The Gauntlet

More ST photos...

Many of the players & coaches filter down to practice fields to the west of the stadium prior to the game to work on specific drills and take BP. To get back to the stadium, they need to cross a parking lot between the stadium and the practice field. At the north side of the parking lot is a series of steps leading from the practice field to the stadium. There are barricades set-up to give the players/coaches a path to get back to the stadium. This is "autograph alley" or "the gauntlet".


This is a shot at northwest side of the lot near the steps (to the left). Fans are starting to stake out their spots.Springtraining2009053-1_medium

This is gate and barricades where the players emerge from the practice field and enter the gauntlet  (again, to the left).Springtraining2009055_medium

Now we are getting busy! Some of the players are starting to filter through the gauntlet. You can see Lackey and Escobar in the sea of red.


View just before the steps. Lackey and Weaver. Their hands are probably sore already, and they have a long way to go.


Lackey getting closer.


Dream Weaver.


Jeff Mathis on the approach.


The players are generally cordial and accommodating. Most fans are respectful. Some of the fans I found to be annoying. One fan kept asking Lackey to "…look up and smile!" while Lackey was trying to sign autographs...repeating it about 7-8 times. I guess she wanted a perfect picture. He ignored her.

Other fans wanted multiple autographs (on jerseys, photos, programs, gloves, on and on). To me, that would be really un-nerving. The players generally signed once or twice, then moved on. The "aggrieved" fan simply moved further down the line and waited to get the next items autographed.

I felt some sympathy for these players. I think some of the fans would have really tried my patience.


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