i know autograph shows are usually just "turnstile" events...you know..."move them on through"...but there were a couple which stick in my mind.
one was Stan Musial - yeah, i know, he was a redBIRD, but still one heck of a classy gentleman. i was just some 14-year-old punk at the time...but...it was THE MAN! a very friendly man, actually took the time to talk with every person for about half a minute, which was just a thrill. i think i managed to spurt out "Glaifrirhg, Mr. Musahoaoaprel" (though i could have called him Mr. Mantle, for all i know).
much later, Paul O'Neill was signing at the old Piqua East Mall. he was still rather young...i think it was right after the '89 season. because of the state of the Reds' team at the time, the turn out was embarassingly small - i think i stood in a line of 12 other people.
in my posession, i have a 1982 Cedar Rapids Reds set, with Paul's first card. i plopped that sucker down in front of him and his eyes got as wide as saucers.
"Where did you get that!" he asked. i explained i had bought them at a giftshop in Cooperstown. He only shook his head. i really need to find that card and post it sometime - he had some serious 'fro stuff going on in '82, and he seemed ashamed someone had actually seen it.
he then started talking about the rest of the team...youngsters such as Kal Daniels, Eric The Red, i think Ron Robinson was with the team at the time...a very large number of future-Reds for (i think) a single A team.
while talking about this, the look in his eyes was a rather classic look. i think he started thinking back to the old times again, when he was just a kid starting out with the team. felt pretty good, actually.