Chapter 14 in my book titled Hooked on Autographs, I cite some of the "tricks of the trade" in collecting famous signatures on golf balls.  As a salesman at one time in my business career, I learned how to handle rejections. I was taught how to convert rejections into sales. Here's a good example of a triumph that could have gone awry.

Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco, named after the twenty-ninth president of the United States, hosted the American Express World Golf Championship in 2005. Padraig Harrington, Ireland's leading golfer, was playing a practice round when I caught up with him after he putted out on the fourth hole. As he approached the fifth tee box, I politely asked the Dubliner, before about fifteen spectators, to sign a golf ball. He flately told me that he didn't sign golf balls and kept walking. Reacting quickly, I said loud enough for everyone to hear, "What if my grandparents came from Ireland?" The twenty-four-year-old Irishman turned around, shot me a look, and said, "Where in Ireland?" I said, "City of Cork." Padraig said, "That's a beautiful city." He proceeded to walk toward me where I was standing behind the roped-off area. I knew then that Paddy was going to sign my ball. As I handed him the Titiest ball and Sharpie, he took a Sharpie out of his pocket and signed the ball in green ink. At that moment, the onlookers clapped and cheered, something I've never experienced in my twenty-plus years of collecting autographed golf balls.

I got Padraig's signed ball by thinking fast, using my heritage connections, and not giving up. Never give up is a good motto to live by. 

This tale and hundreds more are shared in my hobby memoir, Hooked on Autographs. In my original and wildly engaging book, I describe memorable stories and the behind-the-scenes, pen-and-ball-in-hand antics of tracking down celebrities from all walks of life for their autographs.  My book is available on Amazon. com or you can buy my one-of-a-kind book directly from me by e-mailing me at jjgaliardi1@comcast.net. The cost including shipping is $16.41 and I personalize all copies. Golfers and non-golfers alike will delight in reading Hooked on Autographs. Most importantly, I donate my book proceeds to our returning wounded soldiers as a way of thanking them for the sacrifices they made for our freedom. Joe Galiardi, author

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Comment by esigs on February 23, 2012 at 12:42pm
Hello Joe, welcome to this site! I joined recently too. It's impressive to hear that your collection is nearing 400! As I mentioned before, your book was a catalyst to get me to be active again in pursuit of signed golf balls, so thanks for sharing your experiences with us.
Comment by Anthony Joseph Saponaro on February 27, 2012 at 9:00am
That was a great little story,sounds like an interesting read.

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