A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

What is So Great About Getting a Player’s Autograph?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on February 2, 2012

FanFest is this weekend. Giants are expecting less people, less problems, say they’ve improved it, etc. I haven’t been to a Fanfest but if I did go it would just be to walk around the field, take a look at how the players took care of themselves over the off season, snap pictures, stuff like that.

What I would NOT do is ask a player for his autograph. I don’t get why fans seek out autographs. I get the OBVIOUS answer that certain autographs have value and can be re-sold because there’s a market out there for it. But outside of that, I don’t see what’s so great about someone signing their name for you. I’d much rather snap a candid picture, something you wouldn’t find in an everyday google search.

I’d be interested in a player GIVING me something they had USED, like a bat, a ball or their batting gloves. That would be cool. Study it, imagine them being used in game situations. I wouldn’t spend more than a second looking at an autograph no matter how cool their signature looked…….

Anyway, good luck to those of you who are brave enough to sludge through Fanfest. My dad went a couple of years ago and got some awesome pics of the players. He didn’t get any autographs…….


It’s Retro Time…….

10/2/86. Final game of the season. 8K fans showed up. Pathetic. We lost 2-1 in DISaster fashion. Garrelts blew the save in the 9th, Caveman lost it in the 10th. Mike Woodard led off for us and played 2nd base. He had nearly 200 at bats for the Giants over the course of 3 years. I can’t remember anything about him…….

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  1. willieD said, on February 2, 2012 at 7:14 am

    That’s a solid Stros LU, particularly with the hated (at least by roger craig) giants nemesis Mike Scott on the hill. Kevin bass, who later played for SF I think, was a local kid from other side of the tracks E. Menlo.
    Second retro in a row with Brenly at 3b, long a tough position for SF to fill.

  2. ewisco said, on February 2, 2012 at 8:03 am

    i was at the game where brenly booted three and then proceeded to hit three home runs including the game winner. the place went absolutely bananas.

    • Bozo said, on February 2, 2012 at 9:25 am

      ewisco – I think Brenly was responsible for all the runs scored in that game, for both teams. Either thru errors or RBIs.

      • ewisco said, on February 2, 2012 at 9:48 am

        it was one hell of a game. you should have seen the smile on his face rounding third.

    • Alleykat said, on February 2, 2012 at 9:52 am

      Actually think Brenly had 4 errors in that game, 3 just wasn’t enough wanted to even out the number i guess…

  3. willieD said, on February 2, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Felix….as I recall, was on the mound inning after JT hit the classic HR off benitez to tie it, and got beat by Darryl Hamilton base hit. Next day valentine is on his way with the W.
    I’m really interested to see how he does in boston, which is recovering from its own epic collapse 2011. Yanks and Rays will be very tough, and since now apparently Bud will not have an extra WC for 2012, Sox have to finish ahead of at least one of above or watch the playoffs at home without them again. With the payroll involved and expectations of fan base and media, let’s see how bobby v handles moving from broadcast booth to the line of fire.
    Speaking of which, what is Brenly doing these days? Still on the airwaves or coaching somewhere?

    • Bozo said, on February 2, 2012 at 9:27 am

      Last I heard Brenly was a Cubs broadcaster, not sure if that’s changed.

  4. Nipper said, on February 2, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I’ll take a BF autograph!

    • Del Mar Dennis said, on February 2, 2012 at 10:08 am

      Look who finished 5th yesterday in the 6th at Aqueduct. She must have stopped off at the 1/4 pole for a cheap cold one. That’s what mine always seem to do.


  5. Flavor said, on February 2, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Some people like Valentine, some can’t stand him. I’m a big believer in managers/coaches/etc NOT being “look at me” guys. Valentine is going to have to tone down his act and he might do just that– he’s been out of the game for a long time, maybe he’s mellowed a bit.

  6. zumie said, on February 2, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Yeah, the autograph thing is so over-done. I have a few, but I’m just so glad I got over that. Maybe the turning point was when I was at a U2 concert in the late ’80s, and Wynona Ryder was in the crowd, and I had the gall to go up to her and ask for an autograph. Later on, I felt bad about that. She was just there to enjoy a concert, and not to be pestered for autographs.

  7. zumie said, on February 2, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I do enjoy going to author readings/signings, where they are there for the purpose of signing.
    So, fan-fest is OK in the sense of the players being there for the purpose of autographs.

