A few weeks ago I posted the video of Kyle Busch being stuck in traffic and seeing a woman next to him wearing his hat. He honked, she freaked, and he signed the hat from his car. It was a wonderful moment, but it got me thinking about autographed hats. I've never liked them. It's for the same reason I don't like autographed shirts -- you can't wear them any more!
I was backstage at a Joe Walsh concert once. Years earlier, I had completed having him sign all the solo albums and James Gang records I owned. And I never wanted to have him sign the Eagles albums, because it would just be too painful not having the other members sign it, and would just look so incomplete. Well, I was wearing a Joe Walsh shirt. A roadie said, "Hey Joe, sign that guys shirt." He signed it, but...now I can't wear that shirt again! It just sits in a box in my garage, with some other signed memorabilia.
I was waiting to get B.B. King to sign an album. I had gone to my car to get it, and he pulled up in the limo when I was two blocks away. He told the small crowd he'd sign for them later, but a homeless guy walking by shouted, "Just sign my hat now, I won't be here later!" King chuckled, and signed the bill of this guys hat. He promptly put it back on, and continued walking. It was a Padres cap, and we all doubted he even knew who just signed it.
One of the most underrated 60s singers ever, is Eric Burdon of The Animals (and Spill the Wine with War). The first time I saw him in concert I was 18. He came out wearing a San Diego Chargers cap, and by the third song, he threw it into the crowd. It landed in my hands and I was thrilled.
Later, I went to his trailer and had him sign a few albums. He was very cordial, and told great stories. Someone asked if I was going to have him sign the hat. I didn't, because it was a Chargers had. Just imagine, people would look at it and say, "Whose signature is that? Eric Weddle?" (a free safety that was a fan favorite here in town)
I've told this story before, but...when I went to interview Gregg Allman, he was stoned off his ass. It made for a great interview, though. I brought two albums for him to sign, and he asked if he could have the Minnesota Vikings cap I was wearing. I gave it to him, but said only if he gives me something from the stage (there were about 6 guitars lined up). He said he'd get me an Allman Brothers T-shirt. He went backstage, but the merchandise hadn't arrived yet. He told me they'd hook me up that night, but I didn't have the heart to tell him I was watching an up-and-coming bluesy rock band I liked a helluva lot more -- The Black Crowes (and was thrilled they all signed my CD backstage).
There is one person I would ask to sign a hat. It's Kobe Bryant. As a longtime Lakers fan, but a Kobe hater, it's not because I want his autograph. It's because of the type of hat the Lakers are selling. It's a black lamb-leather (sorry, PETA), New Era cap with an 18-karat gold "24" on the front (side note: why not 24-karat gold, to stick with the theme?). Now, for those that want to play at home...any guesses on what this cap will cost? (insert drum roll here, or Bob Barker's voice)
If you guessed $38,024, you're right!
Yes, it's going to cost more then the new Tesla.
If I paid that much money, Kobe's ass better hand-deliver it to me at home.
If you want something to commemorate his last season in the NBA -- a season in which he was the highest paid player, with the lowest shooting percentage in the league -- the Lakers are selling a purple diamond cashmere cap for $24,008. It has gold snakeskin under the visor. What's that you say? Still too much? AEG has caps commemorating his 81-point game 10 years ago, with Swarovski crystals and his points per quarter from that night embossed on four side panels. That's a mere $248.
Now, tickets to his last game are selling for around 10 grand ($700 for the cheap seats).
There are various coins, jackets, and pins, that are more reasonably priced at Lakerstore.com.
I prefer the team just get some players that aren't secretly recording their teammates. I swear, this team is at least 4 years away from being good again.