Even though this old-school Sports Illustrated magazine showed Rod Carew on the Twins and not the Angels - I bought the copy on eBay to have it signed by Carew at the local card show back in 2007.
I put away the magazine for good and never thought about getting Foster’s autograph until I saw he was doing these spring training autograph signings with Fergie Jenkins - in recent years, maybe Foster has been a white whale of sorts, since he has shown up where it may not have been convenient for me to go.
I was able to go the Cactus League for a couple of weekends this past spring and on my last day, I saw a Facebook post by Jenkins' foundation that they were going to be signing at the Texas Rangers game in Surprise - regardless of whether I got any actual active players, one of my priorities was getting Foster.
I saw the Fergie Jenkins booths as I finally got in through the left field gates after going through security / a metal detector - Jenkins’ table was between Foster on his left and Byron Browne, a former Cubs player, who I knew because he participated in a kids camp in Peoria 11 years ago.
During the start of the game, I made my way to the Jenkins booth [Rollie Fingers was actually signing on the concourse, behind home plate, so it seemed like he getting most of the foot traffic] to get things over with - I looked over the price list posted on the tables [Jenkins was $30 and Browne was $20 maybe for the flat / balls] and Foster was the only one that the basic price was dependent on what you had.
I dug out my magazine and asked how much it would cost to sign - hoping it wouldn't be like $30 or $40.
"$20," Foster said.
As I handed him my magazine and my Sharpie - I gave my money to the handler next to him.
Foster suggested a spot where to sign my magazine and I pointed at a different place - he signed where I wanted and shook his hand after he was done.
I thought about taking a picture of him signing my item or maybe a photo op but it was nighttime and I was a little harried - to worry about anything but getting ink on my SI and leaving for a 5-hour trip back home.