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  #101  
Old 01-20-2018, 07:14 AM
Chuck9788 Chuck9788 is offline
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Good : I've met many boxers. Tommy "The Hitman" Hearns and "The Flushing Flash Kevin Kelly are among the long list of many nice pugilists that I've encountered. Baseball wise Yankees pitcher "Steady" Eddie Lopat was very nice to me when I was a young kid at a signing. Football : Jets Linebacker Joe Klecko was really cool when we met and in hockey Rod Langway from the Washington Capitals stands out. Everyone tells me that Brooks Robinson is the nicest guy.



Bad : I really don't have any. Mainly because rather than strike up a conversation about their sports careers, I tend to talk about other subjects. Example ; Talking about boxing for 10 minutes with the "Big Hurt" Frank Thomas at the Las Vegas airport. There was not one mention of his baseball career. I legitimately was more interested in his opinions on the fight game, And I feel he respected that.

Last edited by Chuck9788; 01-20-2018 at 07:15 AM.
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  #102  
Old 01-20-2018, 07:32 AM
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I live in DC, so my "celebrity" encounters primarily involve politic figures, who are pretty accommodating. Two that stood out were Scalia and McCain. I met Scalia at a mixer. He was incredibly friendly and willingly signed for anyone that wanted autographs (there were a few 9th Circuit judges there that were similarly accommodating). Scalia had an interesting approach though. He didn't want to interrupt his conversation with the group to pose for pictures, but would let you take photos of him or near him. It made sense but would have loved a better photo with him.

McCain was also really friendly. I ran into him on the street and shook his hand and spoke for a second. After I left, I saw someone take a photo with him and instantly regretted not asking. I turned around and he gave my phone to his assistant so she could take one. Understanding how busy he is, I kept the interaction to a minimum. But he left me with a very favorable impression.
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  #103  
Old 01-20-2018, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedzan View Post
In 1984, I recognized Ted Williams in Cooperstown. Ted and I had a really interesting conversation "talking baseball" and baseball cards.
The following is a pretty accurate recollection of my conversation with Ted. We talked for about 45 minutes.
I started the conversation by telling him that......

ME....."Ted, although I was an avid Yankees fan as a kid in the 1950's, I always rooted for you to hit a HR at Yankee Stadium."

And sure enough, many times I saw him hit a HR....usually up into the RF upper deck.

TED...."If you're a Yankees fan, why did you root for me to hit a HR ?"


ME....."Because your name is Ted; and besides, I always expected the Yankees would win the AL Pennant, anyways."

TED....(he smiled) and asked me...."so, why then are you a Yankees fan ?"

ME....."because Phil Rizzuto was my nearby neighbor in Hillside, NJ"

TED...."if the Scooter was on the Red Sox all those years, we would have been the Champs."




Then I turned the conversation to his BB cards. He was like a little kid....I still remember how enthusiastic he was "talking BB cards".

ME....."are you aware of how rare your 1954 Bowman card is ?" ......and, I showed Ted this card.

TED...."No, but I signed a contract with Sy Berger of Topps in 1954, and no other Gum Co. was allowed to portray me."

Then, without me asking him, Ted went on this long dissertation telling me how Sy Berger was annoyed with him in 1959. Fleer had
approached Ted's agent to do a series of 80 cards depicting Ted's life. Fleer offered Ted $500 for the Rights. Sy Berger countered it
with $1000 for Ted to stay with Topps. Ted started laughing, as he told me that a bidding war between Fleer and Topps ensued.
Finally, when Fleer upped the ante to $5000, Topps relented. There it is folks, the real story behind the 1959 Fleer Ted Williams set....
straight from Ted, himself.

TED...."Just think about it, that was a lot of money back then just for having your pictures on a set of gum cards."

ME....."Ted, you ain't kidding, $5000 was my Dad's annual salary in 1959."

We talked some more as we walked. Then Ted ran into some dignitaries. He offered his hand to me, telling me that he really enjoyed
our conversation.







TED Z

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Ted, this story should be in the Hall of Fame. When I met you at one of the shows, you told me part of the story. One of my favorite stories. I love the story behind the 59 Fleer set.
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  #104  
Old 01-20-2018, 08:10 AM
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Some of my encounters.

Best: Bob Feller
Met him at a card show during a signing. He took time to shake everyboody's hand. He then took time out to tell some stories about his pitching days.

Worst: Keith Hernandez
Stood on line for over an hour to get a ball signed for my nephew's birthday. When it was my turn, I asked him to personalize it to my nephew. He whispered in the ear of someone next to him who then made an announcement that Keith will not personalize any items. He never looked up and had the unfriendliest look.

Biggest disappointment: Mickey Mantle
Back in the mid 80's, I worked in NYC. I went for a walk and passed a sports card store which had a sign saying Mickey Mantle will be signing his new book. I went into the store and there was a table at the end of one of the aisles. Sitting at this table was Mickey Mantle. There was nobody in the store except Mickey, the store owner and myself. I had to purchase his book in order to receive an autograph. I purchased the book and walked up to the table. I didn't know what to say because I was standing in front of an icon. The only thing I came up was, "Is that your World Series Ring?". He looked at me and barked back "No, it's my Hall of Fame Ring". Gave me the meanest look. I walked out of there feeling pretty disappointed.

Almost Dumbest Encounter: Stan Musial
I was at a card show where Stan Musial was signing. Took my preteen nephew to the show. We both had to go to the bathroom. When we went up to the urinals, there was Stan Musial pissing. My nephew turned to me and said, "Should I ask him for his autograph?". I shook my head no.
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  #105  
Old 01-20-2018, 08:28 PM
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[Derek Jeter] stated he only signed for the kids
I don't understand the "I only sign for kids" mentality. For the sake of discussion, let's presume each and every kid is pure of heart and wants the autograph for themselves, and don't fall into the category of...

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Originally Posted by ls7plus View Post
kids who were repeatedly being fed balls [for Jeter to sign] by a couple of dealers just a few yards away.
Do the "I only sign for kids" people expect those kids to suddenly lose their interest in autographs the moment they turn 18?
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  #106  
Old 01-20-2018, 08:44 PM
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I don't understand the "I only sign for kids" mentality. For the sake of discussion, let's presume each and every kid is pure of heart and wants the autograph for themselves, and don't fall into the category of...



Do the "I only sign for kids" people expect those kids to suddenly lose their interest in autographs the moment they turn 18?
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it's unfair to serious collectors and fans who truly are in it for the love of collecting. On the other hand, I can think of two different experiences that would cause me to think like Jeter does (god knows how many experiences he has). When I was in high school I went to an Indians/Angels game. I wasn't a big collector at that time (typical young guy who leaves the hobby for girls, sports, etc.) but I was always a huge fan of Tim Salmon growing up and there he was pre game signing some autographs for some young Cleveland fans. I was a little embarrassed but I decided to go among the crowd of 10 year olds for an autograph of one of my childhood heroes. Keep in mind I was 17 (looked older though because of my height). I saw a guy who was mid 50's pushing through the crowd of kids with an album that full of cards. Kept going back to the same players time after time. The guy must have got 10 auto cards from each player. This guy didn't even appear to be that much of a fan and he was not being courteous to others trying to get autographs as well (5-12 year old kids). I actually saw him nudge (being polite; it was more like a light shove) a kid out of the way so he could capture a $3 auto of Benji Molina. I haven't asked for an autograph since watching all this happen. Another time I watched a middle aged man curse at Frank Thomas for not signing pre-game... The guy said things that would have likely caused a fight outside of the stadium... totally classless. If I were a pro, I'd sign for these fools just to get them out of the way but I can't fault some of them for focusing on signing for kids.

