The autograph — One by one players with the Boston Red Sox file past eager fans, headed into the unseen world of their Fort Myers clubhouse. Some smile. Some wave. Before you know it the moment is over. The chance to receive an autograph will have to wait until another day. But wait. One player stops at the end of 'Autograph Alley,' giving new life to an eager crowd that had lost its collective breath just moments earlier. Setting aside his bat and glove, Coco Crisp, a newly acquired outfielder, makes his way toward the mass of screaming fans at the team's training facility. Crisp knows he doesn't get a bonus to sign autographs; his contract applies merely to his skills on the field. 'Technically it's not part of the job to sign autographs,' he says, 'but the fans gets excited over it so I enjoy it.' And so do his Florida fans. People jockey for position, desperately trying to get to the front of a waist high fence, the only obstacle separating them from Crisp. Some lightheartedly dance in the back of the crowd with signs that read: 'Cuckoo for Coco.' Those fans in the front get jostled amid the frenzied pushing and shoving. 'It can get pretty dangerous in there,' says Crisp. 'The best thing for someone to do is to just wait and be patient. I'll get to them eventually.' He urges fans who want autographs to keep trying. 'When I was little I was too shy to ask for autographs,' he continues. 'I tried a couple of times and got rejected so I never asked again.' Funny how things work out. Published March 20, 2006

Photo by Cary Edmondson, Daily News

The autograph — One by one players with the Boston Red Sox file past eager fans, headed into the unseen world of their Fort Myers clubhouse. Some smile. Some wave. Before you know it the moment is over. The chance to receive an autograph will have to wait until another day. But wait. One player stops at the end of "Autograph Alley," giving new life to an eager crowd that had lost its collective breath just moments earlier. Setting aside his bat and glove, Coco Crisp, a newly acquired outfielder, makes his way toward the mass of screaming fans at the team's training facility. Crisp knows he doesn't get a bonus to sign autographs; his contract applies merely to his skills on the field. "Technically it's not part of the job to sign autographs," he says, "but the fans gets excited over it so I enjoy it." And so do his Florida fans. People jockey for position, desperately trying to get to the front of a waist high fence, the only obstacle separating them from Crisp. Some lightheartedly dance in the back of the crowd with signs that read: "Cuckoo for Coco." Those fans in the front get jostled amid the frenzied pushing and shoving. "It can get pretty dangerous in there," says Crisp. "The best thing for someone to do is to just wait and be patient. I'll get to them eventually." He urges fans who want autographs to keep trying. "When I was little I was too shy to ask for autographs," he continues. "I tried a couple of times and got rejected so I never asked again." Funny how things work out. Published March 20, 2006

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