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More Coronavirus news, autograph seekers and more.
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Kid who got autograph from Utah Jazz player tests positive for coronavirus, but officials deny connection
A Rhode Island child who received an autograph from Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). However, state health officials are denying a link between the two cases.On Friday, Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey announced that two children in the town had contracted the disease — and that one of them had gotten an autograph from Gobert in Boston at the Jazz’s March 6 game against the Celtics at the TD Garden.
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Coronavirus vs Autograph Seekers
The Coronavirus is having an impact on autograph collectors at spring training. New MLB policies discourage players from accepting items from fans and collectors seeking autograph, choosing instead to have players pass out pre-signed baseballs, cards and photos.
UPDATED: NASCAR drivers are mixed on autograph habits in light of Coronavirus
On Wednesday, NASCAR announced several adjustments to race event operations, effective this weekend at Atlanta. Changes include an open-air drivers meeting with essential personnel only; a 6-foot buffer around pre- and postrace stages; team personnel only in haulers; pre-signed autographs; and open-air driver appearances. Media-wise, NASCAR is keeping its media interview bullpens for the time being, but with a 6-foot buffer to keep drivers at a distance.
Cancer patient asks Padres player to autograph her head, starts movement to help others
What started as a signature from her favorite Padres player has become much more for chemotherapy patient Gina Grosso. At Spring Training in Arizona this year, Grosso asked Fernando Tatis Jr. to sign not a baseball card or a notepad, but her head.
Twins pass out autograph cards to fans
The Twins have found what they hope is an elegant, if temporary, solution to the new policy limiting physical interaction, including autographs, with their fans. The team has printed stacks of “2020 Spring Training” autograph cards, and the players each sign a couple of dozen every morning. Players and staff members then hand them out to kids who are watching their workouts.
Memo urges autograph caution
A few days before, ESPN broke a story about baseball autographs, stating Major League Baseball sent a memo advising, “Players (should) avoid taking balls and pens directly from fans to sign autographs … and opt against handshakes.”This hit home at places like Goodyear Ballpark, where fans enjoy up-close encounters with players during Spring Training.
PGA Tour institutes no-autograph policy at Players Championship
After a wild Wednesday that saw the NBA suspend its season, many golf fans wondered what would happen to this week’s Players Championship on the PGA Tour. The Tour issued a press release saying it would proceed as normal, although there was some new signage up on Thursday. In short, no autographs for fans this week.
Phillies introduce new autograph policy in response to coronavirus
The up-close feel that makes spring training a unique experience for Philadelphia Phillies fans was adjusted Saturday because of concerns of the spreading coronavirus.The Phillies, in a Saturday morning team meeting, were instructed to not sign autographs for fans before spring-training games at Spectrum Field. Instead, the players signed baseballs and cards in the clubhouse to distribute to fans. The team, in a statement, called it a temporary measure based on recommendations from the federal Centers for Disease Control.
Autograph Guests Announced for NSCC
It’s far from complete, but collectors who spend their National Sports Collectors Convention in the autograph lines now know at least some of the signatures they’ll have a chance to snare.
TriStar Productions has announced the first wave of signers for the show, which is scheduled to take place in Atlantic City July 29-August 2.
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