  8. twinfan1 said, on February 2, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I’ve never asked for an autograph in my life, but it’s a hobby for many. And of absolutely no concern to those who don’t collect them…

  9. twinfan1 said, on February 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

    It’s kinda fun signing them though. When I went on the road trip with the Twins in 1965, Billy Martin would tell the kids to forget about him, to get my autograph- he told them I was a hot young prospect. So there are a few dozen Michael Scott autographs out there- if they haven’t sold for thousands yet..

    • big flavor said, on February 2, 2012 at 10:06 am

      that’s a hilarious and equally epic story, Twin…..

    • ewisco said, on February 2, 2012 at 10:24 am

      I was swimming at the US Swimming Nationals in the late 70’s and had a couple of kids ask for my autograph. I told them i wasn’t all that good but they seemed to want it anyway.

  10. TedSpe said, on February 2, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I’ve gotten a few autographs though it’s been decades since my last one. Most of the ones I have were at book signings. I’ve never just run up to an athlete with a pen and a baseball card or whatever. I have nothing against that but for some reason it makes *me* feel awkward. I was at a Dennys in Menlo Park with a co-worker having lunch and I noticed Jerry Rice with his wife and kids eating there as well. I pointed him out to my co-worker, just casually, like “Hey. That’s Jerry Rice”. So, this prick of a co-worker got up and starting going from table to table pointing him out to other diners and egging them on to get his autograph. Just to be an asshole. Sure enough, as Jerry got up to pay his bill he was surrounded by about 10-11 folks with pens, papers and menus etc. He took it well, signed for everyone and chatted but the scene made me so fucking embarrassed even though I wasn’t really the instigator.

    As for the Retro Time game…Mike Woodard ?

  11. twinfan1 said, on February 2, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Well, my previous post didn’t come out right.

  12. James said, on February 2, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I’ve asked for an autograph once, just a few years ago. I was on a Southwest flight with Van Halen’s Michael Anthony. I’ve never been a fan, but my son was listening to “classic rock” almost exclusively then. The paper I had on hand was a Penguin Classics copy of Anne Bronte’s “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall,” the title page of which now exhorts my son to “Keep Rockin’!”

  13. Macdog said, on February 2, 2012 at 10:28 am

    The only sports autograph I remember getting was Jack Nicklaus, I think it was at the Westchester tournament in the mid-70s. And even though I’m not into getting autographs, I wish I still had that one.

  14. Kevin said, on February 2, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Well, I have to say that I went to several Sac Kings games with my son when he was young and he wanted autographs. So I would go get them cause he was on the small size and the bigger kids/adults would always never leave room for the younger smaller kids. I always liked it when the player would look for the kids to sign their papers, t shirts, etc. I think there was a sports player who would not sign anything for an adult, only for kids.

  15. unca_chuck said, on February 2, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Shit, my kids begged me to go to Fan Fest in 2009 and 2010. it was fun just being able to walk around on the field, but stand in line for 1.5 hours to get someone’s autograph? I didn’t bother. The way they did it on’09, the players signing would rotate stations every hour or so, so you’d be in line for someone, and they’d get up and walk away after a while. Funny thing was, Timmy was bopping around and digging on the crowd in 09, by ’10, he had 3 bodyguards around him. He was the only one my kids wanted an autograph from. But never got it.

    2010 for some reason was easier. I guess cuz we got there earlier. My daughters got a bunch of signatures, and I got Will Clark’s (and Geeno’s) and a couple others. That line was relatively short. Will was nice enough to let me get a pic with him and my son.

    Went to a Harlem Globetrotters game 5 years ago, and Curly Neal was there. So my son wanted his signature, and there was a crowd around him after the game. After standing there for 25 mins, my son realized he didn’t have a piece of paper to sign, so he took off his shoe for him to sign.

  16. unca_chuck said, on February 2, 2012 at 10:52 am

    There’s a time and a place to ask. I remember being at the Black Angus in Foster City (Square Cow Fun Bar!) around 1987-88, not sure of the year, but Jerry Rice had just signed a big contract. Me and a friend are standing at the bar, and he leans in the bar to get a drink right next to me. I said, “Shit, Jerry. Nice contract!” It was loud in there so I was kinda yelling. He smiled sheepishly, and said “Shhhhh! Not so loud, man!” We talked for a couple minutes, but there was no way I’d ask him for an autograph in that kind of setting.

    • TedSpe said, on February 2, 2012 at 11:55 am

      Jerry Rice sitings at Dennys and Black Angus.
      Guess he’s not what you’d call a “foodie”

      • unca_chuck said, on February 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm

        He was looking for strange at Black Angus. . . .

