Get Balls And Autographs at Whitaker Bank Ballpark

The Get Balls And Autographs at Whitaker Bank Ballpark
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Parking lot behind LF gives shot at BP balls
  • Grass berms ideal for foul balls during game
You can add to your autograph collection with ease by hanging out near either team's dugout.

Many minor league parks provide the opportunity for fans to snag a ball during batting practice, long before the gates open. Whitaker Bank Ballpark, provided you take the right approach, is one of those parks. Get to the park good and early; the gates open an hour before first pitch, but it’s possible to get into the parking lot well before that time. Park to the left of the main gates and follow the parking lot around to the area behind the fence in left field and left-center field. The area isn’t blocked off and if BP is taking place, some balls are likely to head your way. Standing right behind the fence can be hazardous – a safer approach is to stand a short distance away and chase down balls when you see them land. The space behind the fence in right field is blocked off, and although you can get behind the center field fence via the left field corner, keep to the parking lot behind left field.

It’s possible to find a baseball left behind after BP when you enter Whitaker Bank Ballpark, but you have to move quickly. Pick an area – the bleachers in left, the pavilion area behind the left field foul pole or the grass berms down each baseline – and head there as soon as the gates open. If you’re lucky, an usher will have missed a BP ball that landed in one of these areas and you’ll instantly have yourself a souvenir. These areas area also idea for snagging a home run or long foul ball.

If autographs are more your cup of tea, you’ve done your collection a favor by taking in a South Atlantic League game. Players at this level of the minors are often quick to sign for fans; the same can’t be said in the upper levels of the minors. The Legends dugout and bullpen are on the first base side, and whether you’re after someone on the home team or are cheering on the visitors, the key is to get to the front row as quickly as you can. You shouldn’t have trouble getting a pile of autographs from either team in the 30 minutes or so before first pitch. After the final out, head to the areas around either dugout and you might be able to pick up another couple autographs before the players depart. If you’re really eager to get someone to sign, look for the visitors’ bus in the parking lot after the game or hang out around the Legends’ players’ parking lot behind the right field fence.