Monday, January 09, 2006

Autograph Rankings

I really enjoy getting to meet the Rangers players and have had a lot of success as an autograph seeker. Some players are nicer about giving autographs than others. I have put together a ranking of the top 10 nicest Rangers about giving autographs, along with honorable mentions.

1. Rusty Greer – Rusty always made himself available to give autographs to the public. He never just signed without talking to you and he always seemed interested in you as a person. He always had a nice approach to giving autographs and even if he couldn’t at the time, he wouldn’t ignore you like some other players do. One time, I met him at a Halloween party at the Ballpark and he was so willing to give autographs when we asked him. Also, he spent a lot of time just talking to my Daddy and me and asked us questions about ourselves.

2. Jeff Zimmerman – Like Rusty Greer, Jeff made himself available to give autographs to the public by being at lots of autograph events and always talked to you as a person. He was always nice and was never grumpy and it seemed like he never woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

3. Francisco Cordero – The Rangers do not have many players who will just go sign autographs before a game on their own. He is one of the three people on my list who does this. He is not one of the people who enjoys talking to you but he will sign plenty of autographs. I have seen him many times just start signing on his own. A line would start piling up and he would just sign and sign until close to game time.

4. Ricardo Rodriguez – Like Francisco, he will go sign autographs before a game on his own without being asked. He does not sign autographs until close to game time but he does sign autographs after the rest of the players are already gone. He’s also not one of the ones who talks very much but he still signs plenty.

5. Justin Thompson – Last year, when Justin was a RoughRider, all you had to do to get an autograph was go up to him and he would ask you if you wanted an autograph. One time, I asked Justin if I could have his autograph after the game. We later overheard his wife telling him that they needed to hurry and leave right after the game. Justin still remembered that he promised me and took my card and signed it before leaving. He autographed for me so many times that I gave him a $5 gift card to Blockbuster. After that, he always remembered me as soon as he saw me and he would never go one time without saying thank you. Later in the year, I saw him in Oklahoma City after he got called up and he still remembered me when he saw me. Again, like Jeff and Rusty, he would always take time to talk to you and treat you as a real person.

6. John Rocker – John Rocker has a bad reputation but when I got to meet him before a game when he was in the bullpen one time, I got his autograph and he was so nice. I saw him before games more during the year and he was always very nice. He always took time to talk to me and ask me how I was doing. This is a good example that people with bad reputations can still be nice on the inside.

7. Chris Young – He will sign autographs without being asked but doesn’t do it as much as Francisco and Ricardo. He talks to you very nicely while he is signing.

8. Tom Evans – I sent Tom a get well card when he was hurt in 2000. I got a letter from him containing two autographed baseball cards as a thank you for my get well card.

9. Michael Young – If you call him over before the game, he will usually come over and sign for you. While he is signing, he’ll talk to you very nicely. He doesn’t act like he’s in a hurry. Also, he’s very good at going to Rangers autograph events.

10. Brian Shouse – Brian always makes himself available to sign autographs. He doesn’t go into the dugout and hide himself from the crowd, making it so he doesn’t have to sign. Last year, when I was in Kansas City for a Royals game against the Rangers, there was a rain delay. During the delay. Brian was out throwing with Ron Mahay. He stayed out in the rain to sign autographs for me and the rest of the Rangers fans.

Honorable Mention:
- Sandy Alomar Jr.
- David Dellucci
- Jim Sundberg
- Thomas Diamond


Hannah said...

Hey. Like you, I'm a younger Rangers fan. I'm 14 and I've been going to Rangers games since I was 5. I still remember clearly when John Wetteland and Bucky Dent both threw me a ball. I agree about Sandy Alomar. He was signing one day I was there, however by the time I got down there it was nearly game time so he quit signing. At the last game of the 2005 season, I got C.J. Wilson's autograph. He was very polite while signing.

David said...

Hey Grant,

I loved reading about the best Rangers to give autographs and showed your Blog to people at work. Great job and keep the stories coming!!

grantlovesbaseball said...

Hannah, CJ Wilson gave me an autograph at the end of the year too. Thank you for reading my blog.

gopudge said...

#1 on my list would definatly have to be Scott Sheldon (Last seen in 2001). He would sit on a stool and sign until there was no one left just about every game. My other favorites that were not mentioned are Jason Romano, Laynce Nix, Hank Blalock, and Ron Mahay. Nicest guys for visiting teams: Jose Lima, sits on the railing and signs for anyone who wants it, Ryan Franklin, always willing to sign for a long time, and Mark Redman who signed in the 100 degree heat for everyone wanting something signed

I would have to disagree with Jon Rocker. Everytime myself or anyone else would ask for an autograph he would always say he had to go ice his arm but would come back out to sign. Every game people would wait thinking he was going to come back but he never did. The only time I ever got his autograph was on Fan appreciation day in 2002 when almost every player was in the concourse signing autographs and shinking has as fans entered the stadium.

gopudge said...
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