The Best of the Best and the Worst of the Worst

KCLJ520

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Hey friends, just wondered, what is your best IP success story, and in the same vein, your worst?

My best was by far Kevin Butler from the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl team. I waited in his autograph line when we used to live in the Chgo area, and he was graciously signing anything and everything for everyone. I got there, and handed him my items, and he gave me two extra photos, saying "here, give these to your friends." I then explained that he had always been my favorite player, as my name is Kevin as well, and I thought it was awesome when I was young that we shared a name. He smiled, and took off his Super Bowl ring, and said "Why don't you go ahead and try that on for size, Kevin!" I did, and we got a photo together. Years later, I mailed him the same photo, which he signed and returned, inscribing "To Kevin - Great Name - Great Fan - Go Bears - Kevin Butler - Super Bowl XX. Just an awesome classy man!

Here's the photo:



Now on to the second half of the question: My worst was by far Willie McGee. My 2 1/2 year old son and I went to our local indy league team's ballpark, and Willie was advertised as doing a signing before the game ($100 per ticket, um...no) and "participating in special events throughout the evening of the game" (though he left in the middle of the first inning). Willie was interviewed on the field before the game, and didn't respond to any of the fans gathered around the netting behind the first base line, though he was very close to all of us. He then walked to the dugout, at which time I was standing with my son right by the dugout steps. He stopped to take a photo with the people in front of me, and I then made eye contact with him and said "Mr. McGee, can I get a photo with you and my son please?" to which he extended his hand, palm out, towards us and turned away without saying anything. I was so bothered by this, that I said "seriously?" and I had a security guard there to tell me that he was not talking to fans right now. Well no kidding, I figured that one out! Needless to say, I am not a McGee fan anymore!

Let me know your stories, might be a fun thread!

God Bless,

Kevin
 
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Camsue

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My best would have to be Henry Urrutia Baltimore orioles my nephew wife and I took a trip for a three game series and after the game we ran into Mr. Urrutia after the game he not only took about 15 minutes to sign about 10 of his player postcards for us he took around 20 minutes to give my nephew pointers on playing the outfield which is a memory that will always stay near and dear to our hearts my nephew still wears his number, although he may not be a superstar he is in our eyes.

Worst haven't really had one yet
 

Beachbum

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Hey Kevin-Great stories...I had never heard the McGee story before sorry to hear that.

You know my best so I won't tell that again. I have to give my worst graphing experience would be the entire Los Angeles Dodgers team in June of 2014 at GABP in Cincinnati (except Andre Ethier). I am talking about Puig, Figgins, Kemp, and more....they blew off everybody at from even just feet away. The only auto I got was Eithier and he signed for alot of people.

 

Rhubarb_Runner

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No surprise, but Pat Neshek is a name that comes to mind. While signing my spring training program a few years back I mentioned that I post on a Twins blog (WGOM.org) and he acknowledged he knew of the site and said, "Say good things about me!" Which, of course, I did.

Not an IP situation, but the most surreal was walking to my car outside Jack Murphy Stadium after a pre-season exhibition between the Padres and the Twins in the mid-80's, and having a conversation with former Twins owner Calvin Griffith.
 

KCLJ520

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Hey Kevin-Great stories...I had never heard the McGee story before sorry to hear that.

You know my best so I won't tell that again. I have to give my worst graphing experience would be the entire Los Angeles Dodgers team in June of 2014 at GABP in Cincinnati (except Andre Ethier). I am talking about Puig, Figgins, Kemp, and more....they blew off everybody at from even just feet away. The only auto I got was Eithier and he signed for alot of people.


Thanks for posting, Brian, and sad to know that the Dodgers were unfriendly, I never liked that when the STL players (Pujols, Molina, etc.) would ignore us from just a few feet away, and I usually would ask them in Spanish too, and still get dissed.....next time we should just bring frozen yogurt, I mean, if it works for Eric Davis, it should prove successful other places?!?!?
 

KCLJ520

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No surprise, but Pat Neshek is a name that comes to mind. While signing my spring training program a few years back I mentioned that I post on a Twins blog (WGOM.org) and he acknowledged he knew of the site and said, "Say good things about me!" Which, of course, I did.

Not an IP situation, but the most surreal was walking to my car outside Jack Murphy Stadium after a pre-season exhibition between the Padres and the Twins in the mid-80's, and having a conversation with former Twins owner Calvin Griffith.

That is awesome, I have known Pat to be a very fan-friendly guy, and a big collector himself, he had a site for a long time that he would update with his successes, and I know he had a lot more access to a lot more people! Very cool stories, neat experiences, and these are what keep us fans, and keep the fans coming back to the games!
 

