View Full Version : Autograph Collectors' Regret

07-06-2006, 06:35 PM
You think you see someone famous. You pass on a fleeting chance for an autograph because you're afraid, embarassed or otherwise discouraged. Now you are haunted by the specter of a missed opportunity.

In my case it was watching John Wayne get on board a passenger plane with me from the U.S Virgin Islands to the U.S. My wife at the time talked me out of asking for an autograph. She and I are no longer married but John Wayne is no longer signing.

What's your story?

07-06-2006, 08:06 PM
Around 1989 or 1990 I saw John Elway at a bar in Vero Beach, FL, where I used to live. I think he was in town for a wedding. I was with some buddies and didn't want to seem like a jock sniffer by asking Elway for his autograph. At that time, he was a good QB but still was known as the guy who couldn't win the big one. Oh well.

07-06-2006, 08:29 PM
I live here in bakersfield CA and we used to have a minoe league team here.(Class A Ball Bakersfield Dodgers) I got to see guys like Eric Karrows,Jose Offerman,Mike P,Ken griffey jr,Garry sheffield and a ton of stars that played in our league.Good part was I always went and waited in the parking lot and waited for foul balls.I would retrive them and then sell them back to the gift shop and thays how I got my money to buy baseball cards.In doing that the visting team always park where I waited for foul balls and I got to know every driver who drove the bus.They all got me a team sign ball for every year since 1987-1995.Thats every Bakersfield Dodgers/Bakersfield Blaze team and every team in that played in the cal league.If you do your home work there has been alot of players who started here in the California League:D

Here is the bad part:mad:.Family had a yard sale and sold all those balls and got 50.00:D.For me at that time was good cause I always needed gas money(Just got my car at the time)As time pass I just start to get back in the hobby(1998) and guess what.All those balls I had are worth alot more than 50.00 right now:eek:.Its a sad story but then it goes to show you never now who going to be a star or not.

The only thing I got is a Eric Karrows sign and dated game used bat when he played for the bakersfield Dodgers in 1989

07-06-2006, 08:35 PM
Dennis Eckersely does commentary on NESN for the Sox, and is quite a nice guy, but back in the early 90s, I was 12 and went to get his autograph at a show...what a D!ck head... I was ready to tell him to shove it up his @ss.....

o well

07-06-2006, 08:48 PM
Back in 1998 I was walking to the subway station at Rockerfeller Center after work and passed Christopher Walken walking out of the building (He was guest hosting Saturday Night Live that week) . He walked right past me and I guess I was shocked that it was really him.

07-06-2006, 09:45 PM
I was in the food court at the Paramus Park, NJ mall around 1987 when I saw this gargantuan man sitting behind me eating a burger with the biggest Super Bowl ring you ever laid eyes on.....

Karl Nelson, NY Giants

07-06-2006, 11:52 PM
Metsbats...You want Walkens autograph?He lives two houses down from me...seriously!He owns a vacation home on Block Island RI..He walks around here with his head down with a hat on.Very weird dude.If you try to approach him his wife will stop you before you get to close.I was a 17 year old kid when i tried......

07-07-2006, 01:29 AM
I had a few different expeiriences.

My first time I met Darryl Strawberry I was a grown man looking at hi like I was a kid. I did ask for his autograph but there was a few kids crowding him trying to get his autograph so he asked e nicely to wait so he can do the kids first, then he autographed a ball for me. At that moment he jumped into an empty elevator right next to me. I was in such shock i just stood there, My frend turned around to me and said why didn you junp in too so you could talk to him ALL I COULD SAY WAS "Dam i didnt think of that"

My next one was Duke Simms played for the Yankees - i asked him to autograph a bat for me in a certain spot and didnt even pay attention to what I said and did it somewhere i didnt want it.
Joe Pepitone same thing!!!

I also met Jaimee Fox at a party one night in miami, me and him talked really cool guy!! The next day I happend to see him walking past my hotel IN THE SAME CLOTHES FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE I asked him if i could take a picture with him he looked at me and with an attitude told me NO.

Oh well!!!

07-07-2006, 10:20 AM
One of my regrets was not getting Wilt Chamberlain's signature while he was at the US Open watching tennis matches years ago. I was about 12 and he was signing for all the kids my age but for some reason, he refused me and kept signing for everyone else. I didn't push my luck but I really should have tried again.

07-07-2006, 11:20 AM
After a wrestling event that must have been in the late 1980s, I went to a bar in the hotel where I knew the wrestlers were staying. My buddy knocked me on the shoulder and pointed to the table by us where Andre The Giant was sitting with two unattractive women.

Andre sort of wrestled that evening. As a bad guy persona, he walked down to the ring, stood looking over the rope talking to his manager before The Ultimate Warrior was introduced. Warrior was introduced and he ran into the ring, gave a straight-arm to The Giant who had his back to the ropes. Andre fell over the top rope, the referee counted to 10 and Warrior won via count-out.

