Get Balls And Autographs at PNC Field

The Get Balls And Autographs at PNC Field
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Homer Zone great before, during games
  • Look for players outside clubhouse post-game
The autograph-seeking crowd isn't typically as huge as it was in July of 2013 during Derek Jeter's rehab stint.

PNC Field’s size is such that you won’t have any luck finding a ball outside the stadium, which is often possible at smaller parks. Your best shot of going home with a ball, as always, lies in standing at the head of the line so you can enter the park first when gates open an hour before first pitch. Scour the baseline seats for foul balls hit during batting practice or take a run out to the Homer Zone grass berms in the outfield to see what you can find. It’s also occasionally possible for a ball to find a hiding spot around the bleachers or the Railhouse Bar in the right field corner.

During the game, the Homer Zone berms are a perfect spot to hang out if you hope to snag a home run. A less-popular alternative is standing on the deck above the left field bullpens. If a home run lands in either pen, politely calling to a player might mean he’ll toss you the ball. Keep in mind, however, that players in the minors aren’t supposed to give balls to fans and if the home run has some significance for the player who hit it, the bullpen player won’t let it go.

Foul balls are more common than home runs, of course, and a few spots throughout the seating bowl give you a decent shot at coming away with a ball. Any seat in the front row down the base lines means you can lunge at a foul rolling your way or have a base coach or outfield toss you one. Otherwise, hang out in the concourse toward either foul pole and keep your eye on the ball. Long foul balls can land in these areas and bounce away, so you’ve got to be quick.

If autographs are your thing, look for the Sunday Funday autograph table on the third base concourse. Here, a couple members of the RailRiders will sign for fans for 20 minutes after the gates open. This option, of course, isn’t your only way to get something signed. From the time you enter PNC Field up to 15 minutes before first pitch, you’re allowed to stand at field level to ask for autographs. The team requests that you stick to sections 14, 15, 18, 24, 27 and 28, which are the sections found around the dugouts on each side – the RailRiders are on the third base side for your reference. Fifteen minutes before the game begins, ushers will ask you to return to your seats.

After the game, it’s possible to get autographs from the players as they make their way from the clubhouses to the parking lot. Both of PNC Field’s clubhouses exit outside the stadium, and you’ll almost certainly see at least a few autograph seekers hanging around. The RailRiders don’t have a problem with you asking for autographs outside the park, provided you keep clear of the road.