08 May 2014

some in person autographs from my youth, so i got that going for me, which is nice

a long time ago, i posted about a through the mail autograph success with former dodger (and dodger double dipper) joe beckwith.  in that post, i also showed the back of a ticket that beckwith signed in person for my dad back in 1980.  i mentioned that i would show the front of the ticket in a future post.  that post is this one, and this is the front of the ticket.
yes, for one glorious year, my hometown hosted the don sutton celebrity golf tournament.  actually, i believe it returned in 1981, but sutton did not as he was no longer in southern california, having moved on to houston.  in fact, the inaugural tournament, for which my dad had his dinner ticket signed by sutton himself, took place about two weeks before he signed with the astros.  as for me, i was in attendance at the dinner, but as a server not a guest.  my dad got me the gig as a way to get me into the dinner which was nice of him.  it gave me time to meet a couple of other celebrities in attendance, including bill murray.
why yes, i just happened to have my little autograph book in hand.  i had not yet seen caddyshack (i was just shy of being 10 years old at the time) but this dinner took place about 6 months after the movie came out.  i recall a friend of my dad's encouraging me to go talk to murray who was very nice.  i wish i could remember what he said to me, but i do not.  perhaps on my deathbed i will have total consciousness and recall his words.

that same autograph book accompanied me to many events, including a dodger game.  this is my lone in person steve garvey autograph
i got it before the game in which he broke billy williams' national league record for consecutive games played.  he was signing autographs down the right field line at dodger stadium.  i recall a bigger kid trying to force his way to the front of the mob.  the garv looked at him and said 'maybe next time' and grabbed my book instead.  that was much appreciated, just like the autograph.

there was an annual baseball hot stove dinner that came through town in the late 70's and into the early 90's as well.  i went to a few in the 1979-1988 time frame.  one regular was pete rose
i followed him into a bar area to get him to sign my book.  he wasn't too happy about it as i recall - looking back i think he went there to get some relief from the crowd.  still, i'm a fan of the hit king.  somewhere i have a ball signed by rose, robin yount, tim wallach and some other guests from one of the dinners.  last time i saw it, the autographs were pretty faded, unfortunately.

there are other autographs from the hot stove dinners in my book, such as these two.
who are they?  well, they are both guys with socal roots - the first one is from riverside, and the second is from santa barbara.  that would be wayne gross and brian asselstine, both of whom recently signed their 1978 topps cards for me through the mail
their signatures haven't changed much in 34 years!

here's another page from one of the hot stoves - can you figure out who the signatures belong to?
dave stegman, mickey kelleher, and bobby bonds.  i can still see bonds signing my book while walking towards the front table to take his seat.  he was wearing a very cool velvet/velour shirt.

here's another local guy - rusty kuntz
nothing else needs to be said about that.

the last auto i will show from the book came from what i believe was the second sutton golf tourney.  i've mentioned it before on the blog, but hadn't yet shown it.  it is the first autograph i personally received from a retired player who had worn the dodger uniform.
i knew all about al downing and 715 and i was pretty starstruck.  he was really nice and took a couple of minutes to talk with me about my little league experience.  even just looking at the book now brings a smile to my face as i recall his smile and encouragement.

don't get me wrong - i've enjoyed requesting and receiving ttm autos over the past few years, but the in person experience as a kid just can't be beat.


Nick said...

Very cool! Those are the types of experiences a kid dreams about.

Orioles Magic said...

What a great trip down memory lane. I have some similar memories from when I was younger. Once an autograph collector, always an autograph collector I guess.

Mark Hoyle said...

Great autos. I have similar memories myself.