Found June 09, 2012 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
PLAYERS: John Axford
TEAMS: Milwaukee Brewers
Mlb-brewers-cubs-june
MILWAUKEE John Axford wanted to create a unique memory for a fan of his who was wearing the Brewers closer's jersey at a Wisconsin mall earlier this week. Though it didn't work out the way Axford hoped, he did snap a picture to capture the moment (above) and posted it to his Twitter account for 50,000-plus followers to see, with this message: Is it weird that I'm walking behind this guy at the mall right now?" Axford explained the tweet to FOXSportsWisconsin.com after Saturday's game. "I just arrived at the mall and he happened to be right there, so I followed him for a little bit, which seems kind of creepy, but I thought it'd be funny if he turned around and I would give him a wave or something and see if he recognized me," he said. "But he didn't turn around. He just went down the escalator. "I blame it on the fact that he was walking with a girl. His attention was there instead, I'm sure." When that photo started becoming a hit across the country on social media, the fan eventually realized he was in the photo and contacted Axford on Twitter. Giving Axford a heads-up that he'd be at Saturday's game against the Padres, the fan mentioned his exact seat location in hopes of making up for the moment that he missed out on at the mall. "I saw him up in the stands, realized it was him, and he just turned around and pointed that he was wearing his Axford jersey again, so I threw him a ball," Axford said. Even though Axford never got a clear look at the fan's face at the mall, he still recognized him at the game. "I think just the way he kind of yelled at me," Axford said. "I could just kind of tell. I just knew it was him. I just said 'Eat a bunch of brats for me,' and that was it." The fan waited in Axford's autograph line -- an interactive tradition with players and fans at Brewers Saturday home games -- but was then told that it was only for kids 14 years old and younger. "They didn't let him get any autographs or anything like that," Axford said. "I didn't get to sign anything for him, but at least I got to throw him a baseball." Axford also tossed the fan a message on Twitter. "I'm just glad you got a ball after I stalked you in the mall and you didn't know!" Axford tweeted to the fan. While Axford added that he might eventually meet the fan "if he happens to be around or whatever," he does have some reservations about what doing that could turn into. "I don't want to try to single out too many people, otherwise maybe next time I go to a mall, everyone is going to try to hound me for something," Axford said with a laugh. "But we'll see." Axford mentioned that there was an online debate about which mall this happened at, so, to put all rumors to rest ... "It was actually Mayfair Mall," Axford said of the Wauwatosa shopping center. So, sports fans, the next time that you wear a player's jersey out in public, make sure to use your peripheral vision, because you never know when that player might be right behind you. Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.
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