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  #107  
Old 01-20-2018, 10:42 PM
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A couple more, all from the same night:

In the late 90s, I was a teacher and coach at the high school in Craig, CO. The used car dealer in town knew several Denver Broncos and arranged for them to come into town for a "faculty vs Broncos" fundraiser basketball game for the school's sports teams.

Good:

Glyn Milburn - first of all, Milburn was an incredible athlete. Unbelievably fast and, at 5'7" or whatever, could touch the top of the backboard. Couldn't play basketball though - must have missed half a dozen dunks. Anyway, at the after party, I got a chance to talk to him. Told him I was a Lions fan and that I hoped the rumored trade of him to Detroit would happen. He smiled and said he was just glad someone wanted him. Super nice guy.

Bad:

Unknown Broncos lineman: he decided the game should be full contact and would run into me away from the ball every chance he got. Very annoying.

Other: Ed McCaffrey played in the game and was great. I had a wide open 3 when he was standing under the basket. He seemingly took one step and somehow blocked my shot. I swear he was 11-feet tall with arms a mile long.
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  #108  
Old 01-21-2018, 10:20 AM
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In defense of Reggie Jackson in the past 5 years I have been in a room with Reggie about the same number of times. Every spring the Yankees put on an event for the Boys and Girls club in Tampa. Reggie is in no way obligated to show up but dose every year. I also saw him signing at a show in New Jersey a couple years ago. Entire crowd chanted Reg-Gie!!. And he was very nice to everybody. Just my experiance.. As I said earlier A big part of getting in person autographs is getting told no.. Nobody owes me as a fan a signature I consider each one a gift.
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  #109  
Old 01-21-2018, 11:15 AM
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I don't want to dwell on bad experiences as the worst happened with my favorite player as a kid, so I'll focus on the positive. Rico Petrocelli was way beyond nice when I met him at a card show. I had him sign the 1968 Topps Game 6 World Series card that shows him hitting a homer with Tim McCarver behind the plate. He said that over the years he had never signed one that had been signed already by McCarver and advised me to get it signed by him after he signed it. He was very nice and engaging with everyone. A class act.
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  #110  
Old 01-21-2018, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Buythatcard View Post

Worst: Keith Hernandez
Stood on line for over an hour to get a ball signed for my nephew's birthday. When it was my turn, I asked him to personalize it to my nephew. He whispered in the ear of someone next to him who then made an announcement that Keith will not personalize any items. He never looked up and had the unfriendliest look.
Not at all surprising. There was a documentary a while back that exposed Hernandez as a "pretty boy."

Furthermore, it was his crucial error on June 14, 1987, that led to a five-run Phillies ninth and ruined the beautiful afternoon for the fans in the right-field stands.

https://www.si.com/extra-mustard/201...second-spitter

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  #111  
Old 01-21-2018, 11:52 AM
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I've had lots of great experiences. These were some of the most memorable.

In no random order:
Brooks Robinson
Ernie Banks (surprised nobody mentioned him. He was GREAT!!!)
Yogi Berra
Ralph Kiner
Mike Tyson

Some more unforgettable encounters, just not for good reasons:
Tom Seaver
Willie Mays
Reggie Jackson
Orlando Cedepda
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  #112  
Old 01-21-2018, 02:08 PM
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While father was serving in Vietnam my mother and I remained in Ft. Devens. One day Tony Conigliaro sat in the stands and watched my little league team play a game. He was in fatigues and it was hard to believe it was actually him. He stayed and signed autographs for all of us and asked many of us about our fathers who were serving in Vietnam. I remember how proud I was when he called our fathers heros.

When I was kid my father took me to countless AAA games in Tacoma. My friends and I would wait in the parking lot chasing foul balls and playing wiffle ball. One day Lyman Bostock left the game early. He encountered us in the parking lot and asked to join us. He played with us for about 20 minutes before a crowd began to gather. When the crowd grew he thanked us and said he had to go. He signed autographs and complimented us on our swings. I was devastated when I learned of his tragic death a few years later. What an amazingly classy man.

Speaking of classy, My son was fortunate enough to have Ali invite him to sit next to him during a spring training game in 2002. He was 12 at the time. It was a surreal experience. He sat with Ali for two innings. They talked and shared a large oatmeal cookie. My son was an amateur boxer at that age and was thrilled to have such a story to share when he returned home. Ali signed his spring training program, thanked him for keeping him company, and threw a couple of jabs his way when my son left his side. My son is 27 now and when people talk about celebrity encounters he shares his, "I shared a cookie with Muhammad Ali" story. Hard to beat that one. Ali was as close to American royalty as it gets. The world is a lesser place without him
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75 of 153 regular season stubs (49%), 14 of 14 1971 ALCS, NLCS , and World Series stubs (100%)

If you have any 1971 Pirate regular season game stubs (home or away games) please let me know what have!

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  #113  
Old 01-21-2018, 02:46 PM
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Best: watching Bobby Valentine during his rookie season, jog along the outfield fence and smile and wave at all the fans when they acknowledged him. Things changed with him, but he had that time when things were good.

Throwing a program out to Juan Marichal, over the outfield fence, and having him sign it and throw it back up in the stands. Actually, any exchange with Juan Marichal - great guy.

Meeting Roger Bannister - one of the truly great gentleman athletes of all time.

Worst: Pete Rose and Willie McCovey. No one came close to either of these for bad experiences.
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  #114  
Old 01-21-2018, 05:39 PM
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Best: watching Bobby Valentine during his rookie season, jog along the outfield fence and smile and wave at all the fans when they acknowledged him. Things changed with him, but he had that time when things were good.

Throwing a program out to Juan Marichal, over the outfield fence, and having him sign it and throw it back up in the stands. Actually, any exchange with Juan Marichal - great guy.

Meeting Roger Bannister - one of the truly great gentleman athletes of all time.

Worst: Pete Rose and Willie McCovey. No one came close to either of these for bad experiences.
Reggie Jackson and Greg Maddux, pricks big time....
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  #115  
Old 01-23-2018, 04:36 PM
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Meet Craig Biggio, Nolan Ryan, Jeff Bagwell, Stan Musial and Lou Brock back in the late 80's at card shows. I can remember all being great to a 10 year old.
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  #116  
Old 01-23-2018, 05:47 PM
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Best, Musial and Duke Snider. Both treated you with respect and would just talk to you like they knew you.

Worst, probably Don Sutton. He signed for me, but I made the mistake of having him sign his rookie card. He said "I always hated that card!", and signed boldly right across his face with a black sharpie. I found this card offered on ebay, so I guess I'm not the only one.
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  #117  
Old 01-23-2018, 08:42 PM
CurtisFlood CurtisFlood is offline
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Curt Flood was my favorite player growing up. I met him at a card show and he was wearing a WS ring. I asked if it was '64 or '67 and he takes it off and hands it to me to hold. He also addressed the crowd before he began signing and thanked the fans for supporting him throughout his career. Class Act all the way.

