, Braun, Lasorda, Maddux, Kemp, and Ichiro (to name a few). I think I'll miss Ichiro the most...he had a "routine" he followed and it remained unchanged since 2001. Every year I visited the Mariners' camp, I came away with multiples...jerseys, bats, balls, bases, cards, photos, and helmets. Last year was no different as I was rewarded with x2 full sized bases, a bat, a mini helmet, and a Orix Blue Wave card.

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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by xtra-innings on Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:32 pm

cubsfan0303 wrote:I have been out there for the last 4 years and going again this year. Always have good success and most players will sign.
Do you head out there when they begin Cactus League play or before?

I've always gone before the games start and seem to do well. There's always less of a crowd to compete with when they are practicing opposed to dealing with the crowds during/after the games.
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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by cubsfan0303 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:56 pm

xtra-innings wrote:
cubsfan0303 wrote:I have been out there for the last 4 years and going again this year. Always have good success and most players will sign.
Do you head out there when they begin Cactus League play or before?

I've always gone before the games start and seem to do well. There's always less of a crowd to compete with when they are practicing opposed to dealing with the crowds during/after the games.
I always go out during march but dont really go after all the teams mostly the cubs but I think thins year ill be going after some other guys. I need Maddux for sure again any tips?
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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by xtra-innings on Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:12 pm

cubsfan0303 wrote:
xtra-innings wrote:
cubsfan0303 wrote:I have been out there for the last 4 years and going again this year. Always have good success and most players will sign.
Do you head out there when they begin Cactus League play or before?

I've always gone before the games start and seem to do well. There's always less of a crowd to compete with when they are practicing opposed to dealing with the crowds during/after the games.
I always go out during march but dont really go after all the teams mostly the cubs but I think thins year ill be going after some other guys. I need Maddux for sure again any tips?

I always go before the games start and he makes himself accessible...just gotta keep following him. He doesn't care for large crowds so if you can get him one on one when he's walking between practice fields, that might work...it's worked for me in the past. Then again, with him at the Rangers camp last year, it was easy to get him since most of fans were after Hamilton, Darvish, Kinsler, Young, and Beltre. In fact, not many people were aware he was even with the Rangers...many thought it was Mike Maddux. For of those who did our homework, we scored!
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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by cubsfan0303 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:47 pm

xtra-innings wrote:
cubsfan0303 wrote:
xtra-innings wrote:
cubsfan0303 wrote:I have been out there for the last 4 years and going again this year. Always have good success and most players will sign.
Do you head out there when they begin Cactus League play or before?

I've always gone before the games start and seem to do well. There's always less of a crowd to compete with when they are practicing opposed to dealing with the crowds during/after the games.
I always go out during march but dont really go after all the teams mostly the cubs but I think thins year ill be going after some other guys. I need Maddux for sure again any tips?

I always go before the games start and he makes himself accessible...just gotta keep following him. He doesn't care for large crowds so if you can get him one on one when he's walking between practice fields, that might work...it's worked for me in the past. Then again, with him at the Rangers camp last year, it was easy to get him since most of fans were after Hamilton, Darvish, Kinsler, Young, and Beltre. In fact, not many people were aware he was even with the Rangers...many thought it was Mike Maddux. For of those who did our homework, we scored!
Are you talking about going to the minors practice fields or at the real field?
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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:27 pm

I went every year since 1994 up to 2006 when my first kid was born. Since then, I only went once. Strictly Arizona for me as my uncle lives in Scottsdale and one of my good friends is scout for the White Sox and I would stay with him when the Sox were in Tucson. I just had to pay for flight and a rental car and would stay anywhere from 5 days to two weeks. What I loved about this trip is that it was my trip. Some friends would meet up with me there, but I was focused on collecting autographs, eating bad food, hitting the casino (Indian Reservation Casinos suck) and strip joints.

When I first started going, I was big into baseball cards...would bring 2-4 800 count boxes and see teams all day. Catch a day game and a night game if there was one. Graphing was great and fairly easy. From the practice fields, to the B games in the back fields, to the major league spring training game to after games you could rack once you figured things out. As the years went on, I would bring less cards and more photos.

