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Jmikecpa
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Posting this for a general discussion based on something that happend at the Barclays today at Bethpage.  I took my wife and my three children ages 10, 7, and 5.  The kids like to get autographs (and they should at their age) but the general rule for me is that other than standing there I am not going to help, the kids need to ask and be polite to the players.  My thought is that I am almost 40 years old, done a lot in life, somewhat successful and it is really not my plot in life to collect signatures.  Granted when I was younger I had a different view and have many fond memories of meeting athletes and getting autographs including Mickey Mantle.

 

Today at Bethpage my children were along the walkway at 18 waiting for the players to sign and Jordan Speith's group was coming through.  My kids had been in the same spot for at least an hour and as the crowd gathered I just stood behind them to more or less stop the stampede.  As Speith was coming down the line a man approached my wife and asked if she could hold a flag out to get signed so he did not interfere with the kids.  Of course my wife said Ok and as Speith was coming down the line he very politely told my wife to not help this man as he was only a seller of autographs and refused to sgn,  Note that he took the time to sign for every kid in the line including all three of my children which I very much appreciated.  After the incident the gentleman got very indignant with my wife which obviously I did not appreciate at all.  Granted he was smart enough to back off when I got a little annoyed (okay, down right pissed off and may have called him a name that rhymes with bassbowl).

 

So my question is what is the appropriate age cutoff when you should let the kids get the attention and stop looking for an autograph?  For me it was about 15 years ago but my wife tends to disagree with me (on everything).

 

On a side note but still pretty funny.  My son was talking with CHIII as he was signing his flag and said thank you and good luck.  CHIII said he would need it to get to the weekend with the way he was hitting it.  Without missing a beat my son tells him "well if you have the weekend off my Dad needs a partner for his Saturday game and you can play with him."  CHIII laughed and then asked if I had a business card.

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On a side note but still pretty funny. My son was talking with CHIII as he was signing his flag and said thank you and good luck. CHIII said he would need it to get to the weekend with the way he was hitting it. Without missing a beat my son tells him "well if you have the weekend off my Dad needs a partner for his Saturday game and you can play with him." CHIII laughed and then asked if I had a business card.

That is priceless. I never wish to root against a golfer but I almost hope CHIII misses the cut so you can play ;)

 

I don't know if there's a cutoff age, but I'm pretty sure a professional can tell who's out there for an autograph and who's selling memorabilia. As for me, I was probably 22-23 when I asked for my last autograph.

 

 

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I don't think there is an age cutoff because some people enjoy having memorabilia signed by their favorite athletes/celebs. But just getting them just to sell then its kinda wrong in these types of settings to me because you're taking up time for someone else would truly appreciate the signature.

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I don't think there should be a cutoff age, however I do dispose the several autograph collectors that walk around with more memorabilia than most sports collecting stores. What I hate is when I see these guys paying kids money to go get a signature so they can turn around and sell it for 10x as much.

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That's why I like Spieth.

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Great story about CHIII and your son. That's classic and good response by CH

 

As for autographs, they quit being a "thing" for me around 19 or 20. But by then I was covering some major college sports and was hanging around with several veteran sportswriters, so they influence kind of rubbed off on me.

 

I don't personally see why a grown man would want an autograph, but I'm glad to see the athletes are on to the collectors.

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I quit asking for autographs about the same time I quit giving them.  

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Same rule as Halloween.  If you are too old to trick or treat you're too old to ask for an autograph.

 

As a grown up trying to get Rickie Fowler's autograph you do the right thing like @highfade and just have @golfspy mbp sign the hat for you :)

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I'll admit a few years ago (early 40's) I got a couple of autographs at Firestone, but they were from the Aussies that were playing. Now, nah...but I'd still say G'day to them.

 

I do agree with Speith's stance and have read about him doing the same elsewhere.

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So you still get autographs then, Kenny?? :lol: :lol:

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I'll still ask for an autograph here in there if the timing is right. I wont stand in the autograph "line". I will also go on to say that I donate those autographs to charity golf outings for raffles and such and will let the golfer know that's where its going before they sign.

