I was at the last week of spring training in Sarasota and saw the Yankees and Pirates games. I took my 2 boys (9 and 7) to get some autographs after the game with the Yanks. We lined up with about a dozen other people at the exit of the players parking lot.
Many players drove out with windows rolled up, talking on cell phones (or pretending to be on cell phones) and didn't even wave. These included EE, Homer, Volquez, and some others I didn't recognize. Marty was on the cell phone but at least waved. Brandon rolled his window down and said he couldn't sign because he had to get to the airport (there were only 15 of us including 3 little kids, 4 teens and one boy in a wheel chair). I saw him ignore requests Thursday at the game too. Didn't see Votto or Harang leaving.
The good guy awards go to Jerry Hairston, Micah, Adam Rosales, Kepp, Dickerson, Bray, Bruce, Darnell, and some others I'm probably forgetting. A couple notable stories: Hairston was one of the first to stop his car. He was also on the cell phone but stopped and excused himself from the call and signed a few through his car window. Then he got out of the car and posed for a picture with the boy in the wheel chair and signed a few more before leaving. I have new appreciation for him. Jerry, you're a good guy. Micah and Adam were climbing into a car near the exit and one in our little group called over to them. They got back out of the car and walked around the fence and stood with us signing and talking. Bruce, Bray, Dickerson, McDonald and others all signed from their car windows and made sure to sign every autograph. Keppinger was seen driving into the lot (I now know that he had been summoned to the office to speak with Dusty about being traded). Someone in our group yelled, "hey Kepp, we'll catch you on the way out". Sure enough Kepp stopped 20 minutes later on his way out of the lot and signed, but he told us "you know I'm not with the Reds anymore". We told him good luck in Houston and that we'd be pulling for him. So even though he had just been told he was traded minutes earlier he stopped and was gracious with us.
At Thursday's Pirates game I witnessed Eric Davis, Dusty, and Weathers signing on the field. And EE signed a few in the handicapped section. Micah came over to the handicapped section too. And Adam Rosales signed again. Arroyo stopped and signed about 3 balls and then left explaining to the other half dozen people "I have carpal tunnel bad". A couple people later said yeah right. Turns out he does!! He shouldn't have signed those 3 balls to begin with, but he was a good guy.
All in all it was great to be there. Fun for the kids to interact with the players. But interesting to see who's selfish with their time and who isn't. Maybe we caught some of them on a bad day and I'm sure it gets old trying to honor all the requests. But I just don't think some of them realize how great they have it and how thankful they should be for the fans.