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Baseball fans: What was your experience like meeting your favorite player?

Steven Kwan, Alyssa Klauminzer, Will Brennan, and Eli Morgan

Women belong in sports as athletes, employees, and fans, and should be treated as such. 

That doesn’t always mean we will be viewed or treated like we do belong. This makes it all the more rewarding, exciting, and reassuring when fans have positive experiences meeting players in the sports they love.

On my Twitter/X page, @alys216, I asked women baseball fans to share their experiences meeting their favorite players. And they did not disappoint!

Greta (@2007warpedtour) is a huge fan of Joe Ryan. Last week, she got to meet her favorite player, and she shared the events of that day. She said, “The day leading up to meeting Joe Ryan was kind of wild… We had plans for a Twins Twitter meet-upat that game. The Joe Ryan autograph session didn’t get announced until an hour before it happened, and I only knew about it because a Twins beat writer posted about it and everyone tagged me. I had just finished work and was relaxing until it was time to go. After seeing that tweet I bolted up and got to Target Field as fast as I could.” Greta added that she doesn’t know if Ryan had any idea of how happy he made her, but she was “over the moon.”

Meg (@shuddupmeg) is known as Austin Hedges’ biggest fan. The Guardians can never make a post that includes Hedges without the comment section being filled with other fans tagging her. Meg lives out of town but attended the Guardians game on June 21st. She was planning on saying hello to Guardians reporter Andre Knott before the game, who was going to find a way to get her to meet Hedges. Meg said, as much as she wanted to see Hedges play, she hoped he wasn’t catching that game because he wouldn’t be able to come over to meet her before the game. So, of course, the lineup was posted with Hedges at catcher. Meg met with Knott, who told her to come back down before the end of the game. Hedges, who recorded 2 RBIs, was chosen for the on-field interview and came over to meet Meg after. She said, “he was so smiley and seemed happy to see me the entire time. He was so sweet to take time post-game for me even though he was exhausted after 9 innings of catching in 90°+ heat.” Meg posted the photos of her and Hedges, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the baseball community more excited for a fan meeting their favorite player!

Maddie (@maddiecholette) is a big fan of George Springer. She said he was always her favorite non-Blue Jay growing up and he was signed by the Blue Jays when she was going through a hard time. Maddie said her favorite player joining her favorite team “really helped me find joy and passion again.” She was able to meet Springer on the field in Toronto and said his impact on her love of baseball and his becoming a Jay helped her through a lot, so she’s forever grateful. She added that he’s just as kind and funny as he seems.

Mikayla (@mikbaer) said Steven Kwan was so very kind, respectful, and grateful. Will Brennan complimented her shirt and he was kind and funny. She says they were both great, and she’s met Brennan a few times, and each time she walks away thinking how grateful she is that he’s on her team.

Shayla (@shaylarz) met Nelson Cruz and said he was “extremely friendly and gracious.” 

Mel (@petesayslfgm) met Mark Canha at spring training this year. She arrived at the game early and stood by the Tigers dugout, waiting for Canha to finish his warmup. She said she waited for him to finish signing things for other fans, and then he came right over when she called his name even though the game was starting. They took a selfie and she didn’t get to say everything she wanted to say, and despite her nerves, it was amazing. He then went to get ready for the game and said she definitely wanted to thank him for a lot more, as his allyship is really impactful, but she was able to thank him before he had to leave.

Em (@boflowvarsho) met Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano. She said he was beyond sweet and he always takes time to sign autographs for everyone.

Kelsey (@11lizzie) had the chance to meet several of her favorite players at the Pirates fan fest. She met Andrew McCutchen, Ke’Bryan Hayes, and Connor Joe. Kelsey said she was “so starstruck” that she doesn’t really remember what she said to any of them, but they were all super nice. 

Nicole (@Guardians_As) has been a fan of Will Brennan since he was with the Akron RubberDucks (the Guardians’ AA team). She finally got to meet him at the Guardians fan fest earlier this year. She said, “Leading up to the day I had convinced myself that I was not going to meet him, that luck wouldn't be in my favor. That way I wouldn't be disappointed if it didn't happen since there's no guarantee you'll meet a player unless it's a photoshoot.” Luck was on her side, as Brennan ended up being in her autograph session! When she got to Brennan, she said “I handed him my 2021 RubberDucks Championship shirt to sign. He was surprised and mentioned how that was the best game of his life and that it was a cool shirt.” She then said she had another cool shirt to show him and turned around, revealing that she was wearing his jersey. “His mouth dropped open in surprise and it made my day,” said Nicole. She got a selfie with Brennan and later was able to give him a friendship bracelet, she said, “There’s even a couple pictures from later on in the day where he’s still wearing it and it’s so silly, but it meant so much that he wore it.” Nicole is still riding the positivity from her interaction with Brennan even now as the Guardians are well into their season.

Sarah (@engelsein13) has been a fan of Eugenio Suárez for many years. She finally got to meet Suárez, in April where he autographed a sign she made, which said “I love you Geno” on one side and “Good vibes only” on the other. When she held up the “I love you Geno” side he patted his heart and then tried to throw her a ball. Sarah said that a kid got the ball but she was okay with that.

A friend of mine has been a fan of Carlos Santana since she began attending baseball games. In 2014 she went to her first game and saved up money for a Santana jersey. She went down to the third baseline and called for him when he came out and asked him if he could sign her jersey. He nodded at her but ran into the dugout. She thought he had forgotten, but he came out with a ball to sign for her! She rooted for Santana when he was with Cleveland, and has continued to support him regardless of the team he’s on. Recently, she went to a Twins (Santana’s current team) vs. Pirates game in Pittsburgh. She arrived early and went down to the first baseline where visiting players were signing autographs. When Santana came out, she called for him and he immediately ran over to her. She said they talked for a bit and he said he missed her. 

For me, it’s been a very exciting year in the world of baseball. There have been lots of ups and downs as a woman sports fan, especially as my platform continues to grow, but the interactions I’ve been lucky to have with my favorite players have made it worth it. 

Earlier this year, at the Cleveland Guardians fan fest, I met my favorite player, Eli Morgan, for the second time (the first time, at the same event a year prior, he smiled and looked so happy when I told him he was my favorite player). He was kind, asked me how I’d been, and stopped to take a picture with me even when he needed to get to another event at the fan fest. A couple of weeks ago, I got to meet Morgan again, along with outfielder Will Brennan and gold glove left fielder Steven Kwan. Morgan knew my name, something I was shocked and happy to learn, and he and I talked while I waited in line to get a signed poster from the players. Knowing my favorite player knows my name is still crazy to me, but it brings me joy that he knows I’ve been rooting for him like I have.

I came up with the idea for this article because when the Blue Jays were in Cleveland to face the Guardians, I finally got the chance to meet Ernie Clement, a player who I have been rooting for since he was called up to Cleveland. While I was sad when the Guardians let go of Clement in 2022, he sent me a kind message thanking me for the support I’d given him. I wish he was still with the Guardians, but I’ve enjoyed watching him with the Blue Jays. Clement came over before one of the games against his former team when I held up his jersey, we took a quick picture, and I am still so happy I finally got to meet him. 

Thank you to everyone who shared their story with me, it was wonderful hearing from so many fans! If you also want to share your experience of meeting your favorite players, please feel free to use the comment box under this article.

Edited By: Bailey Massey

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