The most recent year I went, in 2009, I just brought baseballs and some random items. I realized that I no longer wanted to go after everyone like I did in the past. After all this years, and re-focusing my collection, I only wanted game used items from my Chicago teams and the stars and prospects I didn't have on baseballs. Needless to say, I didn't go home with as many autographs in the past...but I did ship 7 game used bats home that I received from players. The graphing was still good...I just didn't feel the need to get guys 10 times over.

Anyway, spring training is great for autographs. Learn the lay of the land...find the practice fields. You'll find that guys will sign in-between stations, after BP etc. Game time is good...before and after. You'll find that stars will leave by the fifth inning...if you learn where they exit, you can catch them as they leave, during the game. Pick up a newspaper every morning and keep an eye for autograph appearance players will for the local car dealership etc. Listen to sports radio when driving...you'll hear about local events where these guys will be attending. May not be great for graphing, but perfect for photo ops.

Finally, study you team's rosters. Look for roving instructors and special guests and non-roster invitees. You need to have any idea who will be around...don't want to miss out on guys like Will Clark and Vince Coleman or even Sandy Koufax when you had something for them to sign at home and they're standing right in front of you.

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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by xtra-innings on Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:50 am

Desi_M wrote:I went every year since 1994 up to 2006 when my first kid was born. Since then, I only went once. Strictly Arizona for me as my uncle lives in Scottsdale and one of my good friends is scout for the White Sox and I would stay with him when the Sox were in Tucson. I just had to pay for flight and a rental car and would stay anywhere from 5 days to two weeks. What I loved about this trip is that it was my trip. Some friends would meet up with me there, but I was focused on collecting autographs, eating bad food, hitting the casino (Indian Reservation Casinos suck) and strip joints.

When I first started going, I was big into baseball cards...would bring 2-4 800 count boxes and see teams all day. Catch a day game and a night game if there was one. Graphing was great and fairly easy. From the practice fields, to the B games in the back fields, to the major league spring training game to after games you could rack once you figured things out. As the years went on, I would bring less cards and more photos.

The most recent year I went, in 2009, I just brought baseballs and some random items. I realized that I no longer wanted to go after everyone like I did in the past. After all this years, and re-focusing my collection, I only wanted game used items from my Chicago teams and the stars and prospects I didn't have on baseballs. Needless to say, I didn't go home with as many autographs in the past...but I did ship 7 game used bats home that I received from players. The graphing was still good...I just didn't feel the need to get guys 10 times over.

Anyway, spring training is great for autographs. Learn the lay of the land...find the practice fields. You'll find that guys will sign in-between stations, after BP etc. Game time is good...before and after. You'll find that stars will leave by the fifth inning...if you learn where they exit, you can catch them as they leave, during the game. Pick up a newspaper every morning and keep an eye for autograph appearance players will for the local car dealership etc. Listen to sports radio when driving...you'll hear about local events where these guys will be attending. May not be great for graphing, but perfect for photo ops.

Finally, study you team's rosters. Look for roving instructors and special guests and non-roster invitees. You need to have any idea who will be around...don't want to miss out on guys like Will Clark and Vince Coleman or even Sandy Koufax when you had something for them to sign at home and they're standing right in front of you.

Well said... Smile
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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by xtra-innings on Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:48 pm

Less than a month remains before the start of ST!!! Celebrate

I've got my cards, photos, baseballs, mini helmets, bases, bats, and pitching rubbers ready...I need my yearly "fix".

I'm gonna be in AZ hitting up the Padres/Mariners/Dodgers/White Sox/Rangers/Royals/Brewers camps.

Good luck to those making their way to graph in AZ or FL. Cool Dance
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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by hoganator on Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:26 am

I will be visiting the Twins and Red Sox stadiums as I live only about 20 minutes away from them, and my friends dad was roomates with Mark Teixeira in college and if we go to a Yankees game and hes there, he could get us all of the big name guys like Jeter and Cano so I hope that happens
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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by xtra-innings on Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:51 am

I just returned from Arizona ST camps after 9 AWESOME days of graphing.

Below is a list of players and cards signed during this trip. Items (other than cards) are described.

