Thanks to guest writer Sunha Kim for this report from Camelback Ranch:
You might not get an autograph, but you will get really close to the stars!
Part of the thrill of going to spring training at Camelback Ranch is getting up close and personal with the players and coaches, and hopefully getting a few pictures or autographs. If you are solely going to Camelback Ranch to snap a pic or get a signature with the big stars, however, there is a chance that you will come away disappointed. It’s not that stars are mean-spirited, but it is important to keep in mind that these players are getting ready to deliver us, the fans, our first championship in nearly 30 years. Most of the time, the players are in their zone and ready to perform at the highest level possible. That's really cool to see!
If you come to Camelback Ranch on a weekend, there will be large crowds as our team is lucky enough to have a strong and loyal fan base. Dodger fans come to Camelback Ranch not only from Los Angeles, but from all over the world. During my time at Camelback, I met a ton of fans living in Arizona. One fan I met came from New York City, and some other fans I met came from as far as Japan.
At this point, you might be getting the sense of why it might be so hard to snag a personal moment with your favorite star. If you are adamant about meeting one specific player, the best thing to do is to come during a weekday, as Camelback will be less crowded. That is what Pat and Melissa Hughes did, and they got autographs from most of the stars!
Pat and Melissa Hughes.
While it may prove hard to get personal with most the Dodger stars, there is one exception. I was at Dodger camp this past Friday, and I was lucky enough to snag an autograph and share a story with new Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts and Dodger legend Shawn Green. As almost every player walked straight from the field to the clubhouse after morning workouts on Friday, Dave and Shawn were kind enough to engage the large crowd that was waiting in the designated autograph area after morning practice.
The skipper with the fans.
Both Skip and Shawn spent a good 15 minutes with the fans who were eager to share stories, take pictures, and get their stuff signed. If anything, it is good to know that Dave Roberts is a man of the people. But given the strong start to the spring, who knows? Maybe Dave is the chosen one to shepherd us to the promised land for the first time since 1988.
Sunha Kim is a lifelong Dodger fan and boxing journalist. His favorite player growing up was pinch-hitting master Dave Hansen. Sunha's writing has appeared in Yahoo!, the business news site Quartz, and now Sons of Steve Garvey! Sunha currently hosts a boxing podcast called Kim On Boxing, and he is developing a baseball-centric podcast with another Dodger fan called Bro Club Sports. Stay tuned and follow him @SunhaPKim! photos by Sunha Kim
photos by Sunha Kim