KCLJ520

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My best would have to be Henry Urrutia Baltimore orioles my nephew wife and I took a trip for a three game series and after the game we ran into Mr. Urrutia after the game he not only took about 15 minutes to sign about 10 of his player postcards for us he took around 20 minutes to give my nephew pointers on playing the outfield which is a memory that will always stay near and dear to our hearts my nephew still wears his number, although he may not be a superstar he is in our eyes.

Worst haven't really had one yet

VERY cool story Steve, and glad to know that Henry spent so much time with you, and that stayed with your family. That is what we are here for, to make a difference to others, and I am glad he did so for you. Neat experience, no doubt!
 

KCLJ520

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Any other fun stories? I have been away from collecting for some time now, so have not made it to Fan Fest or Cardinals Winter Warm up in years, but wondered if anyone has some fun stories to share? I like the "Best of the Best" type stories more so than ones where people get dumped on by their favorite (or soon to be former favorite!) players!
 

HockeyBrawler

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Fortunately I've had far more good than bad.

Back when I was doing a lot of hockey IP I met the late Brad McCrimmon in a mall attached to a hotel in Boston. He signed for us all including a bunch of cards I had, commenting on several of them where he liked the picture on the card. One of them was his 1991-92 Pro Set card in the 75th anniversary uniforms. He mentioned liking that and I said "Oh yeah, the old jerseys that year were great," and he says "Sweaters! Come on now!" I stand corrected. Tragically, McCrimmon was killed in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash in 2011.

Toby Harrah will stand and talk to you forever and sign a ton, and his wife is a riot. He was signing for someone and mentioned Chico Carrasquel who managed my dad's former neighbor George Brunet in the Mexican leagues in the 70s. Harrah reminded me that he was one of George's teammates in Washington in 1970-- I had totally forgotten about that! The next season he was signing for us again and his wife was checking out the cards as he signed saying "Oh, that's one of my favorites there. Actually that one is too. And that. Okay, I guess they're all my favorites."

I can't say enough good things about indoor soccer players. Mike Powers, a two-time All-Star and St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame member signed a bunch for me last year and asked for my address so he could send me another card that I didn't have. Two weeks later he sent me three, saying to pass two on to the guys I was hanging out with at the game and even texted me a week later to make sure I got them.

I could name plenty more, but I'll leave it to three.

Worst, I can think of two.

Bobby Orr is the first one. Back in 2004 I got a call early one morning from a friend that Orr was having breakfast at the same place where McCrimmon had signed for me in the above story. The Florida Panthers were in town and staying at the hotel and Orr was there meeting with one of his clients (he's an agent now). So I run down and meet my friend there and we wait until Orr walks out. We didn't even ask for an autograph, just a photo with him. My friend asks and Orr looks at us like we were a pair of dog turds and says "I didn't know they let YOU people in here." He stops for a photo with my friend and literally as I take it he's turning to walk away. As we switch places he walks toward the escalator. I ask "Mr. Orr, can I get a picture with you too?" No answer. "Can I get a photo with you downstairs?" And he snaps back "YOU CAN'T COME DOWN HERE."

Second one is Michael Brantley. I grew up in Cleveland. Huge Indians fan. So after an Indians-Rangers game in Arlington I'm waiting outside the Ballpark and Brantley rides out on a golf cart with Nick Swisher. They had rented a car for the series. So three other collectors and I go running over to where he's parked as Swisher is getting info from the lot attendant so he can call ahead and have a cart waiting to take them in before the next two games. I'm the only one in an Indians jersey and a Browns hat. Two people decked out in Rangers gear get up to him and he signs (somewhat reluctantly) for them, turns to me, takes my pen, then puts it down and says "I gotta go guys" and gets in the car. Meanwhile Swisher is still talking to the attendant for another five minutes while Brantley just sits there in the car. That was the moment I nearly quit the hobby.
 

Beachbum

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Thanks for posting, Brian, and sad to know that the Dodgers were unfriendly, I never liked that when the STL players (Pujols, Molina, etc.) would ignore us from just a few feet away, and I usually would ask them in Spanish too, and still get dissed.....next time we should just bring frozen yogurt, I mean, if it works for Eric Davis, it should prove successful other places?!?!?

LOL, yeah frozen yogurt for everyone...that might have just been a Davis thing though.
 

seawolf17

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A few years ago, Floyd Rayford was coaching for the New Britain Rock Cats. I went to a weekday matinee and brought one of his 1984 Topps cards to sign. The stadium was relatively empty during BP, so I went down toward the edge of the dugout and asked him to sign it. As I gave it to him, one of the young players saw it and asked to see it; he laughed and actually passed it down the dugout and they all had a good laugh at what Coach looked like in his playing days. He got it back, signed it, we thanked each other, and we went on our ways.

