This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

FansI’ll never understand the Autograph World.

Years ago I worked with pro basketball legend Bill Russell, notorious for not signing autographs. And there was one afternoon when a youngster approached in downtown Los Angeles and asked for his signature.

Bill took several moments explaining why he didn’t sign autographs and you could see in the kids eyes that he just wasn’t getting it. He’d just spent several minutes talking with one of the biggest names in sports history but he walked away mad because he didn’t get a signature on a piece of paper.

Some fans would rather have memorabilia than a memory.

I saw that this morning watching the Daytona 500 pre race TV show. A driver was walking through the infield and scribbling on random things without even looking at the people holding the stuff. The Sharpie got more out of the experience.

When that happens can you say you’ve had an experience with a person who didn’t look at, speak to or acknowledge you’re there? Was there a close encounter with a star?

Looking back, my most prized autograph was probably Richard Petty’s gleaned more than forty years ago. Now I can’t find it but I remember the conversation we had. Funny how that works.