        Not food.

      • TedSpe said, on February 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm


  17. unca_chuck said, on February 2, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Just noticed the “Stros pitcher . . .

    You get the win, Twin?

  18. snarkk said, on February 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I took the Snarkettes to FanFest in 2008, I think. Anyway, before the WS bandwagon. The lines were atrocious then. We walked the park, saw some players, got some food, the lines for autographs and particularly the line to tour the clubhouse were insane. We weren’t into autographs. Seemed disorganized, IMO. After a while the Snarkettes were getting surly due to the lines and crowds, and this was when they were still pretty cute and go with the flow kids. We left the clubhouse line and the building after about 2 hours of dealing with the mayhem. Never again….

    • unca_chuck said, on February 2, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      Yeah, 2009 was a joke. It was a mess. I just wandered around, played catch w/my son in the outfield, had a couple hot dogs, and watched a Q and A with Timmy, while my daughters got stiffed out of getting Timmy’s autograph. 2010 was organized much better, but the lines were still long as it was.

      I figured the attendance would double after the WS win, so I didn’t bother last year.

  19. PawlieKokonuts said, on February 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    From a Zen detachment angle, sure, an autograph is no more or less worthless, or more or less valuable, than anything else. I get that. I’ve gotten all kinds of autographs over the years: Woody Allen, Willie Mays, Victor Borge, Mona Simpson [Steve Jobs’s sister], William Buckley, Vida Blue, Bobby Murcer, John Updike. Many more. Most lost. The biggest “thing,” though, is the encounter itself. And from a Zen democratic perspective, what’s the big deal about that? Why does it matter at all? If my book gets published and they send me on an autograph tour, maybe I’ll get the answer.

    • Flavor said, on February 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      see, now that’s an answer that my brain can process. Thanks Pawlie.

    • unca_chuck said, on February 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Exactly. The only guy I wanted to see during that 2010 fan deal was Will Clark. Just to say, hey, those teams of the late 80s were a blast to watch, and thanks for thrilling the shit out of us fans. Corny? Sure. But it was cool.

      Funny thing was, Geeno was sitting next to him like a Sphinx. He barely made eye contact with anyone behind his designer hit-man shades.

      • snarkk said, on February 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm

        Geeno, as in Velez?
        What’s paper with his autograph worth now? I’m guessing less than a piece of TP, at least TP can be used comfortably…

      • PawlieKokonuts said, on February 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

        careful, Snarkk; my daughter has an A.U.Hayneeoh autograph from outside of AT&T park, just after, or before, we learned of the Franchez deal; he was very amiable

  20. unca_chuck said, on February 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Didn’t Bass, Garner, and Thon all eventually end up on the Giants at some point?

  21. unca_chuck said, on February 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    And, yeah, who the fuck is Mike Woodard? I guess Robby was getting a day off. . . .

  22. Alleykat said, on February 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Hell autographs are easy to get if you are fortunate enough to get invited to the player’s parking lot after a game.2005 Niner game, 1st start for Alex Smith against the Colts.Got free tickets and parking passes from Kevan Barlow.Mrs.Kat did some interior design work for him.
    Smith was cool,had his sister with him,he was so young looking back then and green like a “Deer in the Head lights look”.
    Ended up getting 20 Niners to sign my “Old School Gold FORTY NINER JACKET”.
    From that team only 3 Niners are left,all rooks that year,Smith,Sposgaga,and Snyder are on my jacket,I was truly honored.to get Bryant Young’s autograph that day,think it might have been his last season.Jeremy Newberry was cracking me up,he.was BBQ chicken and sausages up with Ulbrich,and Cody Pickett,Derek Smith.

  23. unca_chuck said, on February 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I though Ice Soap and Shawntae Spencer were drafted by Donohue in 2004. Snyder was drafted in 2005 . . .

    Actually, I think punter extrordinnaire Andy Lee was drafted that year. . .

  24. twinfan1 said, on February 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Well, an autograph is the first step in stealing a celebrity’s identity for online purchases..

    • TedSpe said, on February 2, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      You’ve got a point. I once worked at a bank that specialized in the entertainment business. Everyone who was anyone in Hollywood (except Tom Cruise. He has to bank at Union Bnak where the Scientologists are) had an account there. They had a special security feature that disabled the ability to make a screenshot or printout of any of their signatures for just that reason.

  25. TedSpe said, on February 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    It’s funny how math works. Mike Woodard has one career homerun. But he played so few games, his 162 game average is two.