Stan Musial. Growing up in St. Louis, of course I idolized The Man. I went to his STM offices one day to drop off the two scorecards from his 5 HR doubleheader to be signed. He happened to be there at the time and his staff asked me if I would like to meet him and get the autographs in person. Uh, yeah. Not only did he cheerfully sign the scorecards, he wrote "5 home runs" on each one and started telling me about that day. He laughed and said "I should have had 6 - Mays caught one at the centerfield wall!" We opened the scorecard and sure enough there it was. He said he never tried to hit homers but he really wanted one in his final at bat and popped out to first. Again, there it was. Such a genuinely nice man who made this lifelong Cardinal fan feel like we were old friends.
Exactly what Flood said to me when I met him in Palma Majorca, Spain in summer of 1972. After drinking rum and coke and chain smoking with Curt for about 3 hours he asked me if I wanted his autograph since we were "old friends". Almost 46 years ago and I remember that clear as yesterday. What an amazing guy to talk with and being a Cardinal fan made it even better. Only autograph I have that is not for sale.
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  #118  
Old 01-23-2018, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bigfanNY View Post
In defense of Reggie Jackson in the past 5 years I have been in a room with Reggie about the same number of times. Every spring the Yankees put on an event for the Boys and Girls club in Tampa. Reggie is in no way obligated to show up but dose every year. I also saw him signing at a show in New Jersey a couple years ago. Entire crowd chanted Reg-Gie!!. And he was very nice to everybody. Just my experiance.. As I said earlier A big part of getting in person autographs is getting told no.. Nobody owes me as a fan a signature I consider each one a gift.
Reggie got a dose in Tampa!
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  #119  
Old 01-23-2018, 09:19 PM
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Best: Kurt Warner and the 1999 St. Louis Rams. It was the last week of the season in Philadelphia. They had home field throughout the playoffs wrapped up. The game meant nothing for them except to avoid injuries. I stayed at the team hotel and staked out the bar in the restaurant...Shula's Steakhouse. It was the Saturday before the game and the bar went from empty one minute to what seemed like a private St. Louis Rams party the next. The whole team filed in eventually...Warner, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Orlando Pace, Az Hakim, London Fletcher, Kevin Carter, Rickey Proehl, etc. All the coaches Vermeil, Mike Martz, Jim Hanifan, Frank Gansz, Wilbert Montgomery. Ron Jaworkski was there too. I spent hours drinking beer and talking to everyone. The mood was light. They were in the midst of a dream season. Warner was like a rookie. Gracious to everyone. Posed for pictures. Signed everything. It was a really, really, good time. I have dozens of signed polaroid pictures from that night.

Though there was one experience I cherish even more than that. 2008 NFL season. Rams staying around Hoboken to play the Jets...can't remember the name of the hotel, but it was by far the least special hotel I'd ever seen them stay at. They were in the midst of a "least special" season and that weekend would be their "least special" performance of that "least special" season, trailing the Jets 40-0 at halftime in a game that was never a contest. Anyway, rewind 18 hours earlier. Saturday afternoon around 5:00 or so...who walks into the bar but none other than Jim Hanifan, who was retired from coaching at this point but working as the color commentator on Rams broadcasts. He sat on the bar stool next to me and we talked football and watched college football to nearly midnight. He told story after story after story. I love that guy. It was a night I'll never forget.

Post script...The access to the team changed dramatically after the 1999 season. Once they won the Super Bowl, security was much tighter. The team more secluded. I had a connection so I always knew what hotel they'd be at and because I was a paying customer, the hotel let me do what I wanted. I still got to meet and talk to many players, coaches and TV guys but it wasn't the same. From 1999 to 2001, Warner (and many other Rams) went from regular guys with easy access to Armani wearing celebrities you had to hope to get a glimpse off. By the Super Bowl season of 2001, Warner was no longer signing in person. He was handing out prayer cards that he had signed in advance and you could only get one if you happened to be at the hotel when the team arrived. Otherwise you never saw him again.

Worst experience...I don't have many but one stands out. 2001 Season...Rams are in Newark to play the Giants. I'm in my usual spot in the hotel bar waiting with my trooper of a wife. No one in the place at about 2:00 PM on Saturday. Sitting a few seats away from is none other than Lawrence McCutcheon, the one time Rams all time leading rusher. By himself. Drinking a beer. Watching college football. Against my better judgement, I thought it would be ok to go over and chat. I introduced myself. Told him I was a Rams fan since the mid-seventies. It was nice to meet him. He looked at me like I just farted. Never said a word. Then turned around, grabbed his beer and continued to watch college football. I felt like a tool. i was always very cautious and smart around the team. Never wanted to seem like a fanatic. If someone seemed approachable...you know the queues...I'd talk to them. If someone's body language indicated it was a bad idea, I wouldn't. Totally misread this one and never made that mistake again.

But my experience was mild compare to some I've witnessed. I used to work security at the Greater Hartford Open. The celebrity pro-am day was always a lot fun...especially if you got to work the after party that night. One year, at the party they stationed me at the end of the tent which happened to be right next to the porta potties. Ken Howard...aka The White Shadow...went to take a leak and as he approached he said "hi" then asked if I was guarding the "shitters". LOL I thought it was funny. Another time, I got my picture taken standing next to Bob Hope...unintentionally...was just doing my job as he walked by...and unbeknownst to me until the picture appeared on the cover of the Hartford Courant the next day. But as for bad experiences...One year I was working by the putting green and a father made the mistake of lifting his small son...couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 over the fence so the boy could go up to Lawrence Taylor and ask for an autograph. When the boy approached, Taylor told him to get the "F" away from him. The father had to be held back from climbing over the fence. Taylor then started to berate the father and the two stood nose to nose screaming at each other as we tried to diffuse the situation. That was a bad scene...

Another that comes to mind. As a Rams fan, it pains me to say it, but Marshall Faulk was an absolute jerk to fans. Never to me. I knew better than to even try to talk to him. But my wife and I would watch as others went down in flames. One guy in particular comes to mind. A middle aged guy, wearing a Rams jersey...Approached Faulk as he was chatting with two smoking hot girls in the bar of the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City. The guy professed his love of the Rams and told Faulk how great a football player he was. Faulk just stood there and said one word...emotionless...expressionless...he said "ok"...in a tone that easily could've translated to "get lost" or worse. A long, awkward pause ensued. Faulk said nothing. The girls acted like it was the most humorous thing they'd ever seen, while unsuccessfully acting like they didn't want to show it. The guy, undoubtedly feeling very embarrassed just skulked away. Faulk and the girls then proceeded to make fun of him. I was sitting about five feet away and was disgusted. I stopped being a Faulk fan at that point.
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  #120  
Old 01-23-2018, 09:20 PM
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One of the best encounters I've had (outside of paid appearances) was with John Wetteland at the ballpark when he was a pitching coach for the Mariners.

John came over and signed autographs before the game for all the fans and really engaged them in conversation, asking questions about them. He seemed genuinely interested. John signed a couple of cards for me and left a big impression.
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  #121  
Old 01-23-2018, 10:20 PM
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Best: Brooks Robinson. Although in line at an event, he treated me like an old friend and asked to have his picture with me. What then ensued was a 10-minute conversation of our love for University of Arkansas Football, the state of Arkansas in general and our histories there. Native Arkansans tend to get along great with each other.

