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Power Take: Pete Rose’s Rochester autograph visit a sign of the times

The Rochester Red Wings have contracted with all-time hits leader/MLB outcast Pete Rose for a July appearance that includes an autograph session. For $50, Slick Pete will sign a flat item no bigger than 8x10. For $125, he’ll sign an item up to 11x14, allow for one photograph while you stand in his presence and spin some yarns for the VIP autograph crowd. Judging from his postseason work on Fox last year, expect the yarns to come in an indecipherable tangle.

I understand the transition to pay-for-signature events. Years ago, while I was covering the Sabres, Dale Hawerchuk identified an autograph-seeker outside the team hotel and said the same fan would be waiting for them at Boston Garden to obtain another round of signatures. He was, and doubtless they would soon be up for sale. Somewhere along the line autographs became (sometimes big) business.

If seeing Slick Pete in the flesh and securing his signature is on your bucket list, by all means partake. If it’s just the signature you’re after here’s a spoiler alert:

It can be had on eBay for less than 20 bucks.