I was thinking about this for a few days since Albert was in Philly. Sooz had told me a story she heard that Albert told a reporter when asked a question, "You're a writer, make it up." Now I wish this came as a shock to me, but it didn't. I had heard some other things from people asking for autographs, or people paying to go to MLB type dinners that he refuses to talk to people or sign autos. Does this bother me? Only a little bit because really, the odds of me meeting him are slim to none. I also think that part of the reason why he doesn't approach fans to sign autographs is because maybe he thinks they will just end up on eBay that night, and for what his signature goes for I can't say he would be wrong in thinking that.
This isn't the first player I have followed that I have heard bad things about. George Brett is one of my all time favorites. I know a few people who have met him at dinners and said he is a nasty drunk and wants money for an autograph. Great. Do I care? Not so much, but figured I would throw that out there. Any evidence to refute that would be welcomed since I always liked Brett.
While I can kind of understand why some of the old players like Mantle charged for autographs later in life as a result of not making much money while they were playing, I still don't think it's right. Older people, not children want to ask those guys for autographs because those are their childhood idols. Not that younger people don't want them but it's probably different for people that are in their 50's or 60's. I just don't think it's right for any player to charge for an autograph but when everything ends up on eBay, I see why they can get frustrated and maybe only sign for real little kids.
I haven't met many baseball players, but the one of the ones that I did meet was Bernie Williams. The nicest guy on Earth, great personality and very friendly. I met him when I was very young (and so was he), on cap day and he came over and signed all the kids caps behind homeplate back when you could stand there during batting practice and be a kid. I also met him a second time at a bar in Tarrytown, and I couldn't resist saying hello. I didn't ask for an autograph or anything I just went up to him and introduced myself and thanked him for all the things he did for the team over the years.
Anyone ever meet their favorite player only to be disappointed in their demeanor and personality? I'd love to hear about it, whether it's good or bad it would be fun to share stories.