From autograph seeker to autograph signer – Brandon Crawford

I was one of those kids who knew every player on every team in baseball. I was, and still am, a major fan. My dad took me to spring training in Arizona every year. My family had Giants season tickets at Candlestick then AT&T – I grew in Pleasanton. So I was always getting autographs. I kept my baseball cards organized by team and position so I could pull out the right card immediately. But I’m a quiet guy, so my approach was to wait for someone else to call out the player’s name and I’d just have my stuff ready for them to sign.

I have Willie Mays, Will Clark, Robby Thompson, J.T. Snow, Rich Aurilia. Almost every Giants player, I think. One of my favorites, though, is the card and ball signed by Ken Griffey Jr., who everybody tried to get when he came through town. I also went with my dad to signings at the convention center and the Cow Palace. He has tons of balls, cards, magazines – all kinds of signed memorabilia.

Now I’m on the other side of the equation. It’s important to me to sign as much as I can. But now I understand why players can’t sign for everyone who wants one. It’s just not possible. Yesterday I was in the early batting group in BP so I could sign for a little longer. The day before that I was in the last group. When you’re in the last group, you really don’t have a whole lot of time because you have to go into the clubhouse and get ready.

It’s tricky because no matter how long you sign you can’t get to everyone. You can sign for ten minutes but the people who are just getting down there, they don’t know you’ve been signing for ten minutes. So they might think you’re some jerk who’s not signing for anybody. You know it’s not true, but still it’s tough to just walk away from people who are calling out your name, especially kids. But I guess you have to get used to it a little bit.

On the road it’s a little tougher to have time to sign because our batting practice is after the home team’s, so when we’re done it’s almost game time. But I try to sign at least ten people before I go in. I’m surprised at how many Giants fans we have all over the country. It’s great to see the Orange and Black in the stands. We definitely hear them, especially in San Diego. It feels almost like a home game sometimes there. They don’t get a huge home crowd, so the Giants fans stand out. I remember last year in San Diego when Pablo had a big hitting streak, you could hear boos when they walked him.

As for fan mail, one of the best was an envelope from Japan. A guy there drew a picture of me and sent it to me along with a baseball card. I signed the card but the picture was a gift. I thought that was really nice.

Sometimes I’ll get a card with four or five of the same cards to sign. You figure they’re selling them. So every now and then I’ll keep one because my parents like to have my cards. And sometimes I’ll personalize the cards so they’re not as likely to go on eBay.

Unlike Brandon Belt, I’m not going to the wine country on my day off Monday. I’ll stay around the house with my wife or go visit my parents and sisters. Maybe I’ll find Romo and Tim Lincecum online playing Call of Duty and we’ll play together as a team against other teams. Exciting, huh?

Then on Tuesday it’s back to the park against the Marlins.

I’ll see you there and hope I’m in the early batting group so I have more time to sign!

-Brandon C.

 

 

23 Comments

Hey Brandon – thanks so much for responding to my previous comment! I’m a huge huge fan of you and Belt so it means a ton to me that you actually take the time to read our comments. You are the only player to have signed my ball every time I’ve seen you so I really really appreciate it! I’ll be at all 3 games in Seattle in June so I hope to get another signature! Keep up the great work – I’ve been calling you the JT Snow of Short Stop and I know you’ll do us proud!

As a fellow bay area kid goin to school at UCLA, I’m a big fan, craw. Loving the strides you’ve made at the plate, keep doin your thing. Still keep up with UCLA ball?

Hi Brandon! I really like this blog entry. It’s nice to hear that you try your hardest to sign things for fans. It means a lot to us. Thanks for doing that, and also for writing this blog. It’s awesome to hear from the players :) Have a nice day off! Go Giants! :)

With baseball being such a mental game… What game situations are the toughest to get through? And… How do you both deal with having a bad game? Kids really struggle with that when they feel they cost the team a win.
And… Whats your favorite away game place to play?

