Saturday, March 9, 2013

Jason Kipnis

Jason Kipnis playing catch.

When you meet your favorite star, whether from sports or entertainment, you don't know how the encounter will go. You hope for the best, but sometimes the worst happens, like when I had to dodge Jack Daniels bottles being tossed by Blink-182. Ahem, that is another story.

Yesterday, I finally got my Jason Kipnis autograph...and he was awesome.


I completely understand that at Spring Training, these guys are working. They have a job to do, a team to make, so I get that they may not always be inclined to sign autographs for a line of fans. But, for 4 days I had been trying to get Jason Kipnis to sign and it was no dice.

The morning was cold and windy, with tumbleweeds rolling past the training facility. A few of the more hardcore fans were at the practice, waiting for their favorite player to walk by, but that was it. When Kipnis walked by, I was hanging on the fence like a little kid, clutching a sharpie and my bat. I politely asked if he would please sign my bat.

Jason Kipnis walking toward me. Eeek.

He said he would come back after practice.

I have found out that when players say they will come back, they don't always mean it. They don't want to be the bad guys, and by saying, "I'll be back later" it is an easy let down. Let's face it kids, some fans are jerks, so being screamed at would be something I would avoid as well.

Kipnis is a man of his word, and after practice, he did come back. He walked straight to me, still hanging on the fence with my bat. 

As Kipnis signed my bat, I thanked him for signing and coming back. His response was a simple, "I said I would."


It was great to see that Kipnis understands that the fans are just as important as any other fundamental of the sport.  If you don't have the fans, you don't have the game. He signed and smiled for everyone there yesterday. He kept smiling even for the woman that made him pose twice because she took the first picture with the lens cap on.

After everyone got an autograph, Kipnis walked away and left good will and happy fans behind.

It may have been cold and rainy yesterday, but it was bright for me.

Opening day is right around the corner.

My autographed bat. Woot.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Really enjoying your spring training reports, someday I hope to make it out there!

    You're right about this being work and the players having a job to do, I think too many of us fans forget that. I don't go after autographs and even when I encounter players, I tend to leave them alone but I've noticed watching Kipnis that he really, and sincerely, does reach out to fans. I love seeing the Sunday home games when kids take the field, and more than once noticed how Kip really takes time, extra time, to talk with the kids, going down to eye level to take a few extra seconds to connect.

    Players like that make me proud of Cleveland and happy to be a tribe fan!