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  • dukehjsteve
    replied
    My older brother ran the quarter (about 50 flat his usual ) for Duke in 1960, and at the Penn Relays after running a mile relay, some kid asked for his autograph walking out of Franklin Field. The kid looked at it afterwards, with a disappointed look on his face. My bro had red hair, just like a famous sprinter from Duke, by then in Med school, but running an invitational 100 that day. Guess who the kid thought my bro was ? !

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  • gh
    replied
    Originally posted by DrJay View Post
    ..... The first time my best friend and I went for his autograph, my friend said to me “whatever you do, don’t say ‘How’s the weather up there?’….they hate it when you say that!” Well, when I got to the front of the crowd, looking up from my 4’8” stance, what rolls out of my mouth but “How’s the weather up there?” I was mortified.

    ...”
    Perhaps apocryphal, but I always like the story of the guy who supposedly asked Wilt that and his response was to spit on top of the guy's head and say, "It's raining"

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  • scottmitchell74
    replied
    bad hammy Too bad about Reggie. Guess he was always mercurial. You caught him on a "douche" day.

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  • bad hammy
    replied
    My autograph story's not a particularly happy one. In 1968 I was 10 and Reggie Jackson was having an outstanding rookie season. Prior to my first yearly A's game (back then my Dad would take me & my younger brother to one A's game and one Giants game a year) Reggie was chatting with some old woman (probably about 45-50!) in the stands next to the dugout. I stood a respectful 15-20 feet up the stairs waiting for him to finish, then asked for an autograph. He dismissively blew me off and I hated Reggie for the rest of his career. And I've never asked another athlete for an autograph.

    That said, I do have three: sometime along the way my brother gave me a baseball signed by the 1988 All-Star MVP - A's catcher Terry Steinbach, and as an adult I was at Dell-sponsored boondoggle in a luxo box at an A's game where Dell paid Rollie Fingers & Goose Gossage to glad-hand us customers - we all walked away with a baseball signed by both.

    So to answer the OP's question - Terry Steinbach.

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  • DrJay
    replied
    My first autograph was one my Dad got me, Mickey Mantle signed a baseball when he met him in a restaurant in Dallas in the late 1960s. The first ones I got on my own were at a 1969 Kentucky Colonels-Washington Capitals ABA game. For the Colonels, Louis Dampier, Darrel Carrier, George Tinsley, Sam Smith. For the Caps, Rick Barry. Barry lives here in the Springs, neighbor to one of my medical partners who says she occasionally sees him in yellow Lycra tights, not looking so dignified for a guy in his seventies. We continued to get autographs after the occasional Colonels game the next few years. Artis Gilmore, at 7’2”, joined them after leaving Jacksonville. The first time my best friend and I went for his autograph, my friend said to me “whatever you do, don’t say ‘How’s the weather up there?’….they hate it when you say that!” Well, when I got to the front of the crowd, looking up from my 4’8” stance, what rolls out of my mouth but “How’s the weather up there?” I was mortified.

    First track autographs were Jim Ryun and Madeline Manning, I was a camper at the Jim Ryun Running Camp at Oberlin College August 1977. They signed a book for everyone. Missed a chance for John Walker’s. He and Rod Dixon ran in the Mason-Dixon Games February 1980, my senior year in HS. One of the head guys in the MDAC, Lou Schneider, was co-founder/owner of the first running store in Louisville, Jogger Runner Racer. The day before the meet, they took Walker and Dixon to the store. I knew the two guys who worked there, wish I had known Walker would be there, I’d have gotten my Montreal 1500 final poster signed. They said while he was there, he got a bit mellow and, looking around the store, simply said, “You know, I really like being in a running store.”

    Might have been MD Games 1979, Ray Flynn beat Liquori in the mile. After the meet, we spied the two of them doing a warm-down on the lower level concourse. My friends went charging after them, I tried to dissuade them from interrupting their warm-down. They asked Liquori for his autograph. He got a pretty irritated look on his face, maybe because they interrupted, but probably because Flynn had won the mile and they asked for Liquori’s but not Flynn’s.

    I never chased track autographs but my two kids did at two OT, two editions of Pre, and a London DL. Gatlin, Bromell, Merritt, Reese, Lowe, Crouser, Shorter, Moses, Eaton, Duplantis, Kovacs, Farah and probably others. It was fun saying, “Hey, see that guy over by the water? That’s Frank Shorter. Marathon gold and silver in '72 and '76. Go ask him.” Etc. I was there for several of them. At the athletes bus stop at the south end of Hayward after Pre, Gatlin was very standoffish but I remember Kovacs, as he was signing, looked at my kids age 15 and 13, and so very sincerely said, “Hey, thanks for coming out today!”


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  • J Rorick
    replied
    My first was Glenn Davis at the 1958 AAU-Bakersfield @ age 11. My favorites are Jim Ryun & Bob Beamon on a HS meet program (1965 Golden West Inv.). It also includes autograph of 800m winner Clark Mitchell (1:49.3y in 1965 - still on HST all-time top 25 after 56+ years).

