The Philadelphia Phillies will follow CDC guidelines on the spread of coronavirus and have instructed players to not sign autographs for fans before spring training games, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki.
“The Phillies recognize that autograph signing for some fans is part of the overall appeal of attending spring training games,” the team said in a release.
“As a precautionary measure for both our players and our fans, we are making adjustments to the experience based on recommendations from the CDC.”
Players have been told to pre-sign a limited number of baseballs and photo cards in the clubhouse before the game. Stadium security will help the players distribute the pre-signed items before the games.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Tuesday reported that Major League Baseball suggested players avoid taking balls and pens from fans for autographs and opt against handshakes.
Passan says the league is not preparing to cancel games at this time, but is working dilligently to thwart the spread of COVID-19. As such, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has assembled a task force to plan and execute preventative measures against the widespread coronavirus.