Some of my greatest memories growing up was going to Angels games and getting autographs and having stars of the game talk with me. Major Leaguers seemed to understand the power of a simple autograph and how that would translate into creating a fan of theirs for life. As I had kids I tried to show them how fun and exciting it is to interact with these heroes they watch on TV. But every time I try to make this happen it results in such disappointment for the kids. I’ve taken my kids on a few Spring Training trips to get autographs to only be ignored, even by the minor leaguers. The latest instance was last night where the kids were screaming Esteves’ name trying to get a simple wave from the bullpen (I know they heard them because we were right next to the bullpen). And nothing! They couldn’t even wave at the kids. It seems like a very simple PR win for players to interact more with the kids.
A few weeks ago my kids finally experienced this excitement I’ve been trying to show them. I took them to a Savannah Bananas game and my kids got a ton of autographs, and played simple games with the players (rock, paper,scissors) to “win” a gift such as a rubber bracelet. They had a blast. The MLB needs to understand that winning the hearts and minds of kids is a good thing.