Growing up I remember teams, the 1989 “Flyin’ Illini”, 91-93 Bulls, ’85 Bears, but besides Jordan, Bo Jackson was one of the biggest sports figures in my life. I loved Bo. I have a huge card collection of only Bo’s. I bought sets to just get Bo’s that I needed. Watching Bo go down in that football game was hard. But when the Sox picked him up, I was over the moon. My first White Sox game was his second game back, he homered. I lost my shit. I have the posters. I have the shirts. I have his book.
Many years later, when Bo was gonna be at SoxFest, I was amped. I went home to get my “The Ball Player” poster for him to sign. Then I found out that Bo doesn’t sign that picture, at all, anymore. For those of you not familiar with SoxFest, most guys will sign anything you give them. But Bo and Carlton Fisk have only been signing free pics that the Sox give out when they appear at SoxFest. No outside items. Seriously. If you want Bo to sign a different item, he won’t. I understand this for a couple reasons.
It’s how he makes his nut.
Bo’s career was short, he didn’t make a bunch of money from sports. Endorsements? Maybe. But it’s a nice retirement package charging $100+ a signature. I respect that.
People sell his stuff, why can’t he?
I get that too. I would be pissed if I did something that commanded a certain value and I didn’t get my share. It’s just the way it is. I don’t fault him for that.
Why are we talking about this? In case you missed it, the Sox released the first official Bo Jackson bobblehead. It’s a beaut. You can purchase it here from the Sox. Part of the money goes to charity, good cause. I bought a bunch at the game. I have a pretty big bobble collection and collect mostly White Sox. I trade with other people and Bo is a huge figure in the bobble world. In my limited experience with this bobble game, the cheapest the bobble will ever be is when it first comes out. As time goes by the price goes up due to less being available. That has been sorta skewed as more people are buying more to sell, so the market stays flooded longer than it had been a few years before. I have written about bobbles before, you can read that here.
Do I sell bobbles for profit? Absolutely. I take risks buying multiple tickets, multiple bobbles, all in the hopes it will go up in price. Sometimes you cash in early, sometimes it takes time. I usually hold onto stuff, most of the time it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I have lost money, but I have also made enough money to make it worthwhile to take these calculated risks. So yeah, I saw this Bo as chance to trade for some harder to get items and maybe sell a few.
The White Sox being the White Sox sold this online before they did at the park. Which kinda sucks if you go to games. I know the idea is to sell them, but don’t you want people at the park? I think that more people would make the trip over or in to pickup this bobble this weekend. Sell it online after the first weekend it is available, but let us fans that go regularly get treated special.
If you don’t know, for people that check in with the MLB Ballpark App the Sox give out prizes when you show up. The give you a free shirt for 1 check in, which is awesome. Great to give the kids and adults something to bring home. But as you get more and more check in’s, the prizes get better. For 50 games you get a Golden Chris Sale bobble head. A few weeks ago, before the 50 home game mark, they gave out the bobbles to people that Tweeted something. Seriously? The guys making it to 50 games don’t get it first? Just rubs me (and other collectors) the wrong way. I don’t fault them, but it just feels like we got slighted in this case.
So yesterday, I posted some Bo’s online. I posted them before I got them because, ‘Merica. I was the first listed, and yep, it was listed at a high price. If you don’t know about Ebay, listed prices are not selling prices. Just because I listed it for $125, doesn’t mean I got that for it when (and if) it sold. I have been selling stuff on Ebay for years, I buy stuff that way too. I sold 1, for much less than my $125 asking price, but enough to make it worth my time. Within hours more and more people listed for much less than me, but all still higher than the asking price from the Sox. That’s business. That’s how it works.
Thursday night, I got a text with an article about the Bo bobble. Bo was quoted saying this-
He was not happy to see one for sale for $125 online Thursday morning. As a result, he said he won’t be signing them. “The thing that bothers me is we do this for a good cause but you have those hustlers out there that buy them and put them online,” he said.
My childhood hero, the guy who hawked stuff that I bought, called me a hustler in the Trib. Fucking badass. What is a hustler? The FIRST definition is “an enterprising person determined to succeed; go-getter.” Wow. Bo Jackson recognizes my talent and he doesn’t even know me! (Well, we’ve met once, but I doubt I made any impression on him.) Other definitions are not as nice, but reselling something at a higher price than it is offered in other places isn’t illegal. It shouldn’t even be looked down upon. Just like professional athletes making as much money as they can, they should be a hustler too. Get you some. I am all for it. We as fans shouldn’t bitch either, we support it.
What I don’t like is him using that as an excuse on why he won’t sign them when he wasn’t gonna sign them anyways. Why was Bo on Ebay looking up his bobblehead? Why does he even care? I think the author told him about it, but come on Bo, you wouldn’t have signed them anyways and I don’t fault you for that. I know he has signed custom bobbles before, wasn’t happy about them, but he did it cause he was paid to do it. So, maybe if you pay him he will still sign it for you. But if he doesn’t and I ruined this for everyone, sorry guys. But right now I am the silent fall guy for my childhood hero. And that is fine, I will do that for you Bo. I owe ya for all the years of entertainment.