    • Alleykat said, on February 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      Ted…Guess Woodward can hook up with Kuip for a few beers and go over their glory moment of 1 Big league Jack each.

  26. paulinasia said, on February 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Never got many sports autographs, just a few oldies (Pete Retzlaff, Sonny Jurgensen) but my two favorite were getting Pete Townsend’s on my Muni bus pass as he stood on the corner of Fillmore and Union, and Barbara Eden in her Jeannie days. I was 11 years old, not too tall, and standing there while she signed some playbill paper thing, I was at eye-level with those lovely and ample milky white breasts of hers. Truly my first real “awareness” of something special about girls… I’ve given a few autographs myself, made the cover of the major business magazine here in Saigon and all 400 of my students wanted me to sign their copies. I still don’t even know what the article said….

    • DJLoo said, on February 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm

      If I added it all up, I probably spent over 3 full years of my life just whacking off over Jeannie. When I was 14 people needed galoshes to walk around my bedroom…

      • Flavor said, on February 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

        fucking hilarious……

  27. DJLoo said, on February 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Why is there a need for the word autograph? Does it mean something different than the word signature?
    Does Willie Mays sign a check to the gas company any differently than an 8×10 of The Catch?
    My first autograph: Ron (6 for 206) Herbel

  28. paulinasia said, on February 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Pawlie, you’re looking for some reason why people seek autographs… aside from possible investment purposes (I’ve got signed rookie cards for Clemens and Bonds, nothing sentimental about them, but maybe they’ll be worth something some day) (and aside from the bird’s eye view of Barbara Eden’s breasts), I think one reason is the concept of catching a little luck from someone famous. Not exactly the same thing, but over here, one very important little ritual during lunar new year celebrations for younger Asians is getting “lucky money” from their elders, teachers, people they respect. Put the money in little red envelopes (called hong bao in China, li xi here in Vietnam). It doesn’t have to be much… this year, I stuffed a 10,000 VN dong bill (about 50 cents) in envelopes and gave them to some of my favorite students, and they all took the bill out and asked me to sign it and they would keep it forever and never spend it. Very superstitious here about things like that. So, here’s hoping once your book is published, people will be looking to catch a little luck from you. I can think of worse things…

    • DJLoo said, on February 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      I suspect they skipped that little ritual in ’68…

    • paulinasia said, on February 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      I might suspect they actually doubled their efforts in ’68….

  29. paulinasia said, on February 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Loo, your 6:17 post definitely falls into the category of “too much information”… but I laughed my ass off (while grimacing at the mental image of people needing to put galoshes on before entering your room)….

    • Flavor said, on February 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      exactly. That was a classic Loo post. Gold, baby.

    • Alleykat said, on February 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      Paulinasia…..Yeah I really dug Barbara Eden as well,not so much as Loo of course.Also a young Linda Evans as Audra Barkley in the Big Valley…..

      Hey here’s a joke (need to be a golf fan to get it)
      What does Greg Norman and I dream of Jeannie have in common?
      Answer…..They both blew their Masters!

  30. Brian said, on February 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    I remember a game from this era, maybe it was this one. My dad and I ( I was 16 at the time) were sitting in the lower reserve section at Candlestick, freezing our asses off being below that overhang from the upper section. Garrelts gives up a game-winning/game-tying homer. Some dude walks behind us, and just screams at the top of his lungs “THANKS A LOT GARRELTS, YOU PIECE OF SHIT!” It made us uncomfortable at first beacause I’d heard that a thousand times before from good friends of mine, and I wasn’t sure how my dad would react, and then 20 seconds later we were laughing like crazy, all the way to the parking lot, in one of the first moments I shared a moronic, episode of swearing at a game that my dad, who was/is a pretty conservative man, acknowledged.

    • Flavor said, on February 2, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      dude, you need to post her more often. Period.

  31. Brian said, on February 2, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I’ll try to. Your retro posts just stir the memories! Keep ’em coming!

  32. twinfan1 said, on February 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Of course, as part of the provenance of an artistic work or document, a verified signature or autograph may make the difference of thousands of dollars. A signed joke from Mr. Loo has been known to fetch a pretty penny at auction…

    • Alleykat said, on February 2, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      Twin, is Loo’s autograph more valuable on “Sticky paper”?

  33. twinfan1 said, on February 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Don’t more of you want to share what you’re feasting on for the game?

    • paulinasia said, on February 2, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      Cornflakes, bananas, and soy milk, breakfast of champions. If I didn’t have to work later that day, would probably wash it all down with a shot or two of snake wine.

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