Autograph Tips For Coca-Cola Park

The Autograph Tips For Coca-Cola Park
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Players sign around dugouts
  • Tunnels are a good spot post-game
In addition to signing around the dugout before the game, some players will stop and sign around the tunnel after the game is over.

As you move up through the Minor Leagues, autographs can get progressively tougher to obtain. At bigger parks, there’s often less opportunity for one-on-one interaction with players, and by the time they reach Triple-A, many guys have learned to tune out fans and avoid getting too close to the autograph seekers. Players notwithstanding, Coca-Cola Park offers a number of ways to get autographs before and after the game.

The IronPigs’ dugout is located on the third base side, so if you’re after the home team, get to the dugout area as soon as the gates open. If it’s the visitors you’re seeking, head to the first base dugout at your first opportunity. If you get to field level as soon as the gates open an hour before first pitch, there likely won’t be many – or any – players out just yet. Be patient, because they’ll arrive before long. It’s best to get against the fence on the outfield side of either dugout, because most players will go from the dugout into the outfield to stretch, run and play catch. By standing in this area, many will need to walk right past you, and you’ll be able to ask them to sign.

A handful of players will sign in this area before each game, but many like to get warmed up before they sign, so don’t be discouraged if a player says “later” and jogs past you. The bullpens at Coca-Cola Park are fenced in and inaccessible to fans, so don’t waste your time in these areas. Minor League Baseball prohibits players from signing during the game, so once game time approaches, you might as well give up on trying.

Autographs are possible after the game, but you’ll usually have better luck with the winning team. This time, don’t wait along the fence at field level. Instead, look for the tunnel that runs from the dugout toward the clubhouses, and find a spot here. It’s not only a great place to see the players close up, but some will stop and sign for you. And, if you’re really lucky, you might get a ball tossed to you or have a player pose for a photo with you.

Depending on your level of determination, it’s possible to try for some autographs outside the stadium. When you leave Coca-Cola Park, look for a long road that leads to the west side of the park. This area isn’t blocked off, and you can walk along it to reach the players’ parking lot. You’ll see a number of nice cars in the area, which belong to the IronPigs players, and the visitors’ bus will also load here. Remember that players are now on their own time, and don’t be pesky if you get turned down for an autograph.