Bobby Valentine, Daryl Boston, and Gary Cohen outside the stadium after Mets games were all great experiences too. The other one that was memorable was at a card show in the mid-80s; I ran into Ed Kranepool just walking around the show. He chatted with me and my dad for a minute, then I walked over to the closest booth and bought one of his cards to sign for me.
 

katester44

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Tough one - have had so many great experiences.

I will narrow it down to two.

1 - the ladies of the LPGA - I graphed them for two days when they had the US Womens Open at Lancaster Country Club about 40 minutes from here. Every one of them was super nice and super accommodating.

2 - Adrian Sanchez (2B - Harrisburg Senators) - my sons first ever IP autograph - He couldn't have been nicer to my son, who still has the ball on his nightstand

3 - The York Revolution - every Sunday home game, they open up the field and the team sits on the first base line and signs for everybody, what an easy way to get fans vested in the team and players.
 

KCLJ520

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Fortunately I've had far more good than bad.

Back when I was doing a lot of hockey IP I met the late Brad McCrimmon in a mall attached to a hotel in Boston. He signed for us all including a bunch of cards I had, commenting on several of them where he liked the picture on the card. One of them was his 1991-92 Pro Set card in the 75th anniversary uniforms. He mentioned liking that and I said "Oh yeah, the old jerseys that year were great," and he says "Sweaters! Come on now!" I stand corrected. Tragically, McCrimmon was killed in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash in 2011.

Toby Harrah will stand and talk to you forever and sign a ton, and his wife is a riot. He was signing for someone and mentioned Chico Carrasquel who managed my dad's former neighbor George Brunet in the Mexican leagues in the 70s. Harrah reminded me that he was one of George's teammates in Washington in 1970-- I had totally forgotten about that! The next season he was signing for us again and his wife was checking out the cards as he signed saying "Oh, that's one of my favorites there. Actually that one is too. And that. Okay, I guess they're all my favorites."

I can't say enough good things about indoor soccer players. Mike Powers, a two-time All-Star and St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame member signed a bunch for me last year and asked for my address so he could send me another card that I didn't have. Two weeks later he sent me three, saying to pass two on to the guys I was hanging out with at the game and even texted me a week later to make sure I got them.

I could name plenty more, but I'll leave it to three.

Worst, I can think of two.

Bobby Orr is the first one. Back in 2004 I got a call early one morning from a friend that Orr was having breakfast at the same place where McCrimmon had signed for me in the above story. The Florida Panthers were in town and staying at the hotel and Orr was there meeting with one of his clients (he's an agent now). So I run down and meet my friend there and we wait until Orr walks out. We didn't even ask for an autograph, just a photo with him. My friend asks and Orr looks at us like we were a pair of dog turds and says "I didn't know they let YOU people in here." He stops for a photo with my friend and literally as I take it he's turning to walk away. As we switch places he walks toward the escalator. I ask "Mr. Orr, can I get a picture with you too?" No answer. "Can I get a photo with you downstairs?" And he snaps back "YOU CAN'T COME DOWN HERE."

Second one is Michael Brantley. I grew up in Cleveland. Huge Indians fan. So after an Indians-Rangers game in Arlington I'm waiting outside the Ballpark and Brantley rides out on a golf cart with Nick Swisher. They had rented a car for the series. So three other collectors and I go running over to where he's parked as Swisher is getting info from the lot attendant so he can call ahead and have a cart waiting to take them in before the next two games. I'm the only one in an Indians jersey and a Browns hat. Two people decked out in Rangers gear get up to him and he signs (somewhat reluctantly) for them, turns to me, takes my pen, then puts it down and says "I gotta go guys" and gets in the car. Meanwhile Swisher is still talking to the attendant for another five minutes while Brantley just sits there in the car. That was the moment I nearly quit the hobby.

I have had a few of those almost quit moments IP, its so frustrating when people are right there doing nothing else, and still not signing. If people wanted my autograph I would just to kill time between stuff! I am sure it gets overwhelming, but so many people do take the time!

I am glad you started the soccer project, you have had some neat returns and some cool IP stories too, as well as your hockey players, who I have found to be very cordial IP for the most part (STL Blues have treated me nicely in years past!)

Thanks for sharing!

God Bless,

Kevin
 

KCLJ520

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A few years ago, Floyd Rayford was coaching for the New Britain Rock Cats. I went to a weekday matinee and brought one of his 1984 Topps cards to sign. The stadium was relatively empty during BP, so I went down toward the edge of the dugout and asked him to sign it. As I gave it to him, one of the young players saw it and asked to see it; he laughed and actually passed it down the dugout and they all had a good laugh at what Coach looked like in his playing days. He got it back, signed it, we thanked each other, and we went on our ways.

Bobby Valentine, Daryl Boston, and Gary Cohen outside the stadium after Mets games were all great experiences too. The other one that was memorable was at a card show in the mid-80s; I ran into Ed Kranepool just walking around the show. He chatted with me and my dad for a minute, then I walked over to the closest booth and bought one of his cards to sign for me.

