Joe Galiardi has been collecting autographs for more than 20 years, and he’s had a ball doing it. Literally. Actually, he’s had 231 balls – and counting – doing it.
Galiardi, you see, is a collector of signed golf balls. The retired PR professional’s first dimpled endeavor, inked by Arnold Palmer, remains his favorite. But that one, like the 230 others – including balls signed by the likes of Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, Joe Paterno and Tiger Woods – has its own unique story to tell.
And it is those stories that provided the inspiration behind Galiardi’s new book Hooked on Autographs, a 154-page collection of the Pennsylvania native’s favorite trials, tribulations and anecdotes from two decades tracking true American legends.
“[The book] shares my trials and triumphs of collecting autographed golf balls over the past 20 years,” Galiardi says. “In 16 spirited chapters, I describe many of my favorite tales in garnering and gathering signed golf balls from best-loved golfers, famous entertainers, notable sports figures and U.S. presidents. With titles such as ‘The King,’ ‘Chi Chi,’ ‘Presidents of the United States,’ and ‘Tricks of the Trade,’ I share my infectious passion for the enthralling hobby of collecting autographs.
“I might add that Chapter 11 is titled, ‘My Dream Eighteen.’ This chapter features my favorite 18 signed golf balls from individuals who have distinguished themselves by either achieving greatness in their profession or finding fame for accomplishing a heroic feat that will live on in the annals of sports.”
It’s important to note Galiardi is donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Hooked on Autographs to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., which financially assists severely wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
— Tracy Hackler