Mike Francesa is not trying to take money out of the working man’s pocket any way that he can.
The WFAN legend — likely spurred by nemesis Craig Carton’s on-air troll — set the record straight about his scheduled appearance at a sports card convention in September at the Jersey Shore. And heavy emphasis on scheduled, because the big guy just had the thing canceled like the New York City Marathon.
“I have never and would never charge anybody for an autograph or a photo,” Francesa tweeted. “This was to be an appearance, nothing more. I get requests to my home daily and gladly sign and return. That will never change.”
Followed by: “I spoke to the promoter. The appearance had been setup through a third party and something was lost in the translation. The event, where I was going to appear, has been cancelled. The promoter was very understanding of my position. I don’t charge for autographs or photos.”
The cliff notes: Francesa was set to be at the New Jersey Sports Card Convention on Sept. 16 in Freehold. People have to pay $16 to get in, according to the venue website. And to participate in Francesa’s “first-ever public signing,” the listed prices on the website were as followed: A $50 autograph on any item, $75 for a photo taken with a “professional photographer” and a $99 VIP package that includes the professional photographer, an 8×10 photo and an autograph.
Carton, doing his final WFAN show Friday, was made aware of Francesa’s gig. And he took a few mild shots at the big guy for it. At which point Francesa responded, albeit without acknowledging why. And now the whole thing is kaput. The Francesa part, at least. We assume the rest of the event will still go on. They have a few months to replace Francesa’s star power, after all.
What we presume happened here: The powers-that-be at the NJSCC paid Francesa a flat fee to show up and then set pose and signature prices at a level where they had a chance to make a profit off his presence. Which is what happens with any celebrity that does this kind of work. But Francesa is not going to be part of that racket. Kings stay kings.