This year, I attended the Padres, Dodgers, White Sox, Rangers, Brewers, and Mariners camps. Some of the more notable graphs I got were KOUFAX, McGwire, Lasorda, Greg Maddux, Kemp, Hoffman, Dunn, Peavy, and Kinsler (to name a few).


PADRES

Black-1, Hoffman-2; 2 pitching rubbers; 1 Brewers mini helmet; 2 photos, Maybin-2; 1 photo, Street-2, O'Sullivan-3, Gregerson-3, Hedges-4, Darnell-6, Freddy Garcia-7, Kotsay-5, Denrfia-2, Stauffer-3, Plantier-3, Jimmy Jones-7, Hundley-11, Venable-5, De Los Santos-3, Volquez-7, Cabrera-2, Ross-6, Jacque Jones-3, Grandal-4, Forsythe-6, Kelly-2, Richard-4, Luebke-12, Brach-1, Wieland-1, Guzman-1, Thatcher-1, Quentin-1, Dave Roberts-1; 3 photos, Decker-1, Galvez-1, Ausmus-3, Blanks-3, Bass-9, Headley-3 photos


Dodgers

Mattingly-1; 1 photo, McGwire-1; 1 A's mini helmet, Beckett-1, Federowicz-3, Guerrier-2, Valentin-2, Harang-2, Billingsley-2, Capuano-2, League-2, Ken Howell-6, Mueller-1, Moore-1, Hillman-1, JP Howell-2, Wallach-1, Ethier-2, Vizcaino-3, Hairston Jr.-2, Yeager-1, Kemp-2 photos, Lasorda-1 mini helmet; 2 photos, KOUFAX-1 pitching rubber


White Sox

Ventura-1, Rios-2, Boston-13, Floyd-2, Castro-2, Sale-1, Reed-2, Thigpen-2, Konerko-3, Beckham-1, Ramirez-2, Purcey-2, Morel-3, De Aza-3, Flowers-1, Peavy-3; 1 photo, Keppinger-2, Dotson-4, Dunn-2, Baines-2, Sanchez-2


Rangers

Washington-2, Greg Maddux-1, Allen-2, Snyder-3, Buechele-3, Pettis-1, Pierzynski-1, Moreland-2, Soto-2, Murphy-2, Cruz-3; 3 photos, Hawkins-4, Mike Maddux-2, Nathan-2, Holland-1, Tateyama-1, Kinsler-1 photo


Brewers

Weeks-1, Coles-9, Shelby-1, Aoki-1, Counsell-1, Fiers-1, Lalli-2


Mariners

Felix Hernandez-1, Phillips-1, Thompson-4, Snyder-3, Jack Howell-3, Navarro-2, C. Gwynn-1, Hansen-2, Ryan-5, Liddi-2, Seager-4, Thames-1, Smoak-1, Saunders-1, Wels-1, Furbush-6, Ackley-1, Iwakuma-1; 6 photos


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Last edited by xtra-innings on Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by coachk28 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:40 am

Sweet pick ups! Sounds like koufax been signing like crazy.

I wonder if I should try Hoffman TTM.

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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by xtra-innings on Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:38 pm

coachk28 wrote:Sweet pick ups! Sounds like koufax been signing like crazy.

I wonder if I should try Hoffman TTM.

Dodgers camp was an absolute zoo!!!!! Koufax signed almost everyday however, there were usually a couple of hundred folks trying to get him. It was not an easy task to score him on the pitching rubber. I dedicated one day to try and get him and once I did, I didn't bother with the crowds anymore. It gave me the opportunity to graph others like Kemp, Ethier, Beckett, and McGwire. It also left me time to walk over to the ChiSox camp and score some of the folks over there (i.e. Dunn, Rios, Konerko, Peavy).

Definitely one of my better trips.... Celebrate
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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

Post by xtra-innings on Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:22 pm

coachk28 wrote:Sweet pick ups! Sounds like koufax been signing like crazy.

I wonder if I should try Hoffman TTM.

Hoffman returned to San Diego on Friday. He's been hit or miss TTM.

Dave Winfield is now at Padres camp (my buddy got him yesterday afternoon).
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Re: MLB Spring Training Camps

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