My first step was to reach out to a friend at the White Sox and seek his representation. Being a Contributor at Southside Showdown is an amazing experience, but it doesn’t come with the actual press credentials that MLB awards. I’m just a guy, a fan. I’m not an actual sports journalist. My contact was kind enough to point me to an agent, a sports agent named Matt who represents Fulmer.
I emailed Matt and wasn’t certain what to expect in return. In the email, I expressed my desire to get an autographed jersey and was willing to make a charitable contribution to the organization of Fulmer’s choice so as not to act as a completely selfish jerk. After a week or so, I got a response. Matt responded by asking if I had the jersey, which hilariously I didn’t! I was such a novice at this I had no idea that you needed to procure the item and then pursue getting it signed.
We played email tag back and forth for more than six months. Fulmer would be at Soxfest, would I be there? Nope. I’ll be in Chicago for a Crosstown game, could we make it happen? Missed on that too. Back and forth we went until eventually we both fatigued from the idea and it slipped from our minds.
This spring I got tickets to the Cubs-Sox game at Camelback Ranch for March 15th, and suddenly it occurred to me that Fulmer would be there. I emailed Matt back after no contact between the two of us for the past a number of months. It was a bit of a Hail Mary since we hadn’t communicated in so long, and I felt a bit pushy in assuming the body hadn’t gone cold in our communications.
After a couple of days, I received a brief email reply: “Email me on Wednesday.” This was two days out. A spark flickered in my hopes. Wow, might this still be possible? I couldn’t wait until Wednesday, and knowing I would be traveling and likely to forget I set an Outlook reminder to send the follow-up email.
Wednesday came and I emailed as requested, but didn’t hear back. I tempered my expectations to avoid disappointment. The game would still be great if this didn’t happen. Cubs-Sox games are always fun, and just being in the stands and bantering with Chicago fans of either club refreshing and enjoyable. I’m a big boy, don’t press this too much, I thought to myself.
Then on Thursday while flying from Boston to Phoenix for the game, I glanced at an email on my phone and saw a return note from Matt. It read simply, “Jeff- please email me your phone number. Get to game early. Go to foul pole near white sox pen. About 20 minutes prior to first pitch Carson will try to come out. I told him I’d tell u to hold up his jersey so he knows it’s u. He will sign ur jersey at that time.”