SOME STUFF I’VE ACCUMULATED THROUGHOUT THE YEARS
I would not encourage employees and/or media members of professional sports teams to ask for autographs or memorabilia.* In fact, I’ve seen writers get kicked out of clubhouses and staffers get fired for such. In most cases, it’s simply bad form and a lack of professionalism.
Members of the media and the club’s employees are at the ballpark to do a job. They would compromise their credibility if they were to approach a player for a signature or a pair of batting gloves. Again, it’s bad form. However, there are occasional (very occasional) circumstances in which the rule-enforcers will turn the other cheek (i.e., charitable items, etc.)
When I was on the ground crew at Cinergy field in the late ’90s, my co-workers and I didn’t familiarize ourselves with the “autograph protocol” that everyone else followed. We were young kids, working long hours just for the chance to be at the ballpark everyday rather than for the modest paychecks. If there was a chance to get Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa to sign a baseball during their chase for the single-season home run record, well, we weren’t going to pass it up. And we didn’t.
I got a lot of stuff during those ground crew years. Valuable stuff that I hope eventually get passed down to my grandchildren and their kids. I never sold any of it. I have given some stuff away to friends, family and the Reds Hall of Fame, but I’ve never (nor will I ever) try to make a profit on any of it.
As I began my tenure in the front office, I figured out that not only is asking for autographs frowned upon, but if you’re discovered doing so, your peers will label you a “green fly.” I didn’t want any part of that.
I still get stuff these days (Griffey-signed 500 & 600 HR posters, Joey Votto-signed SI poster, Homer Bailey no-hitter stuff) but I havne’t asked for it. My boss Rob Butcher is very generous in making sure my colleague Larry Herms and I get something nice for special occasions.
Today, I cleaned up a little bit in my office and discovered some things that I thought would be fun to share with you….
That’s all for now. Lineups in a bit.
Expect good news!
PS – don’t be a green fly!
*Some Reds employees are required to get autographs from players for a variety of job-specific reasons. The players usually oblige these requests during set dates in Spring Training.