So, I walked up to The Giant with a pad of paper in hand and kindly asked for his autograph.

"I do not sign autographs" was his reply in a strong French accent.

Being brave, I pulled my ticket stub out of my back pocket and said something along the line of: "I paid good money for front row seats to see you preform tonight, and I was privileged to see a ten second match, thanks a lot."

The Giant stared at me, but he didn't say a word, and I went back to my table.

Now, here is the catch. A week later Andre The Giant was charged for a public disturbance for assaulting a fan in Detroit. It was said the fan was harassing Andre.

I was just a week late!

07-07-2006, 12:22 PM

You should have pressed the issue. Who knows, you could be sitting on your own private carribean island right now sipping the cold beverage of your choice if he would have laid one of those giant meathooks on you. Word has it that Andre was one of the most legendary drinkers of all time. There is nobody he could not drink under the table. It is rumored that he once downed over 100 beers at one sitting. Given the man's immense size I would not doubt it.

Of course you also run the risk of pissing the man off enough to the point that he does enough harm and you are relegated to a wheelchair for the rest of your days. That might be one situation best left as it was. :D

Brett Herman

07-07-2006, 12:51 PM
Thats funny about Andre the Giant. I too saw him at a hotel bar in Columbus, Ohio in 1989. I was in town for a convention and he had wrestled earlier that evening at the local arena (although I didn't attend). I recall he was drinking wine and it was very late at night (and I didn't even attempt to approach him for an autograph).

07-07-2006, 02:51 PM
I love the Andre the Giant story. Way to tell 'em, Joel.

Check out my story under "Freebies" about George Scott, the player who gave me a baseball bat and then months later at a card show refused to sign it because he would only sign baseballs.

07-07-2006, 03:24 PM
Metsbats...You want Walkens autograph?He lives two houses down from me...seriously!He owns a vacation home on Block Island RI..He walks around here with his head down with a hat on.Very weird dude.If you try to approach him his wife will stop you before you get to close.I was a 17 year old kid when i tried......

That's too funny! I guess the characters he portrays in his movies aren't much of a stretch for him:rolleyes:

07-07-2006, 05:55 PM
Thats a great one.I remmber seeing him and Big John Stud.With My hand in the air i could not even pass their knee caps:eek:.

07-07-2006, 11:25 PM
Thats a great one.I remmber seeing him and Big John Stud.With My hand in the air i could not even pass their knee caps:eek:.

In the late 1990s we did a public autograph signing with The Big Show at Bergies in Highland Park, IL. After the session, I hopped into the limo with Show and his girlfriend. Show lit up a cigarette, which shocked me, but what really shocked me was how the cigarette in his hand looked like a toothpick in my hand.

That guy has some big hands!

07-08-2006, 03:01 AM
I met the Big Show at the Days Inn in Baltimore in 1996.Me and my friend both shook his hand at the same time and he still had room.His hands are as big as someones face.Also he was smoking in the lobby of the hotel at that time and had a pack of cigs in his front pocket.We got a pic with him and he was very nice.

07-08-2006, 10:20 AM
Wow-- what a trip back to some of the really fun days of collecting...

In the mid-1980's all wrestling events in San Diego were held at the San Diego Sports Arena on Sports Arena Blvd (duh), and all the wrestlers in for the show would eat at Baker's square before the matches, then drink at the same place afterwards. Our routine was to take photos at the matches, have them developed a few days later, then try to get them signed a month later when the WWF came back to town. It worked well, especially with the use of my buddy's (Roger Christensen, author of The Ultimate Movie, Sports, and Rock 'n Roll Autograph Guide) 10 year old kid.

Anyway, one of the most difficult to get was Andre the Giant, who I believe was fairly insecure about his size and limited speaking ability. He would usually just look down and smile, and rarely, if ever, say anything during his pre-show meal. Later on he would get pretty surly after the matches to anyone who would approach him in the bar, even other wrestlers. Usually, anything that prompted him to stand up in the bar while he was drinking was guaranteed to pretty much clear the bar out, at least until he sat back down.

Here is a pic (I don't remember if it was one I took or got from someone else) that was signed in person, courtesy of my friend's 10 year old kid.
Unfortunately the only other auto'ed pics I still have besides this are Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper. For good measure, here's a 20-year-old pic of me and Freddie Blassie, whom I never saw again at later matches and was unable to get signed.




07-08-2006, 11:57 AM
Thats sweet:D.I 'm still trying to figure out why would someone leave if Andre stood up in a bar:confused:.LOL

07-08-2006, 12:42 PM
I was in Houston a couple years ago for the SuperBowl and was using the restroom at some hotel and in walks Don Shula. Now i am a huge Dolphins fan so i did a triple take and could not believe that Don Shula was using the urinal 2 down from me:D . The autograph situation later presented itself when he came out :D.