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  • Merner521
    replied
    I'm not really an autograph guy. I do remember my first one though (not track related, sorry). I was at a scholastic chess tournament back in grade school and apparently a grandmaster was in attendance and a lot of people were going to get their boards (those vinyl roll-up ones) autographed. I still have the board somewhere in the house anyway https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmar_Mednis yeah, that's pretty random, but maybe the only time I've asked someone for the autograph (not counting sending people paperwork to sign as part of my job, I guess) and I didn't even really know who he was!

    For track people, I don't think i ever asked for an autograph, but on a couple of occasions, i've just had to approach someone i saw at a meet. One of which was when I was in college and competing at the Drake Relays and Jeff Hartwig happened to be on the infield (he was competing there the next day, I think). I walked over and introduced myself, just telling him that I admired his vaulting career and...uh...I don't know what else I said. I do remember that when he competed he was unashamed to be wearing a heavy parka and beefy winter gloves between jumps. It was cold that day and staying warm is important, kids! Fast forward over a decade later and i'm working in a town where they just happen to make some of the best vaulting poles out there. A colleague of mine who knows i'm a former vaulter and avid fan has a friend who works at that sports equipment company (which J.H. still was some kind of brand ambassador for or something similar) gives me a "pole stub" signed by JH. Pretty neat. I've got that proudly displayed in my "man cave" room in my basement.

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  • Chicago
    replied
    I got Bob Seagren's autograph at the 1992 Olympic Trials. I mentioned to him that I had just seen him in the movie Visions of Eight. He asked where I saw the movie (on TV in Chicago), but did not seem pleased.

    I also got Dan O'Brien's autograph at a trade show in the 1990s. I asked him what his workout was that day and he said that he never trains on days when he travels.
    Last edited by Chicago; 01-09-2022, 01:18 AM.

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  • cladthin
    replied
    In order of date signed:1)Denny McLain 2)Tommy Nobis 3)Al Oerter

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  • lonewolf
    replied
    I have been in close proximity to many notable/celebrity athletes in the last forty years, usually as an official. I was/am not inclined to ask for autographs and did/do not think it was appropriate at the time. I have come to know some as they retired or moved on to coaching but I am still not an autograph seeker.

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  • Atticus
    replied
    Originally posted by Davidokun View Post
    And in the future, Seagren is looking straight at 19 feet. He feels he has one of the two necessary ingredients to get over 19 feet — speed on the runway. The other — raising his hand grip on the pole — is in the offing. Though he holds around 15-1, he believes he's capable of holding at 15-7, as does Sweden's Isaksson
    .
    I would have believed that in a heartbeat! When I found out that he also ran the 400H (my event in college, at a husky 6'/162), I knew I picked the right guy to adulate.
    BTW, my second idol, starting in 1972, was a . . . person . . . named Bruce Jenner.

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  • Davidokun
    replied
    Originally posted by Atticus View Post
    Color me green with envy. My first event in HS was the PV in 1965. As a 5'0 / 98-lb (yes, really) specimen of runtery, I did not excel then, but as Seagren emerged at USC, he became my idol. I got better and went on the other events, but all the way through the Olympics and Superstars, he was still The Best.
    The accompanying bio includes this detail, which I anticipate you will enjoy:

    And in the future, Seagren is looking straight at 19 feet. He feels he has one of the two necessary ingredients to get over 19 feet — speed on the runway. The other — raising his hand grip on the pole — is in the offing. Though he holds around 15-1, he believes he's capable of holding at 15-7, as does Sweden's Isaksson.

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  • Atticus
    replied
    Originally posted by Davidokun View Post
    It contained one autograph
    Color me green with envy. My first event in HS was the PV in 1965. As a 5'0 / 98-lb (yes, really) specimen of runtery, I did not excel then, but as Seagren emerged at USC, he became my idol. I got better and went on the other events, but all the way through the Olympics and Superstars, he was still The Best.

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  • Davidokun
    replied
    Originally posted by Atticus View Post

    Of all the ones I really would have liked to have (and I even spoke to him once at the local meet named after him), that was he!

    others (would have really liked) - Bob Seagren, Skeets, TSmith&JCarlos, Moses (the hurdler, not the tablets dude), Ryun, Pre, Matson, Oerter, Eaton . . .

    My current (I hope) fave is C Taylor, with whom I spent two days in a small coterie of TJ coaches at a clinic, but was way too star-struck to ask for one. Nicest guy EVER.
    A few years ago, a retired former colleague who was cleaning out his garage gave me a box filled with this collection of back issues of T&FN. In the box I also found a program from the ITA meet held in the Los Angeles Sports Arena on March 24, 1973. I returned the program to him, but scanned it first. It contained one autograph:

    Program copy.jpg

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  • scottmitchell74
    replied
    Great thread!

    My Uncle was major on the Canton PD so he got me on the sidelines of a couple of HoF games.

    On my one sideline pass I have Joe Montana, Jerry Rice. Nick Lowry (Dr. Toe, his Y was formed as goalposts with a little ball flying through) and Deron Cherry.

    Very treasured!

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