In just 10 short days, fans will gather in downtown Cleveland to celebrate the one thing we’re all missing most right now - Guardians baseball. The annual Guards Fest returns on January 20th at the Huntington Convention Center with many opportunities for fans. With a morning session for season ticket holders and an afternoon session for the general public, here’s what to expect at the convention.
Photo Ops and Autograph Sessions with Players
While the ticket cost for Guards Fest is just $15, you can add on extra tickets to enhance your experience. For instance, you can add up to four autograph sessions with three or more players for just $35 each. While you don’t get to pick which players you meet in these sessions, the more you add on, the higher chance you have of getting to meet your favorite player. Each session is guaranteed to have at least three players, with some having up to five.
Additionally, you can add on photo ops with specific players if there’s just one or two you want to meet. This year’s options include Jose Ramirez, Steven Kwan, Andres Gimenez, Triston McKenzie, and Josh and Bo Naylor. However, just a few of these sessions remain as most are sold out. So if you want to add this on, do it now!
If you have been wanting to go to the Guardians team shop to stock up on gear for the upcoming season, you’re unfortunately out of luck. Due to the major renovations going on at the park right now, the team shop is closed until further notice. However, Guards Fest is the perfect place to get some of this shopping done. There will be a miniature team shop set up with jerseys, memorabilia, shirts, hats, and much more for sale. Last year, many of the items had large discounts, so keep an eye out for that!
Lots to Do For Kids
If your daughter or son has been begging you to play ball this winter but the sub-freezing temperatures have kept you from doing so, take them to Guards Fest. From the toddler you’re introducing to baseball for the first time to the 12-year-old Little League star who wants to sharpen his skills, there’s something for all of the littles at Guards Fest.
For the younger kids, there’s a jam session with Slider and the Hot Dogs as well as story time with one of the players. As for the older kids, there will be a baseball diamond set up in the center of the convention with stations for catching, hitting, and pitching. At these stations, Guardians players and coaches will be helping kids tune up their skills, teach them some aspects of the game they may not know, and spark inspiration into the next generation of baseball stars.
Booths for Local Businesses
Each year, the convention center is lined up with booths from local businesses and sponsors of the team. Some of these booths even include local celebrities such as John Adams and Luke Epplin who have appeared in the past. As for the local businesses, they often have information on what they do, small freebies and handouts, and even larger giveaways and raffles. Visiting these booths is a great way to support the small businesses of Cleveland.
Players on Stage
At the main stage set up near the back of the convention, fans can sit down and listen to players and coaches being interviewed by local sports media. This provides some great insight into how the players are spending their offseason, what their outlook is like for the upcoming season, and helps fans get to know the new players. This year’s convention will be the perfect way for fans to get to know the team’s new manager, Steven Vogt, who has been confirmed to attend.
It’s sure to be another fun and exciting Guards Fest with many new players and coaches to meet. Even if you choose not to purchase any of the add-ons or don’t have any kiddos to watch, just walking around getting to know other fans and potentially running into your favorite player is the most exciting part of the offseason.
Want to attend but haven’t been able to purchase your ticket? Head on over to my Twitter @baseballcontext where I am giving two tickets away!