Get Balls And Autographs at PNC Park

The Get Balls And Autographs at PNC Park
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • It's possible to snag a ball outside the park on the Riverwalk
At field level, you'll have no trouble getting an autograph or two.

If you’re eager to snag a ball during your visit to PNC Park, your best bet is to do so during batting practice. This means that you’ll want to get into the park as soon as it opens, but there’s an outside chance that you’ll get a ball before you’re inside. Head to the Riverwalk area beyond right field as soon as you arrive; you’ll often see fans with gloves looking for long home runs that exit the stadium. Grab a spot on the Riverwalk with your glove and be ready — when a ball soars beyond the right field seats, you won’t have much reaction time. Occasionally, fans have had success finding balls by rooting in the vegetation along the edge of the Riverwalk, too.

To snag a BP ball inside PNC Park, line up in advance of the gates opening. The Clemente Gate, which is the one next to the Roberto Clemente bridge, opens earliest. For 7:05 p.m. games, it opens 2.5 hours before first pitch; for afternoon games, the Clemente Gate opens two hours before first pitch. All other gates, by contrast, open 90 minutes before first pitch. Getting in through the Clemente Gate puts you just a short walk from the center field bleachers, so have your glove ready and find a spot to stand. Heavy hitters can definitely reach the concourse above the bleachers, so even standing in this area gives you a chance at snagging a ball. If you’re among the first fans into the seats, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for balls under the seats that were hit before the gates opened.

If it’s autographs you’re after, you can often find a few Pirates signing around their dugout on the third base side. The front rows of seats in this area tend to fill up quickly with autograph hunters, but if you make a beeline to the dugout as soon as you get into the park, you have a good chance of having something signed. As with other MLB parks, getting autographs around the visitor’s dugout can often be easier because of lighter crowds, but this can depend on the popularity of the visiting team. If the Pirates are hosting a big-name team such as the Dodgers, Cubs or Cardinals, you can expect hefty crowds around the visitor’s dugout, too.