Spring Training is a busy time for players. Besides focusing on the field and preparing for the grind of a 162-game schedule, players have several other obligations such as daily media requests and signing lots and lots of autographs.
Every spring, front office staff members from the Giants’ Community Relations department fly down to Scottsdale and set up in a room in the home clubhouse where players come by and sign memorabilia, ranging from baseballs, bats, jersey’s and pictures. They receive a list of how much to send down from other departments within the Giants’ organization, as each department receives an allotment of autographed items to use for sponsors, community events, guest services, consumer marketing, baseball operations, etc.
Hundreds of boxes of official Major League baseballs and bats, and a few boxes of jerseys and photos for each player on the roster are sent to Scottsdale Stadium and each player spends nearly one to two hours a day either before practice or after, signing and signing and signing. A representative from MLB is always in attendance to authentic each signed item.
How much does a player have to sign? Well, this year, Tim Lincecum has 25 dozen baseballs, 10 bats, 39 jerseys and 53 photos. He usually spreads it out over a couple of days so he’s not spending a ton of time signing. Buster Posey wins the award for having to sign the most stuff this spring, as he has 31 dozen baseballs, 82 bats, 47 jerseys and 62 photos, by far the most of any Giant.
Most of the players will get everything signed by the end of this week before the games start next Friday.
We want to let you in on a great tradition that the Giants do for their employees. Around this time every year, the Giants front office puts on an event called the Giants Children’s/Toddlers Reception. The reception started 5 years ago because employees wanted a chance to meet all of the babies that were born that year in the Giants front office. Throughout the years, the party has evolved into somewhat of a social reunion, allowing fellow coworkers (with and without children) to not only gather and spend quality time together, but to watch each other’s kids grow up. Some employees have witness infants turn into 5 and 6 year olds, which is a pretty cool thing. On average, the 2-hour reception is attended by 60 adults and 30-35 kids. Needless to say, the clubhouse at times can feel like a daycare center.
One of the great aspects of the party is that it has no budget and is totally put on by donations made by the employees. The party is located in the Giants Clubhouse (which is donated by Clubhouse Manager Mike Murphy), and is dressed with holiday décor (borrowed from the ballpark). The children are given lockers (same lockers the players use during the season) with personalized name plates and small gift bags. The small committee of Giants staff that “run the show” make sure to know exactly what foods, games, and other donations employees are offering so that there isn’t too much or too little of everything. Some of the yummy “potluck style” snacks are animal crackers, fruit, juice boxes, crackers, chicken wings, veggie platters, M&M‘s, rice crispy treats, snowmen cookies, Capri Suns, lumpia, raisin boxes, small milks, and reindeer cookies. Murph also donates the player’s hot dog machine from the clubhouse kitchen, a favorite among both kids and adults. The event offers activities such as a crafts table, balloon sculptures, bounce house, Lou Seal appearance, ring toss, bean bag toss, and even a Wii. There are also things for the kids to do as well….jk=)
Does your work do something similar? How about a company BBQ? Tell us your stories!