The Art of the Autograph

The Art of the Autograph

Fans and players alike get a thrill from the baseball-signing ritual at the Detroit Tigers 2009 spring training. (Detroit Free Press)

Often the writing is so illegible that players add their number to their autograph to better identify them. The fans couldn’t be happier.

This is 2009 spring training for the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, FL, where players and fans of all ages participate in the tradition of autograph signing.

The Detroit Free Press traveled to Florida to tell this story of hundreds of fans who wait behind fences in hopes of getting something signed as players come and go from practice. Players sign bats, balls, shirts, and even a fan’s arm.

The video includes interviews with players Matt Treanor, Curtis Granderson and Brandon Inge who reflect on the evolution of their signatures and their own experiences with seeking out autographs as kids.

The journey, the conversation, watching the player sign, all make for a special memory. As Inge says, it’s the interaction with the ball player that the kids will remember more than anything.

CHANNEL: Detroit Free Press (

Length: 4:19

Video by Eric Seals