New direction for the players

freddy the beard

Freddy Bentivegna
Silver Member
I am putting together an organization that will insure that the players get paid for their autographs. No more cue balls, shirts, photos, or sticks signed for nix. Every other sports celebrity in the world gets paid big money to sign sports gear, but not our guys. I am going to try and change all that. I talked to all the major players at the Olympics in Louisville this Nov. To a man they were all excited by the idea. To start it off I paid all of them -- in front-- to sign some cue balls and other stuff. I am going to have them, and other top players, from Efren on down, pre-autograph sports gear to be marketed from my booth at DCC and then on my website with the boys getting a cut of everything they sign -- in front. At Derby City I will be at a booth that will have, among other things, pre-autographed memorabilia, and the ability to provide -- on request -- autographs on whatever memorabilia the fans provide, their shirts, sticks, whatever. The players will get paid for every signature. I am then going to take it further and solicit the big billiard supply companies and allow them to advertise and sell, officially autographed memorabilia, balls, cues, clothing, etc. I'm also going to hit on the cuemakers and allow them to sell their sticks with a real autograph on them, not a machine print. Naturally, that would allow the cuemakers to charge a few bucks extra for a special edition cue. For this service they would pay our organization a fee. The players I talked to have agreed to not sign anything for free at DCC. They will refer all requests to my booth. To give an idea of what the marketing for this stuff might look like on a suppliers catalog page, I'm including a preview of some of the marketing I am going to do on my webpage where I am going to solicit requests for autographed cueballs and display cases. A fan can reserve an autographed cueball and trophy case and I will get his ball signed for him at Derby City in Jan.

The Beard
(exception: the Bugs signed cueballs on display below are not for sale)


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AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
freddy the beard said:
...The players I talked to have agreed to not sign anything for free at DCC...
IMO, this is not a good idea. This might help pool players get paid, but it surely won't help getting more fans into pool, nor would it benefit the overall image of professional pool.

You really expect a player like Efren to turn his back on a 10-year old asking for his autograph?


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I guess you have never been to a baseball game, the players don't charge you for there autographs...


Play it safe...
Silver Member
Autographs are typically not charged for, but some of those getting the autograph has dollar signs in the mind. I have never been turned down for an autograph for FREE.


Work Hard, Be Humble. jbk
Silver Member
I've gotta say, I have never been charged for an autograph and would not pay for one either. Without fans, athletes would not have a paycheck anyway! I personally, don't think this is a great idea. Great for Freddy, but not great for the game.
I too, cannot see Efren, Archer or SVB saying to a kid, "sorry but that autograph is gonna cost ya"!

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AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

Hey >

Long post but I assure you worth reading!!:

I am an avid reader (daily) of this forum - and I never reply - until now.

I am a young up and coming pool player (a/open speed) (under 21) .. and I can say this is the worst idea I've ever heard of and actually makes me sick.

I can recall going to Super Billiards Expo in PA and 2 World Class Players were sitting by a UPA booth giving autographs. I might of been 16 or 17 at the time and I was impressed and actually nervous to meet them. I went up for an autograph and they told me "25$" or whatever price they were charging. I said "oh" and only having $10 in my pocket I turned around.

It was a disappointing day. As I left the Expo Allen Hopkins was talking to someone from my local pool hall and they called me over. Allen greeted me and signed a poster and handed it to me. It was the coolest thing ever.

Autographs sure may be collectibles but I feel you take away from what it really is. It's somthing you can hang on your wall , admire, and say to your kid/nephew/neice/whoever - I met one of the greats etc.. (not to sound cliche - but some people may feel this way)...

Now as I play more - and I get to play these top players in tournaments I don't feel the same way anymore but I definitly know there are the young crowd out there who feel the SAME way I used to.

I HOPE HOPE HOPE I get to step in the box with these "paid to autograph" players , - BEAT THEM - and sign autographs for every kid in the stand for free.

This gives me even more incentive.

My two cents. Take it for what you may.


Silver Member
Pretty bad idea. Traditionally, most major sports figures don't charge a thing for autographs.

I have autographs from Jack Nicklaus, Payne Stewart, Nick Faldo, numerous baseball players, and others.... all of which have 100x the star-power of any pool player..... I never paid a penny for any of them.

Tournaments have a hard time getting $20 from people who want to watch the event. Good luck charging something for a signature that has no resale value.

I feel your pain. In order to do what you want to do, there must be a viable pro tour that has market appeal (PPV, TV, etc.) and players should be making 7 figs before anyone would want to pay for their signature. But like I said, if Jack Nicklaus signs my hat for free.... who the hell is Efren?



Member, .25% Club
Silver Member
Selling signed memorabilia (where you are providing the memorabilia) = fine idea.

Selling autographs = abhorrent to me.

I am a huge pool fan; but will never again pay for an autograph (paid once for Buddy Hall to sign my cueball, told Mike Sigel no thanks when he asked for cash).

Golf, baseball, tennis, basketball, and football greats have routinely signed fans items for free.

Admittedly there are those people that abuse the system, getting multiple autographed items and selling them on e-bay; but a "one autograph/one fan" policy can effectively deal with that.

To me, such a plan demeans both the players and the sport.

I suspect you would do better just selling signed memorabilia. The few dollars you will make selling autographs will never make up for the loss of class the sport will suffer.


Cowboys are my hero's
Silver Member
Many celebrities, and pro sports personalities do not sign autographs for free. Many sports stars will only sign item at sports memorabilia shows, or sports cards shows where you pay for autographs.