Other Best: Eddie Murray. Gets a horrible rap. However, one summer day in 1985 when I was 9 years old, I met him at a car dealership in Catonsville, Maryland. We talked baseball for an 1-1/2 hours and signed 10-15 items for me. He promised a home run ball from one of his teammate and delivered. Kind and amazing to me.


Worst: Frank Robinson and Mike Heath. I won't expand on this.

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Old 01-25-2018, 11:32 AM
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Best: Warren Spahn at a small local card show in the 90s. He was very personable and chatted with me for several minutes. Auburn Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Cam Newton and Pat Sullivan...all three took the time to interact with my kids at the photo op. I also had about a 30 minute conversation with Sullivan at a civic event a few years earlier. About 5 years ago Dale Murphy at a small meet and greet took the time to visit individually with everyone there (going to see him at another event tonight).

Virtually everyone at AA Montgomery Buscuits games from 2004-2011. My kids got tons of pictures, balls and bats from Evan Longoria, James Shields, David Price, Wade Davis, Stephen Vogt, and a ton of other current/former players.

Worst: Mike Mussina after an exhibition game. Completely blew everyone off, including me even though he had told a mutual friend he would take a minute to speak to me and sign a jersey.
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Old 01-28-2018, 02:09 AM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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I had been pondering this for a while as I had several long responses to the question. To me the best overall are Olympians. I have met hundreds of Olympians over the last 35 years and, as a rule, they can be some of the nicest and most accommodating athletes. Unlike pro athletes it is even better when you are familiar with their careers or saw them perform at some small event where few people attended. I have also befriended quite a few Olympians. Hilary Smart, who won a gold medal in sailing in 1948 with his father as his crew, was a member of my Olympic collectors group. Whenever he saw me at one of our shows he would say 'Let me sign some autographs for you to sell and make some money". He also sent me signatures of his long deceased father for my collection. I collect original photos of Olympians and have a very large archive of over 8,000 images. When I am going to meet someone I usually have photos to sign. I always make copies for them as they usually have not seen the photos before. They are very grateful that I can share with them. There are a few that can be cranky - Cheryl Miller and Mia Hamm come to mind, but they are in the minority.

One interesting aspect of getting autographs of Olympians is the reaction of professional athletes who were also Olympians. When you tell someone you want their signature because they competed in the Olympics it usually catches them off guard. Hockey players Jim Nill and Mats Naslund both signed better than usual signatures and added their teams; Team Canada 1980 for Nill and Tre Kronor with three crowns for Naslund. World Champion boxer Amir Khan is another. I met him at the Boxing Hall of Fame in 2016. He was just signing his name, which was fairly illegible. I told him that I wanted his signature because he was an Olympian he signed his name, spelled it below and added '2004 Silver Medal 2004 Athens Olympics'. One last one is Kurt Angle. He was doing a book signing for his first book. You never know how a book signing is going to go, but I brought along some Olympic items - ticket, photo and poster. He signed the book, photo and ticket rather easily. When he saw the poster, a 1996 Olympic logo poster already signed by about 60 or so 1996 Olympians, he asked if I really wanted him to sign it. I told his sure since he was a gold medalist at those games. He was quite humbled.

I will add one or two more stories, probably tomorrow, including one about a player that many people so far have said is one of the worst.
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  #124  
Old 01-28-2018, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael B View Post
I had been pondering this for a while as I had several long responses to the question. To me the best overall are Olympians. I have met hundreds of Olympians over the last 35 years and, as a rule, they can be some of the nicest and most accommodating athletes. Unlike pro athletes it is even better when you are familiar with their careers or saw them perform at some small event where few people attended. I have also befriended quite a few Olympians. Hilary Smart, who won a gold medal in sailing in 1948 with his father as his crew, was a member of my Olympic collectors group. Whenever he saw me at one of our shows he would say 'Let me sign some autographs for you to sell and make some money". He also sent me signatures of his long deceased father for my collection. I collect original photos of Olympians and have a very large archive of over 8,000 images. When I am going to meet someone I usually have photos to sign. I always make copies for them as they usually have not seen the photos before. They are very grateful that I can share with them. There are a few that can be cranky - Cheryl Miller and Mia Hamm come to mind, but they are in the minority.

One interesting aspect of getting autographs of Olympians is the reaction of professional athletes who were also Olympians. When you tell someone you want their signature because they competed in the Olympics it usually catches them off guard. Hockey players Jim Nill and Mats Naslund both signed better than usual signatures and added their teams; Team Canada 1980 for Nill and Tre Kronor with three crowns for Naslund. World Champion boxer Amir Khan is another. I met him at the Boxing Hall of Fame in 2016. He was just signing his name, which was fairly illegible. I told him that I wanted his signature because he was an Olympian he signed his name, spelled it below and added '2004 Silver Medal 2004 Athens Olympics'. One last one is Kurt Angle. He was doing a book signing for his first book. You never know how a book signing is going to go, but I brought along some Olympic items - ticket, photo and poster. He signed the book, photo and ticket rather easily. When he saw the poster, a 1996 Olympic logo poster already signed by about 60 or so 1996 Olympians, he asked if I really wanted him to sign it. I told his sure since he was a gold medalist at those games. He was quite humbled.

I will add one or two more stories, probably tomorrow, including one about a player that many people so far have said is one of the worst.
Speaking of Mia Hamm, I have a feeling that she may be one of those Willie Mays type of personalities. She had a fundraiser for youth soccer in New Jersey where she held a dinner for those who raised money and then went on an indoor field to play a pickup game with the ones who raised the most. My daughter was one who raised in the top ten in the state so she and my wife got to sit at Mia's table to eat. Now...Mia was also like seven or eight months pregnant at this point as well so I'm sure that had to add to the grouchiness as well for sure. She was nice enough during dinner but seemed very shy and "to herself", like she had to force speaking with those around her, even the kids. Not unfriendly just pretty uncomfortable.

Then it was time for the pickup game and she stepped on to the field like a completely different person. She completely changed and was talking and engaging and high fiving and laughing and even talking some minor smack with some of them. Even as pregnant as she was when she was on the soccer field she was wonderful with the kids. It was like she stepped over that line and was in her element again.

So I completely understand the Mia Hamm cranky thing. But we saw a different side of her in the same day.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:53 AM
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I was at the airport standing in line at the gate and Bob Feller was in front of me. After he checked in at the counter I asked the young lady if she had any idea who Bob Feller was. She had no clue and I told her about his career. Our flight was delayed and he was by himself and I went and sat next to him in the terminal. We talked about his career and the all star games he appeared in here in Detroit. The stories were incredible.When we were done he told me his son was picking him up and asked me if I needed a ride to the resort I was staying at. I politely declined and we went our separate ways. One of the greatest conversations I ever had with an athlete. What an incredibly humble guy. I was so wrapped up in the conversation I forgot to ask him to sign a couple of the baseballs I had with me. Thanks Bob!!
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:00 AM
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It's funny how stuff stays in your head from when we were kids. I was hanging by the wall at Wrigley Field and Kurt Bevaqua was warming up in front of me and two other kids. To me he was pretty cool as he was immortalized on that 1976 Topps baseball card after winning the bubble gum blowing competition with Joe Garagiola and I really wanted his autograph. He kept promising to sign when he was done warming up and when he was done he said he would be right back to sign for the three of us and disappeared in the dugout. I was disappointed but hey, what was I going to do?