Very cool, neat to have contact with someone just walking around and getting to talk to them. I talked to Ted Savage from the STL Cardinals at Winter Warm up a few years ago, and actually rode the elevator upstairs with him. The security stopped me at the door (he was going in to sign, I met him outside) and I think he would have let me sit down next to him while he was signing, had security not stopped me! Fun day, and thanks for sharing your cool stories too!
 

KCLJ520

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Tough one - have had so many great experiences.

I will narrow it down to two.

1 - the ladies of the LPGA - I graphed them for two days when they had the US Womens Open at Lancaster Country Club about 40 minutes from here. Every one of them was super nice and super accommodating.

2 - Adrian Sanchez (2B - Harrisburg Senators) - my sons first ever IP autograph - He couldn't have been nicer to my son, who still has the ball on his nightstand

3 - The York Revolution - every Sunday home game, they open up the field and the team sits on the first base line and signs for everybody, what an easy way to get fans vested in the team and players.

I remember your thread from a few years ago with the LPGA, you did great with the signatures as I recall!

Cool about Sanchez, and especially how much that meant to your son, that makes a world of difference!

Cool too that the local teams are so good about it, our indy league baseball team (Gateway Grizzlies) are great about that too, and it makes a ton of difference for the kids. I would far prefer to pay $5 for a lawn seat to a Grizzlies game and take our 3 children (who play on the ballpark playground or run around the lawn seating area most of the game, we only watch about 3 outs of baseball the whole night we are there, but they have the time of their lives!). The STL Cardinals are a fun experience, but from our little country town to STL is 60 min, and parking, tickets, food, etc. its easily a $200 night or more (and we don't even drink!!). Love the teams, the players and manager and coaches are great, lots of fun, and they have a great fan base for that very same reason, as it sounds like the Revolution does too!
 

dragonslayer913

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For me my most memorable and favorite IP signing was when I was 12 years old..there was Wendy's grand opening were I am originally from..so my brother and I begged my mom to take us because Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell were signing autographs..so my mom said she would take us...So we arrive and both Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell are outside signing autographs..my brother and I nervously walk over and politely ask both to sign and they graciously do..of course my mom says what do you say?..we both reply Thank you..then my my mom says "So what team do you play for?" directing the question to both men..Franco Harris replies I play with the Pittsburgh Steelers Oh !! that's my sons Michael's favorite team my other son David(me) likes the Buffalo Bills now I am embarrassed and then Lydell Mitchell chimes in and says there a pretty good team-My mom then says so what positions do you both play and they both reply running back my mom replies my son's both play football my son Michael is also is a running back and my son David tackles the other player lol this goes on for 20 minutes..my brother and I stood there in bewilderment that was in 1977 I am now 51 and remember it like it was yesterday..so I am guessing it's really my moms favorite IP signing and yes she did get there auto's lol.
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For my worse IP was at the Flyers training center in Voorhees NJ when practice was over tried to get Lindros to sign my card-He got into his truck I handed him my card he rolled up the window and drove off
 
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KCLJ520

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For me my most memorable and favorite IP signing was when I was 12 years old..there was Wendy's grand opening were I am originally from..so my brother and I begged my mom to take us because Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell were signing autographs..so my mom said she would take us...So we arrive and both Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell are outside signing autographs..my brother and I nervously walk over and politely ask both to sign and they graciously do..of course my mom says what do you say?..we both reply Thank you..then my my mom says "So what team do you play for?" directing the question to both men..Franco Harris replies I play with the Pittsburgh Steelers Oh !! that's my sons Michael's favorite team my other son David(me) likes the Buffalo Bills now I am embarrassed and then Lydell Mitchell chimes in and says there a pretty good team-My mom then says so what positions do you both play and they both reply running back my mom replies my son's both play football my son Michael is also is a running back and my son David tackles the other player lol this goes on for 20 minutes..my brother and I stood there in bewilderment that was in 1977 I am now 51 and remember it like it was yesterday..so I am guessing it's really my moms favorite IP signing and yes she did get there auto's lol.
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For my worse IP was at the Flyers training center in Voorhees NJ when practice was over tried to get Lindros to sign my card-He got into his truck I handed him my card he rolled up the window and drove off

That is too bad about Lindros, I remember hearing he was not super fan friendly.

However your Franco Harris and Lydell Mitchell story is quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever heard! Your mom was talking to some NFL royalty right there!! My wife and her brother went with their Grandmother, now deceased, to our local WalMart grand opening when Brian Jordan was playing for the Cardinals. They got to the front of the line and Grandma says "Hey, I think we're related! My maiden name was Jordan!" Of course, it would have been a difficult relation since Grandma and Brian were of different racial backgrounds, but who knows?!?!
 
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