I know we’ve all heard the jokes about how devalued Pete Rose’s autograph has become over the years because he legit signs anything and everything all day long in Las Vegas, but that didn’t change the fact that I desperately wanted to meet Charlie Hustle. I’m not looking to sell the goddamn thing, I’m looking for prime memorabilia for The 300s Podcast studio.
They literally have Pete sitting in a glass box like a wax statue in the MGM Grand while staff members stand outside the store to try and reel people in. It’s basically a gigantic memorabilia store that has everything from Pete Rose bats to autographed JFK memorial collages. Then the girl working the cash register sells you a bat or a pic or a ball for Pete to sign and they even let you take a picture with the man himself for a small fee. (Shoutout to Giorgio for ponying up for that.)
You go in and meet the man, the myth, the legend and he’s literally sitting there watching March Madness on a small TV and I start to become a little concerned this dude is not even going to glance at us. His employees must deal with that sense of dread a lot because the girl taking the pics literally says to us “Don’t worry Pete will look up for a pic when he’s done.” Umm thats good I guess?
I ask the baseball legend to sign it to The 300s and he says “…what is that?” I tell him and he signs the pic and I can’t help but wonder how many horrendous things he’s signed under false pretenses. Giorgio insists he’s heard of Pete signing photos that says he killed JFK. But once we took the pic he was actually a pretty good shit, very laid back dude who joked around with us for a couple of minutes. My one regret is not telling him how much I respect him for nearly killing that catcher for a goddamn exhibition game in the 1970 All-Star game. His name is Charlie Hustle so if you’re not prepared for the train, get off the tracks.
He even signed it “Hit King 4256.” What a legend.