Fast forward to last year when I spotted him on Facebook as we had a mutual friend and I made a comment that I knew he would see about stiffing me on the autograph forty years ago. His response?

"Andrew, I've been looking for you and those other 2 boys for 30 years.message me and we will figure that autograph thing out."

True to his word he sent me an awesome autographed 8x10. We are now connected on Facebook and speak occasionally. He is certainly a pretty cool guy, just as I thought he would be when I was so much younger.
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:08 AM
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Default My fathers best and worst experience

Went to a card show back in the 90's that featured free autographs, from Ali to Campy to Namath. My father was getting M Ali's autograph and he asked if he "can write a little bigger" when Ali was signing his glove. Ali retorted "did you call me a ni---?" Ali paused and my dad's eyes popped out of his head. Ali paused and my dad profusely apologized, then Ali let out a little grin..... At the same show, I would also have him sign my glove and without asking, Ali pointed his finger at the other glove in my hand so he can sign as well, without asking!

Ali was a class act and funny one to boot!
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:32 PM
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I've never had a bad experience meeting an athlete then again I've only met athletes as a young teen and child so maybe there aren't many athletes who are going to be a jerk to a kid. In my life I've meet a few Royals minor leaguers from years ago at a signing before a Royals game, Jason Ruff when he played for the Kansas City Outlaws a former minor league hockey team, and my favorite one with a great story was meeting football hall of famer Bobby Bell at the post office.

This was in mid-December of 2010 I was 14 at the time, and I was at the post office shipping a package. Behind me there is an older man so he decides to talk to me he asks what a want for Christmas, so I'm thinking this is just going to be a normal conversation with someone. (Anything to pass the time waiting in line.) I reply with the first thing that came to mind which was some CD's he then asks how much that would cost, so I panic and just say $20. He then reaches into his pocket and pulls out $20 and tries to give it to me. I of course was unaware of who he was at this time, so I didn't feel okay taking money from a stranger. After the bill was passed to each other for a few minutes he finally gives up, however he gave me something before he left. As I am paying he hands me a (new) tube of chapstick with a picture of a Chiefs player and the name Bobby Bell on it. He told me not to sell the chapstick on ebay. (Since I still didn't know who it was I was like why would I sell this?) When I got home I finally connected the dots... A football hall of famer tried to give me money. I still have the chapstick to this day.

I would like to know though what was his limit? What if I wanted something that was $100?

Last edited by cool-vintage; 01-29-2018 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 01-30-2018, 04:37 AM
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Two that come to mind as being extremely friendly were both sort of local heroes on Long Island, so they won't matter much to most people outside of NYC, but they are both quite memorable to me.

Gerry Cooney, 'The Huntington Heavyweight,' ambled into the gym I use to train at, making a huge splash as everyone ate it up. A couple of us 'sparred' a bit with him and, man, did we look out for that left. A monster of a human being. What a great attitude he had, and this was really at the pinnacle of his (pretty short-lived) fame, so he was very much in demand as millions of New Yorkers were rooting for him like crazy. He left a great impression on everyone.

Over the years I ran into Jets RB legend Freeman McNeil a whole bunch of different times at a local 7-11 (which, strangely enough, was way off the beaten path, but it was near his home). He would be standing there sipping his coffee with a slight smile on his face, just sort of minding his own business, like he was in no hurry to go anywhere. So once I said, "What the heck?" and went up to him and introduced myself and said what an honor it was to meet him. He whipped out a huge smile and we got to talking football for a long while. An absolutely incredibly friendly and nice guy, but it was sad in a way, because it was late in the afternoon and he told me that due to all of the injuries he suffered playing football his entire life, every day it took until the afternoon for him to feel like he had any sort of 'normal' mobility at all. He didn't say it in any way like it was a complaint, just a fact of life for him. After that day, each time I'd see him he would give me a smile and a knowing nod and sometimes we'd chat for a bit. I frickin' love that guy!!!!!!
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Old 01-30-2018, 06:51 AM
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I should add another good experience. About 10 years ago while playing in a local softball tournament I was surprised to see former Atlanta Braves pitcher, Terrell Wade, pitching for the opposition. He was friendly and after the game even stopped by out dugout to speak to everyone. Btw, I believe I went 4 for 4 against him .
A year or two later he played on our league team.
He seemed like a "good" guy.
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:25 PM
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Great experience. These folks were so nice I would give them the shirt off my back:

Lou Brock
Phil Rizzuto
Mickey Rivers

Neutral:

Johnny Mize. I asked him a question. He ignored me, so I repeated my question. Still no response. In hindsight he was 80 years old and maybe hard of hearing and didn't hear me.

Yogi Berra. Almost bit my head off for asking which World Series ring he was wearing. I guess I was supposed to know he always wears 1953. Maybe it was just the tone of his voice, but he didn't seem happy with the question.

Not nice. I wouldn't give any of these players 2 bits for their autograph:

Hank Aaron. Not nice to any of the fans. Didn't seem happy to be collecting $30 each to scribble his name on 4 my baseballs. If you don't like the fans, do only private signings. people can send in their stuff and you don't even have to acknowledge them.

Whitey Ford. A kid asked if he could take his picture. Whitey said sure and didn't even look up for the photo. Just kept signing stuff. Same as above, stick to private signings.

John Franco. Signed my card in water soluble ink. It was a Mets Booster Club Banquet. He was introduced and came out signing for folks with his own marker. I handed him card and tried to force my sharpie on him but he refused it. I went to my table dipped my finger in water glass and erased the signature. Then my wife took the card and sharpie and grabbed his marker as he was about to use it again and forced him to use my sharpie. Hundreds of autos he signed that night that are junk today. I don't believe for 2 seconds that this was anything but intentional.

Lee Mazzilli and Ralph Branca. Both smudged the autograph. I believe it was intentional. Branca even went as far as to say I am gonna hate him. Hate is too strong a word.