I have seen people standing in line for hour to by a ticket for up to $25.00 for “X” sports star autograph, and than stand in another line to get an item signed. If you got more than one item it is ticket for each signature.

These are not the guys in the game when I was growing up who for the most gave their autograph for FREE.

Autograph is big business, and the old autograph hounds as we use to call them need be about to pay for an autograph if they want them.

I see nothing wrong with a pro pool player asking for something for their signature, but no one is forced to shell out money for that signature.


Silver Member
I agree with Willie. Selling signed memorabilia is great. However charging for an autograph is not. It exploits the fan base that put the person where they are in the first place.

The only time I asked for an autograph and was told I had to pay for it, I simply responded that they weren't that important to me, and to have a nice day.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Irish634 said:
The only time I asked for an autograph and was told I had to pay for it, I simply responded that they weren't that important to me, and to have a nice day.

Yeah I think that's the key here... for fans to pay for autographs, the autograph has to be worth something. There are two types of memorabilia collectors... one is the person who loves the sport or the player and wants a keepsake, and the other is looking for items that will be worth big money someday. Let's first focus on getting pool players the type of popularity that will make their autographs really valuable, then worry about whether they should charge people for them.

(and to be honest, a professional athlete setting up a booth and charging money for their signature is not common practice... maybe the item itself, but not the signature)


Still crazy after all these years
Silver Member
lodini said:
...the other is looking for items that will be worth big money someday.

Which leads me to ask, what's an Archer or Strickland or Reyes autograph going for on ebay these days ? It would be pretty deflating to discover that you CAN charge for your autograph, but the market says you're only worth $0.42 .

Dave, has never paid for an autograph and never will


Job+Wife+Child=No Stroke
Silver Member
I'm not going to offer my opinion of whether this is a good or bad idea...I will simply relate a story that may spur some thought.

When the WPC was held in Chicago in 1997, I had the pleasure of watching Allison Fisher & Johnny Archer win it all. Moments after their respective wins, I asked them to sign a birthday card for my nephew.

Allison signed it: "Have a pleasant birthday, Allison Fisher"
Johnny signed it: "Happy B-Day, Johhny Archer, 1997 World Champ"

Each was more than happy to sign the card and they each commented that it was a great idea for a present.

My nephew proudly displayed that card and even took it to his school to show off his unique birthday card.

He was most proud that they had taken a moment from their respective victory celebrations to sign his card. Remember, each signed while still glowing form their phenominal accomplishment.

Would that card have meant as much (to me & to my nephew) if I had to arrange such a thing thru a broker?


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Horrible idea, i mean come on its not like pool players sign a ton of autographs, i ve never seen a player mobbed like a movie star at any major tournament, and i ve never heard them complain about signing an autograph either.

Silver Member
Here is my take on this: I don't necessarily fault the players that were asked to defer to the booth when asked for an autograph. After all , it is there livelihood and any extra income is a plus when the pay is already horrible. However, I don't think the market is there and may never be there to allow a big windfall from pool autographs. The few dollars made from this venture will most likely not be worth the loss of respect for the players and certainly the vendor. I once told a stripper that sitting next to me was Shannon Daulton, one of the best pool players in the world and asked if she wanted him to sign her boob. She smiled but declined. I would like to have a signed picture taken of me and all of the champions I have gone out with and taken shots with at one time or another. Now that would be some cool memorabilia!


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
a really terrible idea-I have good memories of the autographs I got for free, but I do not have any from the ones I was asked to pay for, because I don't have any-


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
DaveK said:
Which leads me to ask, what's an Archer or Strickland or Reyes autograph going for on ebay these days ? It would be pretty deflating to discover that you CAN charge for your autograph, but the market says you're only worth $0.42 .

Dave, has never paid for an autograph and never will

I had to peek:) There was no autograped Efren or Earl merchandise that I could find on Ebay... There are two Jeanette Lee items... one is a pool cue that has one bid at $49.99. The other is a limited edition sports card of some sort that has six bids, the highest being $14.95. And this is one of the most (if not THE most) recognizable faces in pool.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I am in the crowd that feels this is not a good thing. I was able to purchase a pool related book while at the Windy City Open tourney and got alot of the pros there to sign the book. It was a good feeling and ment alot. I would not of paid for it however. I have spent many days at the ballpark getting signatures from pro baseball players, yet would not pay for it if someone asked.

For me its about getting that second to meet someone and their signature kinda puts that time into a special moment. I would have no intentions of selling merchandise, so I think paying for it is meh. IMO

Da Poet

Pool is Cool
Silver Member
There's plenty of room in the middle here. Trying to stop folks from signing autographs for free isn't going to do anyone any favors. However, setting up a booth where folks get in line to pay for a custom signed nine ball, hat, or T-shirt, with a name of their choice is a good way to make everyone happy and make great gifts. This notion of pre signed stuff is cold and impersonal.

Also, all we need are a bunch of internet posts about how some high and mighty so and so wouldn't sign an autograph unless they were paid for it. :rolleyes:
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Silver Member
Any athelete or celebrity that demands you to pay for their autograph should get their head out of their ass.We the public, MAKE them a celebrity.
If I asked someone for their autograph and they asked for a fee, I would laugh in their face and ridicule them to the point they probably would think twice about doing it again.:mad:
Good idea of selling autographed merchadise that monies go to players,but NOT a good idea to insinuate we should have to pay for autographs from players.