Arozarena crushes homer ... then signs for fans!

March 31st, 2024

ST. PETERSBURG -- remains a man of the people.

After ripping his first home run of the season to right field off Yusei Kikuchi in the fifth inning of the Rays’ 5-1 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday at Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay’s All-Star left fielder celebrated in several ways. He kissed his bat, did his famous crossed-arms pose with third-base coach Brady Williams, broke it out again after crossing the plate and high-fived teammates in the dugout.

A few moments later, as the inning continued, Arozarena ventured to the far side of the Rays dugout on the first-base side of The Trop and signed some autographs. Yes, really.

Arozarena appeared to sign a hat, a baseball and perhaps a few more for a couple of young fans who slipped their gear and a pen through the netting around the dugout.

“It makes me happy to be able to sign autographs for the kids, because you never know -- it could be their dream,” Arozarena said through interpreter Manny Navarro. “They could identify with me there. Hopefully, one day they can make it to the Major Leagues as well and do the same.”

As his stardom has grown, Arozarena has embraced his interactions with fans. He often poses with them and waves to them as he makes his way out to left field, whether he’s at home or on the road, saying he feeds off their energy and enthusiasm.

Arozarena often obliges requests for autographs and pictures, especially from young fans. In fact, this wasn’t even the first time Arozarena has handed out an autograph during a game -- or even the first time at Tropicana Field.

Two years ago, he traded one of his own bats, autographed, along with a signed baseball for a Cardinals fan’s unique, customized ball featuring Arozarena’s photo, No. 56 and name.

Even more memorably, Arozarena took advantage of a break in the action during his World Baseball Classic run with Team Mexico to sign autographs for fans in left field at loanDepot Park -- right after he’d pulled off an incredible home run robbery.

Why not follow up another highlight with another signing session?