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For me and Autographs it really depends. I quit getting them most of the time once I started working for professional sports teams. YOu realize there is much special about these guys. They are just dudes with families.  You also are not allowed to ask players for Autographs. We had a special day where we could get 3 items signed. I got a couple of footballs signed. More to remember my time with the team than for anything else.

 

There are a few other occasions Ive gotten some autographs. One is my University of Houston Schedule poster every year. They tend to look cooler hanging up with autographs.

 

Also when a guy played a huge role in UH athletics. I got a program signed by Freddie Couples and Clyde Drexler and the Champions Tour stop in Houston

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I'd rather have a picture with a player than the autograph, they know I'm not going to sell it, then the next time around I have it printed out and get it signed.

 

 

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I think I have 3-4 sports autographs I've collected over the past century. Each of the autographs I have I got when I was in a one on one setting. Not in a line at a tournament for example. I've never really had that much interest in autographs from anybody really. Just not my thing. However, for kids I think it's a big deal and so do they. That I'm in favor of.

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I think the last autograph I got was Derek Jeter back in the day at the old Yankee Stadium. Have a cabinet in the man cave with a ton of signed balls and memorabilia.

 

Still haven't been to a tour event but fighting crowds to get autographs isn't really my thing.

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Awesome story!  I've always enjoyed any interaction that I've had with the guys on tour and for that matter with MLB players during Spring Training.  I don't know the age limit.  I think it depends on the kid.  For my boys it would have been mid High School 16-17.

 

For Penny it could be later but she wants to be a sportswriter so at some point she'll have to make a transition away from being a total fan to being a journalist.  I suspect that will happen in college though. 

 

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Never really thought about a selective age. I think it really depends on the child and the circumstances; if he/she were to have an autograph from someone they look up to; no harm there. I've seen some of the hustlers before, giving kids things to go out and get signed for profit. Not impressed.

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I have only been to one tourney and I'm 34 years old, but I would love to have leftys autograph hanging in my office. I don't think there's a age limit on interacting and getting signatures from people you admire. The pros all know with out guys like me buying there equipment and clothes , they wouldn't have a job.

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Some interesting points.  I guess it depends on the venue in which you are getting the autograph.  My take on the event yesterday was that it should be kids first and a lot of the players had the same thoughts.  A few other take aways from our day out yesterday.

 

-  CHIII was great to not only my kids, but all of the kids that he was interacting with.  Seems like a real nice dude.

 

-  On #17 the Birdies for the Brave foundation was doing a military caddy for the pros and it was just great to see.  My son told me last night that meeting the members of the armed forces was the highlight of the day for him.  He also made a point of shaking each of their hands and saying thank you for your service.  Moments like that make me realize that I am doing something right with him. 

 

- Phil was the hit of the day for the fans.  He finished on 18 and then spent 45 minutes signing autographs, talking with fans and posing for pictures. 

 

-  Rory did have a Scotty in the bag with a Cash is King cover.  Was not sure if it was an M series or GoLo, but it was not something that he really wanted to chat much about.  His caddy also shielded the bag on the tee from pictures.

 

-  Kevin Na may have set the record for most clubs in the bag for a practice round.  He had close to 20 clubs in the bag when he was coming up 18....his poor caddy.   Bethpage is not really a fun walk at all when you are not carrying a bag.

 

-  Bill Haas spent a lot of time signing and talking to fans, to the point that he had to rush from shot to shot to keep position.  He was the last to get the green on 17 by about 7 minutes because he was signing and interacting with fans.

 

-  Most of the players that had large galleries (Rickie, Rory, Phil, etc.) made a point to say that they were not going to sign during the round and told the fans where they would be after the round for autographs and photos.  All three mentioned spent a good amount of their time with the fans and it was very well received.

 

-  Got VIP tickets on Sunday from a vendor for Sunday's final round in the suite behind the 18th green.  Cant wait to take the kids since it will be their first Daddy only outing in a long time.

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