Brandon- I noticed that about you and really appreciate your willingness to sign. I wait in front of the clubhouse often and you were one of the few to stop and sign. Like you, I grew up a giants fan watching Will Clark, Robbie Thompson, Matt Williams and its special to have you out there having grown up, just as I had. Just a kid…who loves baseball. See you out at the park tomorrow.

I love that you and Jalynne are so invested in this team. Like, it’s so precious I want to throw up. In a good way. See you guys on Friday!!

Hello, just wanted to say that you are an awesome shortstop and I hope you enjoy your off day. By the way are you aware that you look a lot like Zac Efron? Especially in his movie The Lucky One. Except you have longer hair but other than that you guys look so alike.

I love your attitude! I love when an athlete, celebrity, etc really appreciates the fans and takes that extra time to connect and give back! Also COD with Timmy sounds super fun.

Like your dad Brandon, I’ve instituted baseball as a tradition for my son & me to share. We’ve been to ST training twice now- and you def signed for him this past March. Thanks for taking the time to do so… as you know its so important to a little boy to meet one of his heroes and have a great experience. Keep on working hard, we’ll keep cheering you on :)

Fun read and I love the title. Interesting to hear the perspective of both sides. Missed you yesterday when I was at the game, but Arias had it locked up in your absence – at least at the plate. See you in the lineup tomorrow and good luck against the mermaids!

Thank you for signing when you can Brandon! You signed balls for my sister and me last and it meant SO much to us!! <3

Hey Brandon,
I really enjoyed reading this piece. I was just wondering if you take any priority in who you sign for? Do you sign for kids before the adults with the big books?

These blogs are great. Thank you so much for taking the time to write them, it means a lot to us fans! I was at all 4 games in New York wearing my Orange and Black; had a great time watching you guys!

I’ll be cheering from NY all season! Go Giants!

Thanks for being a nice guy and taking the time to sign autographs. You are fun to watch. Hope you enjoy your day off with your beautiful wife. Go Giants!

Love that guys play COD together, you should definitely designate an off day or an offseason day to play with the fans some time, depending on system of course (you should be playing on a PS3).

Love that you play COD with Timmy and Romo. You should definitely designate either an off day or during the offseason a day to play with the fans online, of course if you guys use the right system (PS3).

If I send in a card, could you please try and get to signing it for me? Thanks for being so nice Brandon!
Austin from nybisons
nybisons.mlblogs.com

Brandon don’t let the errors or anything get to you on the field. Everyone knows you’re an incredible fielder and I’ve heard Krukow say that he sees you winnning a Gold Glove during your career. Also, anyone that’s watched you hit knows that you’ll pull through this current stint. Have a great series against the Brewers! I fully believe you’ll be the shortstop that turns heads around the league in no time. See you at the park Saturday. Go Giants!

My friend Kelsey & I told you we loved you at the game 5/4 :) Hope we didn’t seem too creepy! But thanks for signing! :D

Brandon
Hang in there

Best wishes this year! Hoping to catch u guys in philly in July, gotta be kind of quiet on that one! philly pretty tough round here! keep up the great work. maria from philly

Hi Brandon! Like I told the other Brandon, I don’t know if you see or read this comment (because I didn’t realize you’ve been blogging for like ever haha) sooo that’s why I’m only commenting now. I really enjoyed reading this post and Belt’s previous post about autograph signing. I mean I know you can’t sign hundreds of autographs. I guess as a fan you just don’t realize you have lots to do to get ready, etc. I’m definitely one of those bummed fans who gets really sad and disappointed when we don’t get an autograph. You definitely cleared things up :) I have never gotten anyone’s autograph. Maybe I’ll get lucky and get an autograph from my two Giants players, the Brandons :) have an awesome season! PS I think you totally deserve a Gold Glove award already :)

Ken Griffy Jr. was also my favorite player growing up. My dad tracked down his rookie card and gave it to me for Christmas one year!

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