Ichiro autograph
February 9, 2008 12:21 PM   Subscribe

My 9-year old son is a big baseball fan. How can he meet Ichiro Suzuki and get his autograph? We live near Seattle.
posted by richg to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total)
The tradition way is to get there early for batting practice and hang out down near the fence. Ichiro is a notoriously tough autograph to get. Usually only a handful of the players come over to sign kids gloves and balls etc. Good luck. Even if he doesn't get Ichiro he will likely get someones. I wouldn't get his hopes up over getting Ichiro. Hopefully, someone who lives in Seattle will tell you am just wrong.
posted by caddis at 12:30 PM on February 9, 2008

(at a minimum I left out "al" and "that I" in that comment. what a mess.)
posted by caddis at 12:33 PM on February 9, 2008

Zack Hample usually learns some phrases in the languages of the players he wants balls or autographs from. Teach your kid to say, "I love Ichiro!" in Japanese.
posted by popechunk at 12:37 PM on February 9, 2008

I'm not sure if these will work for someone like Ichiro or in Seattle, but you could try to find out where the players' parking lot is for the Mariner's field and wait there way before the game.

Alternatively, some players will sign stuff sent to them with an SASE during spring training (send it care of the spring training park they play at).

Also, the Mariner's probably have a message board filled somewhere with fans that know all the tricks specific for your team. Try asking there.

Finally... I would guess that he sometimes does paid signings. If all else fails, you could attend one of those.
posted by drezdn at 12:45 PM on February 9, 2008

I would find out his agent and write to them. Also write to the person responsible for community relations for the Mariners. Lastly, if I could not get his autograph, I would have your son write to a Japanese newspaper with the story of a 9 year old boy trying to get his autograph.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:35 PM on February 9, 2008

Another good time is to have him run down to the home team dugout after a game -- especially if they win. As a kid, I got numerous autographs, balls, and even bats using this method.
posted by nitsuj at 1:49 PM on February 9, 2008

Ditto learning a couple of simple, applicable phrases in Japaneese - perhaps "Will you sign this?" or "I'm a big fan of yours" or something similar. Then go to where he will be - batting practice, etc.

You could also call the club and find out when/if he might be doing any public appearances for the team. Often clubs will trot out some star players to shake and sign at special events to benefit whatever charity it is the club supports. In that case, you might need to pay a hefty amount to get into the event, but waiting outside the event could also be an option.
posted by anastasiav at 2:24 PM on February 9, 2008


"ICHIRO DAISUKI" [dai-ski] -- I love Ichiro (?)

"ICHIRO KAKKO II" [kako ee] -- Ichiro is cool

"ICHIRO SAIN KUDASAI!" [sign ku-dah-sigh] -- please sign

"ICHIRO DAI FAN DESU!" [die fan dess] -- I'm a big fan

"ICHIRO SORE-SHIKA SHIRAN" -- [so-ray shka shee-rahn] -- That's all I know!
posted by panamax at 2:49 PM on February 9, 2008

Other than a signing event you're going to need luck. The more you hang around the team, before games, after games, at the hotel when they travel, the better chance you'll have.

I would have your son write to a Japanese newspaper with the story of a 9 year old boy trying to get his autograph.

There are a million 9 year old kids wanting his autograph. There's a million 6 years olds that are even cuter. No paper is going to be interested in that story.
posted by justgary at 2:54 PM on February 9, 2008

Players' parking lot is generally a dead end for high-profile players; they'll have the batboy or someone park their cars for them so they can get into the stadium without signing a ton of autographs. However, I would recommend a father-and-son outing to hang out by the players' parking lot before a game. It really can be a great time talking baseball with other fans, and you'd be surprised how many of the players will sign for you. I've done this several times in Minneapolis, and I usually get there around 12:30 or 1:00 for a 7:00 pm game. Bring some snacks and sodas, maybe a couple lawn chairs, round up a bunch of baseball cards of Mariners players (I've had guys sign as many as four at a time for me) or even just a single ball for all the players he meets to sign. Ichiro will be very tough to get, but at age nine I'd imagine your son would be thrilled at meeting Jeremy Reed or Jamie Burke or any other Mariners players.

Also, encourage him to write letters to a few of his favorite guys or even one letter to each player on the Mariners. Sending a little note, a baseball card, and a self-addressed stamped envelope can yield pretty amazing results. Spring training is an ideal time for this, because some players will only sign during spring training. Shopping for the cards and writing the letters could be a really fun thing to do together.

Feel free to message me with any more questions. I wish you the best of luck in hunting down an Ichiro signature.
posted by kjackelen05 at 7:52 PM on February 9, 2008

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