Last edited by slipk1068; 01-30-2018 at 01:51 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:42 PM
dodgerfanjohn dodgerfanjohn is offline
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Best - Steve Garvey. Sat directly behind him at a Dodgers game about 20 years ago. Understand that I was 7 in 1979 when I attended my first Dodgers game, so Steve Garvey was a real big deal to me. Through the first 5 innings, Mr. Garvey must have signed 100 autographs from fans approaching him. Even though I was seated directly behind him, I was iffy about asking for an auto just because he was there with his family and dealing with so many people asking for auto's. I eventually ran to the souvenir stand and got one of those cheapo team logo balls and waited until the inning finished. Mr. Garvey was extremely nice and we were able to talk for a short bit. Still have the ball displayed:



In person I always address the signer as Mr..... Even though I'm mid 40's and some of the signers are younger than me, I've found being polite and a bit formal goes a long way. My other really positive experiences were Pee Wee Reese, Ernie Banks, Orel Herschiser

Shawn Green, who was extremely nice and has a very distinctive and elaborate signature:



And even 90 year old Tommy Lasorda who was a surprise replacement for Scott Alexander at Fanfest this past Saturday. A boisterous "Good afternoon Mr. Lasorda!" worked wonders. FWIW, his time was supposed to be 2:50pm to 3:40pm, but he stayed until 4:30 until he had signed for everyone in line:



Worst ever was Dave Winfield. I was still a kid...around 22 when I got his autograph at a show. Wouldn't look up or acknowledge me at all. Signed off center badly on the ball...just not a pleasant person.
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:20 PM
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In the early-1990s I took my older son to a show in Central Connecticut. When we got there I found that Whitey Ford was signing. When we entered the room there was literally no one near Whitey. He was sitting alone at a table looking bored. We walked over and I started a conversation with him. He was great. He told us a story of his time as a spring training pitching coach working with Al Leiter. Apparently Al was having difficulty throwing first pitch strikes. To help him along Ford made a bet with himevery time he threw a first pitch strike in a pre-season game Ford owed him a beer. A first pitch ball meant he owed Ford a beer. We chatted for about ten minutes. I think my son got his autograph (I did not, but Im sorry I didnt), but Im not positive of it. All I remember is that the greatest starting pitcher in Yankee history was a real gentleman.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:24 PM
whitey19thcentury whitey19thcentury is offline
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I am fortunate to have met many celebrities and athletes because of our business and business contacts. Certainly, my interaction with athletes are a bit different than 20-25 years ago when I was in my teens and before when I was pumped just to get an autograph.

The nicest that I can remember when I was younger was:

Enos Slaughter at then 1994 ASG Fan Fest. I got a photo with him and I remember him saying something like "Don't be shy, sonny."

Al Kaline and Brooks Robinson were awesome. They were at the Robert Morris show while I was a student there and I got their autographs and also made small talk.

I remember Warren Spahn and Eddie Mathews both being polite, but kind of curt.

Off the top of my head, the Pittsburgh athletes that I have met or had interactions with that really stand out as being good guys are: Steve Blass, John Wehner, Freddy Sanchez, Sid Bream, Manny Sanguillen (of course!), Pirates President Frank Coonelly, Gerrit Cole, Clint Barmes, really there are too many.

As far as the bad interactions:

I saw Billy Ripken being a jerk to fans after a game while I was traveling with Fox Sports.

My wife and I were at a GOP fundraiser right before Lynn Swann announced he was running for governor. We were the first people there, and in the room was literally us, Swann, a waitress and the bartender. Mr. Swann came over to us and introduced himself (!) and was awesome to talk to. He obliged us with a photo and I knew his reputation as a notorious non-signer, so I dared not ask. The poor waitress came over and asked for his autograph. He said: "If I sign for you, I have to sign for everyone." Granted, other than us four, just the bartender was there, and he was clear across the banquet room.

On another note for Swann: We ran into him a few years later at a charity function, we got a photo again, and before we got it take, he told me wife to put her glass of wine down. LOL

As for me personally with the negatives: This may be a shock given his reputation, but Andrew McCutchen. I won't go into details. Both times were at charity events. I gave him a pass on the first time thinking he may have been having a bad day, but this past summer, his actions made it seem like the first time was the norm.

The coolest former athletes that I have met that I would hang out with anytime are Steve Blass and John Wehner. What awesome guys.
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:21 AM
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since most of the above are focused on baseball players i will list a few pleasant experiences (wife was with me on all of these so that certainly helped) mainly with other sport athletes:

enjoyed hanging out with Edmund Hillary at his house on remuera dr in auckland, walked his den on the lower level with him, literally history on the walls! he used a small amount of oxygen to climb everest but most of his other adventures were oxygen free, and those other adventures were and still are legendary in climbing and exploration circles - now thats a pair of lungs. he was strong as a bull also.

Edmund was very quiet and humble guy. especially so for someone whose picture was, at that time, adorning his countries currency in circulation. the 5 pound note as i recall, i still have several notes somewhere which he autographed for me (it was me who asked for the autograph, he was embarassed to be asked).

-------------

peggy fleming was most gracious and very pleasant, we were at a party after a tv skating show which she was a commentator on. she has a vineyard and we discussed that a bit.

----------------------

mickey mantle, excellent and treated both my wife and me excellent. he was totally sober. i was a bit tongue tied on this one, one of the rare times in my life. (along with gehrig, mickey is my favorite ball player. after hearing some tales about his treatment of fans when drunk.... very glad he was sober!!)

------------

joe dimaggio, met him in atlantic city and made small talk about how the tables were treating him. lots of smiles and quite gracious.

------------

bob feller, another favorite of mine. good experience. what an arm!!, can you imagine playing pro ball and THEN going back for your high school graduation ceremony! what a life.

-----------

we stayed with the new england patriots at their hotel in scottsdale for the 2008 super bowl. after the loss the hotel was like a morgue. we had expected to be up all night. lots of us went to bed early.

on a plus side we met up with reggie bush who had been a big noise with his heisman win a few years before and was about to have a super bowl appearance the next season, and his high school teammate alex smith. both were quite pleasant and we listened to them for quite a while and had a good time in spite of the patriots loss.

i am not a small guy, but you really get perspective on large humans when you get into an elevator with a few of the patriots linemen.

--------------

a group of 30 of us had the owners suite (kfc - yum brands suite) at the kentucky derby the year the queen of england was attending. we had by far the best seats in the house. brown and forman suite is the only thing that compares. richard petty had an all access pass and as a result could get up to our floor. he came in and was a hoot. he told us he wished he had as good a seats as us and generally made us all feel ten feet tall.

speaking of ten feet tall we met a several of the jockeys the days leading up to the race. they were short of stature but tall in graciousness and courtesy explaining stuff to us.

---------------

on the friday before the indy 500 we were guests of mari hulman george in her owners suite for the friday races.

the next day wife and i took a hot lap with one of the friday race drivers, the friday race is kinda the minor league to get to be a indy 500 driver, its called the "indy light series" or ILS.

sebastian saavedra, who some years later did drive in the big race, was our driver. a very nice young man from colombia. with hot laps they take you for a ride in a genuine race car from the ILS series, we did 130 mph on the wall going into the curve, pretty cool. you are literally about 2 or 3 feet from the wall on the curve with him - coming out of the curve we were still doing 100 mph. i am a former gearhead and i've done 120 straight away on public highways with my 1960's street car and wife is cool so it was very unique and a lot of fun going into a curve on the wall at 130 mph. we talked to sebastian for a while afterwards, he was driving for the andretti team and had big hopes for the future. great guy.

we had an all access pass for indy day and got to walk the track and the pits right up to about an hour or so before race time. about an hour before the race started we were talking to one of the pit crews and i noticed them handling the tires like they were nothing, the tires are much larger then street tires. i was perplexed at how strong they must be?? much to my surprise he handed me one, this is a tire to be used shortly in the race mind you, it weighed nothing. they are filled with a special chemical which helps make the tire very light. either that or i was suddenly very strong for just that day.

****also too a person we never met so many nice people as at that race in terms of race day drivers and pit crews. they totally understand it is the fans that pay for all the hoopla. nicest group of professional athletes you could hope to meet. *****

------------------------------

while surfing met some former low level pro surfers, they were ok, which considering what you hear about surfers was a major surprise.

