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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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