|Note: Not his actual signature|
To wit: Pete Rose was a jerk back in 1981, too.
Remember, the event was a dinner for the American Cancer Society. A charity. Specifically, a charity that fights cancer, which is something I think we can all agree we need less of. And at the event, there were baseballs. To be signed, for the attendees. Dad, it goes without saying, was going to bring it home for his over-eager 11 year old, to wit, me. (mind you, I had no idea about the banquet, I just knew we were having a babysitter again. But I digress)
They gave Pete Rose the baseballs. To sign. For the attendees. At a charity event where the reason Pete Rose was there was to be honored, which is to say to get a nice meal and a nice plaque in exchange for sitting through a couple of speeches and signing some baseballs. And he took the baseballs, and he said he would sign them.
That was the last anyone saw of those baseballs. Like, ever. I mean, sure they probably showed up at some memorabilia show or something, but that was the last anyone at the ACS, and specifically my dad ever saw of them. No autographed baseballs for the attendees, no autographed baseball to bring home for nerdy kid who had foolishly traded a 78 Vida Blue for a 79 Ken Oberkfell.
Dad was mad about it. He's still mad, near as I can tell - not for him, but for me, and because Rose was a jerk.
Me, I think I'm over not getting that ball, though Pete, if you're out there and listening, you could send one my nephew's way to make up for things. But I'll stick with the program, and with the Monte Irvin and Yogi Berra signatures, and things cheerfully given.