-------------

played a pickup basketball game with former chicago bulls center bill wennington. patrick kane of the blackhawks was training at the facility and joined us along with patricks sister who was a college athlete as i recall. patrick and bill were very nice and it was a fun game.

a different time we got to ride the zamboni during the blackhawks game and meet the team - good people.

----------------

many others but these were some of my favorites.

------------------------

one oddity i will mention, but not the name. wife and i were at the after party for the american music awards. a former minor league baseball player and long time espn sports guy, with a show on espn, and his wife, were sharing a standup table with us having drinks. she was great, a real good looking lady and an extremely pleasant and conversant person. the espn guy couldn't say much of anything. for a guy that talks for a living we found that kinda funny.

Last edited by jsq; 03-11-2018 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:41 AM
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The absolute best:

1) Mike Myers of Austin Powers movies etc. fame. Met him in Toronto bar on a quiet night in April and - as I was hanging out with other SkyDome Hotel (now Rogers Centre) colleagues and a now infamous hotel guest and Blue Jays trainer
and alledged steriod go-between for Roger Clemens, Brian McNamee - a few hours of drinks and amazing interaction and laughs turned into a pick up game of baseball at 2am, on the field at the stadium with borrowed Blue Jays bats and gloves. A night I will never forget. Fast forward 2 years and I share the same subway car with Mike who looks at me and immediately places me - saying with a wink that “I was the worst shortstop he ever played on a MLB field with”. Total
Class Act. Truly.

2) Wayne Gretzky:managed his named restaurant in Toronto for 2 years in mid-90’s and met him and his family several times (Wally is the best too!). Had the pleasure of backing Wayne up on the bar a few times as he attempted his best impression of Tom Cruise in “Cocktail” - bottles flying and crashing everywhere!

3) Hank Aaron - multiple interactions over 2 days as he was a guest in the Hotel and as I was the Concierge on duty. Shared advice, stories, rode a golf cart together to the Jays clubhouse, gave me his biz card (VP with Braves) and said to contact him when in town. Amazing!

Very positive, lengthy interactions (mostly during private tours of the SkyDome/Rogers Centre and/or Hotel events or check ins): Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, Warren Spahn (at the HOF in Cooperstown), Dave Winfield, Carlos Delgado, Robbie Alomar, Shawn Green, Paul Beeston, Joe Carter, Paul Konerko, Shaq, Vince Carter, Roger Clemens, Pinball Clemons, Doug Flutie, Tracy McGrady, Kobe, Chauncey Billups, Dr. J., Hakeem, David Stern, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, Pat Tabler, Ed Sprague, Lloyd Moseby, Cito Gaston, George Bell, Tom Henke, Kelly Gruber, Sugar Ray Leonard (in Vegas), Jack Black (drinks at the an airport bar the day before my stag night in Vegas).
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  #137  
Old 02-02-2018, 08:36 AM
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sycks22 sycks22 is offline
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I've had some good experiences in the past couple days with NFL stars in down for the Superbowl. Ladainian Tomlinson / Drew Brees were super nice guys to have a quick chat with and get their autos. Terrell Davis said "I respect the perseverance you guys have for autographs" He went on to ask "What do you guys do with these autos?" It was also awesome seeing Rodgers / Montana within 30 minutes of each other. Last night Jim Brown walked by and his handler wouldn't let him sign anything, but we shook his hand. Best part of the night was having two older guys from Boston take a picture with a guy who was a sleep on the lobby couch.
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  #138  
Old 02-02-2018, 08:44 AM
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Met my childhood hero Darryl Strawberry and both times he was down to earth and just a nice guy. And once was on a 630 am flight. Ouch.
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  #139  
Old 02-02-2018, 10:21 AM
luciobar1980 luciobar1980 is offline
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I only have a best. David Wright. Around 2011 I was sitting eating my lunch on a stoop in Manhattan and what do I know, here comes David Wright walking down the sidewalk. I am a Mets fan and a David Wright fan so this was particularly surreal. He saw me coming and he could just tell I was about to get up and say something to him and he just kinda got a good-natured but embarrassed look on his face. Walked up, told him I was a fan, shook his hand, and he was all teeth. Seems like a great guy.
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  #140  
Old 02-02-2018, 11:17 AM
mr2686 mr2686 is offline
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For the most part, baseball players I have met have at least been cordial, but a few have gone above and beyond to either be really nice, or a complete ass.
Let me preface the list with the fact that I am always polite, always say please and thank you to them, and never ask questions of them unless they engage me first.

Beyond Great: Brooks Robinson, Gary Carter, Carlton Fisk, Sparky Anderson, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray
Brooks was the nicest for many years until I met Carter and Fisk. Both players talked to me for like 10 minutes and were genuinely "baseball fans" not just players.

Funny: Warren Spahn, Tony Gwynn.
Tony was pretty reserved and gave a WTF look when my wife went total fan girl on him, but after I explained she was a San Diego State Alum, he started laughing and loosend up.
A show promoter tried to rush Spahn along because he was taking too long talking to one of the kids. Spahn told him "go to hell, I'm teaching this kid how to pitch". Still makes me laugh thinking about that.

Bad: Hank Aaron, Dave Winfield - Just kinda unfriendly in general.

Total Dicks: This category is reserved for Pete Rose and Willie Mays
This was not a situation (for either player) that they were having a bad day or are just reserved around strangers. I've met them at multiple shows each, and each time they were the biggest dicks you'd ever want to meet. If it wasn't for the fact that I needed certain things signed, I would never have put myself through the experience. A collector friend went with me for his first meeting of Mays. My friend was very polite but came away with the same opinion of him. Oh well.
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  #141  
Old 02-02-2018, 11:22 AM
esd10 esd10 is offline
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I have meet a couple baseball player one being derek jeter when he played for the clippers at a big bear on brice rd in columbus and it was free he signed a xerox black and white photo and he was a nice guy. I met ozzie smith back in the late 80's at my grandfathers rax restraunt in st Louis and he talked to my brother and i for a few min and was super nice.
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  #142  
Old 02-02-2018, 12:22 PM
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Exhibitman Exhibitman is offline
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Can't do a thread like this w/o mentioning boxers. Some of the absolute friendliest, nicest down to earth guys you will ever hope to meet. I've been to a few HOF related events and some other times too, so I've met quite a few. Some highlights:

--Ali: always good stories about the GOAT. I met him before his diagnosis but it was clear he wasn't well. He didn't say much but he stayed at a show for hours beyond his scheduled appearance to make sure everyone got a signature. Really impressed me; only other athlete of his stature I've ever heard of doing that was Babe Ruth.

--Emile Griffith: Multi-division champ and HOFer. I met him several times at various events. A really nice man. Towards the end he was at a point where he enjoyed meeting fans but really had very little recollection of his career or much else. 339 championship rounds--the most in history--will do that to you, I guess.

--Gaspar Ortega: a great 1960s battler from L.A. I asked him to sign a striking pad for me. He did so, then pulled out his own photo and signed it to me.

--Carlos Ortiz: another HOFer. Absolutely cracked me up. I saw him signing for people at a HOF show and said "I have a card of you but I didn't bring it." He put his hand on my shoulder and said "Face it my friend: you f***ed up." Then signed my glove.

