Major League Baseball offering pre-signed player autographs amid coronavirus outbreak

A baseball fan’s treasure trove sat on a table outside the San Francisco Giants clubhouse Saturday morning — hundreds of baseball cards signed by the franchise’s biggest stars.

Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Evan Longoria and more, all ready for eager autograph seekers at the club’s spring training home in Scottsdale.

A generous gesture, but also a measure aimed at keeping players and fans safe amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“You know just the amount of people that come to games, come to ask for autographs and stuff like that, that’s the biggest fear,” Longoria said. “But outside of that, what are you gonna do?”

That’s what clubs are trying to figure out. The COVID-19 strain has already been diagnosed in patients in Florida and Arizona, the home bases for all 30 major league teams during spring training. Like pro sports leagues around the world, Major League Baseball is trying to balance fan experience with public health.

At the Giants’ facility in Scottsdale, personnel cleaned railings and seats around the ballpark shortly before fans began arriving for an afternoon game against the Chicago White Sox.

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