Tony Perez growls at children!

23 02 2009

I remember last year watching an episode of FSN’s ‘Inside the Marlins’ about Tony Perez working with the organization and how much of a saint he was for his working with kids on baseball instruction. While I was not very familiar with Perez, a Hall of Fame slugger who retired before I began watching baseball, I was excited to see him at the 2009 Marlins Fan Fest.

What I witnessed that day was a grumpy, old man who turned down every possible fan’s request for an autograph. Despite my disappointment, I let it slide thinking maybe he was having a bad day. Today, while attending Spring Training workouts with the Marlins I witnessed something that was both ridiculous and truly pathetic.

While waiting to snag an autograph from Cody Ross, Tony Perez walked past me and starting making his way to another field. I had a card of him with me but did not even bother trying to get his autograph. Unfortunately, some kid next to me, who could not have been a day over 7 years old ran up to Perez and asked for his autograph.

Rather than turn around and acknowledge the young baseball fan, Perez loudly growled in anger, grabbed the baseball from the kid, signed, and walked away without even hearing the kid’s “thank you, sir”. What’s even worse is that unlike Fredi Gonzalez, the Marlins’ manager, no one was really going after any of the coaching staff for autographs or photos.

Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, and others were getting swamped with requests all day long but here was one little boy asking for an autograph and rather than be proud or even happy to make a fan’s day, he was a complete, bitter asshole.

Of course, the kid took it in stride and continued chasing down players for his team ball but when another adult saw what happened he went up to the kid’s dad and told him Tony had also growled at him but instead of signing, he flat out turned him down and told him that he was too busy.

Thank goodness for Fredi Gonzalez, who not only signed every thing imaginable for fans but he also posed for what seemed like hundreds of photographs and was a complete class-act all the way. Maybe Tony could pick up a few pointers from Fredi on how to treat baseball fans.

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11 responses

23 02 2009
beaverman3001

George Brett was the same way when the Royals were still in Florida. Except, he would only sign for senior citizens, and not kids or adults. Was rather weird.

23 02 2009
collectedstudio

Wow, what a jerk. You’d think he’d be honored to have someone wanting his autograph. I’m sure that he’s busy, but the fans are the reason he’s there.

23 02 2009
Mr. Scott

I met George back 1999 in KC in the Parking lot I handed him a ball asked him to sign the sweet spot he looked at me like I was crazy to have him sign the sweet spot.

23 02 2009
wickedortega

Tony is always an ass…. He gives Cubans a bad name…… Did you know that he’s the only Cuban player in the hall???

23 02 2009
Jay

What a dooshbag. I drove 2 and a half hours to watch the A,s play the Tribe last April. When I got to the stadium it was 6 degres. I got to the park early enough to see the players warm up. It was so cold the players were wearing face masks. I asked for Daric Bartons auto he stopped turned and said ” Are you fucking kidding me its freezing out here” In shock I turned to Houston Street who happened to be standing nearby and asked him what was up with that? He told me dont worry about it and signed my hat took a picture with me everything in the book. After he thanked me for braving the cold. Some players are just jerks, but the cool ones make up for it. Needles to say I traded all my Barton cards shortly afterwards and with the shitty season he had guess he did me A huge favor.
Jay

23 02 2009
stampman12345

Tony Perez is the ONLY Cuban in the Hall????That’s weird that I have never heard that but its all good. That stunt he pulled is just wrong especially to a young child and some player should have said something to him. Secondly Nice autos Mario and by the way The pic I asked you for is of Kyle Drabek cause he still plays for the Phillies minor league system I think.

23 02 2009
DDoubleplay/Paul D.

Mario I believe in Karma my friend…..

23 02 2009
JRJ

Unreal, I’ve heard of bad Perez stories.

He should be thankful he’s in the HOF. He really only had two HOF seasons (69 & 70). And out of a 23 yr career he only had 7 seasons of 100+ RBIs and 25+ hrs, 3 seasons (one partial) batting over .300 and finished in the top 10 of the MVP race only two times! Good numbers, but to be a modern era HOF 1B, they should be bigger than that.

23 02 2009
Submarine Shane

I attended a sports card show in Raleigh (NC) several years ago. There were a few ballplayers signing at the show and you had to buy an autograph ticket. I hated the idea of purchasing a ticket for an autograph but one of the players was Don Larsen. As I stood in line I could not help but notice how rude Larsen was to everyone. There was a youngster and his Father in front of me, both all dressed up in Yankee apparel…true Yankee fans…not like me.
They approached the table and the kid stood beside Larsen so the Dad could take a picture. Never raising his head from signing Larsen says “You might as well take the picture…I aint looking up”. What a mean old bastard.
He was getting paid to sign so I figured he could at least pretend to be happy to be there and see his fans.

The other player signing was Bobby Richardson, also of the Yankees. As I walked by his table I stopped, shook hands, and spoke with him. I told him I was sorry but I hadn’t purchased an autograph ticket. I told him I had his Topps Archives Autograph card at home. He smiled and laughed and said..”Wow, I didn’t think anyone collected my autograph”…haha. A true class act.

I would also like to add that the best and most fan friendly players are those of the Negro Leagues. I had the pleasure of meeting 11 of them, including the late Buck O’Neil a few years ago in Raleigh. Although it cost about $110.00 for all of them to sign a bat for me (which I think is extremely cheap), the experience was priceless. Those guys took time to tell stories, take pictures, and speak to everyone. They were and always will be the best and my favorites.

Just as the other folks have written for every rude player there is most likely a decent one. I hope we all meet more decent ones than not.

Later Gang,
Submarine Shane (Man on the Street)

23 02 2009
gobigpelf34

wow, pardon my french but what an asshole! I was just about to write out a ttm envolope to send tony, screw that idea.

On the other hand, I was in NYC and went to the MLB allstar fanfest at the javits center and gary carter was there, he was signing free autos and after like 6 hours waiting on line, it was well worth it to meet a mets great! He was nice and shook my hand, and took a picture!
Great guy=Carter
Asshole=Tony Perez

16 03 2009
collectedstudio

Hey, Mario I made reference to this incident in my youtube video

Just thought you might get a kick out of it.

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