--Jeff Chandler: another HOFer, Joltin' Jeff came to my table at a HOF show. We had a nice conversation and he signed a card for me. Actually thanked me for remembering who he was afterwards. This is a multi-division champion and HOFer who thought people might not remember him.

--Terry Norris: Terrible Terry was a 4 time champ and HOFer. I see him around town--he has a gym near my office. Not only is he nice to fans, he is nice to clerks and so on. I was behind him at the grocery store and the clerk had no idea who he was; she was really surprised when I told her because she said he is always so nice.

--Ken Norton: I met him once at a HOF show. The show itself was pretty much over and he was coming in for the banquet afterwards but he took the time to come into the show and greet and sign for all of the people who were still there.
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  #143  
Old 02-02-2018, 01:22 PM
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drcy drcy is offline
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Not a famous person-- I don't recall meeting anyone famous--, but have a worthy related story.

I've for a good number of years volunteered and house managed plays at a neighborhood non-profit playhouse/art gallery, and there is this maybe 70 year old lady who's always at the functions and ALWAYS donates money, buys stuff and otherwise supports the place. Has always been the nicest, most down to earth person who is friendly and humble with everyone there, whether you're the executive director or a volunteer usher. I've always known her by name (everyone there does), and I finally decided I'd google her to see what she did and so to determine how she could afford to always donate money. Turned out she is a member of the 38th richest family in the country. Her family founded and still privately owns the Fortune 500 truck manufacturer, Paccar.

Last edited by drcy; 02-02-2018 at 01:36 PM.
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  #144  
Old 02-02-2018, 02:22 PM
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darwinbulldog darwinbulldog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drcy View Post
Not a famous person-- I don't recall meeting anyone famous--, but have a worthy related story.

I've for a good number of years volunteered and house managed plays at a neighborhood non-profit playhouse/art gallery, and there is this maybe 70 year old lady who's always at the functions and ALWAYS donates money, buys stuff and otherwise supports the place. Has always been the nicest, most down to earth person who is friendly and humble with everyone there, whether you're the executive director or a volunteer usher. I've always known her by name (everyone there does), and I finally decided I'd google her to see what she did and so to determine how she could afford to always donate money. Turned out she is a member of the 38th richest family in the country. Her family founded and still privately owns the Fortune 500 truck manufacturer, Paccar.
That's cool. Sounds like she's living a good life.

And I'll have you all know I'm a member of the 38th richest family in my subdivision.
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  #145  
Old 02-02-2018, 02:43 PM
howard38 howard38 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drcy View Post
Not a famous person-- I don't recall meeting anyone famous--, but have a worthy related story.

I've for a good number of years volunteered and house managed plays at a neighborhood non-profit playhouse/art gallery, and there is this maybe 70 year old lady who's always at the functions and ALWAYS donates money, buys stuff and otherwise supports the place. Has always been the nicest, most down to earth person who is friendly and humble with everyone there, whether you're the executive director or a volunteer usher. I've always known her by name (everyone there does), and I finally decided I'd google her to see what she did and so to determine how she could afford to always donate money. Turned out she is a member of the 38th richest family in the country. Her family founded and still privately owns the Fortune 500 truck manufacturer, Paccar.
Not all of the mega rich are miserable people. My cousin Harris owns some of the biggest hotels in Orlando, is a genuinely nice guy and is the only person I know that stars in a meme:
https://pics.onsizzle.com/self-made-...o-11017892.png
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  #146  
Old 02-02-2018, 07:32 PM
jsq jsq is offline
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as a huge fan of the yankees it is said to hear that slick was a "*ick!

ironically i saw a dick cavett interview of mickey and mickey was laughing about billy martin being traded because he was identified as "the" bad influence. micky laughed and basically said it was whitey who was the influence.

glad you had some good experiences with some of the others



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Originally Posted by slipk1068 View Post
Whitey Ford. A kid asked if he could take his picture. Whitey said sure and didn't even look up for the photo. Just kept signing stuff. Same as above, stick to private signings.

Last edited by jsq; 02-02-2018 at 07:32 PM.
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  #147  
Old 02-03-2018, 04:56 AM
Aquarian Sports Cards Aquarian Sports Cards is offline
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When I promoted my show in Jim Thorpe in 2016 I had 3 guests, Al
Oliver, Ron Greschner, and Nick Fotiu. Attendance was pretty sparse, and autograph seekers were non-existent. Well Ron and Nick talked Hockey with my dad and anyone else who was interested and even walked around chatting with dealers. They kept asking if I had anything else for them to sign. Al was awesome. I was very busy that day, but he and I managed to trade baseball trivia back and forth. None of them were watching the clock and I can't imagine nicer guys. They almost made the financial beating I took worth it!
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  #148  
Old 02-03-2018, 08:34 AM
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Exhibitman Exhibitman is offline
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The ones who are rude at paid events piss me off. I may be off for thinking this way but if you are an athlete trading on your celebrity to make a good living the least you can do is be polite to the paying customer. Reminds me of a Judge who was a real bastard on the bench. Just needlessly cruel. He called s friend of mine a gutter drunk because his collar was turned up. Stuff like that. There was at least one cringeworthy moment every session. When he retired he tried to get into mediation and arbitration and he started to make the rounds of Bar events to glad hand the attorneys. He came up to me and tried and I just laughed at him. I said “you were such an a***ole on the bench there is no way I would hire you.” I can’t figure bothering with players who treat you like crap.
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Last edited by Exhibitman; 02-03-2018 at 08:39 AM.
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  #149  
Old 02-03-2018, 10:39 AM
Sophiedog Sophiedog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exhibitman View Post
The ones who are rude at paid events piss me off. I may be off for thinking this way but if you are an athlete trading on your celebrity to make a good living the least you can do is be polite to the paying customer. Reminds me of a Judge who was a real bastard on the bench. Just needlessly cruel. He called s friend of mine a gutter drunk because his collar was turned up. Stuff like that. There was at least one cringeworthy moment every session. When he retired he tried to get into mediation and arbitration and he started to make the rounds of Bar events to glad hand the attorneys. He came up to me and tried and I just laughed at him. I said you were such an a***ole on the bench there is no way I would hire you. I cant figure bothering with players who treat you like crap.
Great Post! I feel the same way.
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  #150  
Old 02-04-2018, 03:47 PM
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Bored5000 Bored5000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exhibitman View Post
Can't do a thread like this w/o mentioning boxers. Some of the absolute friendliest, nicest down to earth guys you will ever hope to meet. I've been to a few HOF related events and some other times too, so I've met quite a few. Some highlights:

--Ali: always good stories about the GOAT. I met him before his diagnosis but it was clear he wasn't well. He didn't say much but he stayed at a show for hours beyond his scheduled appearance to make sure everyone got a signature. Really impressed me; only other athlete of his stature I've ever heard of doing that was Babe Ruth.
While perhaps not as big a name overall as Ali and Ruth, Richard Petty was known for decades for how willing he was to sign. Racers on the whole are much like boxers for how down to earth and fan friendly they are, but so much of Petty's reputation was that he wasn't just the best driver; he was also amazing when it came to signing autographs for hours and hours.

Last edited by Bored5000; 02-04-2018 at 04:21 PM.
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