The Sign of The Don

The Don, Don Bradman, was the world’s greatest cricketer. The Don would have been 100 years old this week. And I’ve blogged recently about coaching my son’s cricket team so I guess it’s still on my mind.

And also still on my mind is the non-signing of autographs by two Olympic swimmers, yesterday’s blog. The news reports of that event give two reasons for not signing. First was commercial interest. And second was that some Olympic memorabilia signed by these gold medalists would have significant financial value at auction.

Consider that for a moment. A swimmer wins a gold medal, signs a program from Beijing, and the owner of the program auctions it and gets $1,000. Free. Just like that. What a wonderful world we live in.

But the sponsor people, the money people, they don’t like that idea. And they stop it from happening. I suppose they want that $1,000 auction sale to be on one of their tee-shirts instead.

The Don was not like that. He was famous for giving away his signature. People could write to him and ask for his signature and he would send them a letter in return. Don Bradman signatures abound. He knew people would either keep it or sell it. But he was generous with himself and he signed anyway.

In about 100 years I wonder if people will remember the birthday of those two gold medal swimmers. I suppose I should put their names here. You know, just in case.


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