Michal Sam, the openly gay St. Louis Rams rookie defensive end, is doing what countless pro athletes have done before him, and even more will do after: Attend card-signing events. Dozens of these events take place across the country each year, where current and former athletes will sign trading cards, footballs, helmets and other memorabilia for a fee.
Ross Forman has been embedded in the signature world for years and had this account for Sports Collectors Digest of a 15-year-old who wanted Sam's autograph:
"I had the helmet for a couple of years. My dad got it for me, and it was under my bed," said Lansing, 15, who will be a sophomore in the fall at Francis Parker High School in Chicago. "I thought, ‘There's not a better person to get signed on a Rams helmet than Michael Sam. He's one of their most historic players in franchise history.
"To meet someone like that is pretty cool. He's a trivia question, so people will always remember him. I think it's a great piece to add to my autograph collection, and very unique."
Sam signed autographs for one hour, alongside 25 former Chicago Cubs players who also were signing during the event's Salute to 100 Years of Wrigley.
So cool that a 15-year-old kid understands the significance of Michael Sam.
Next week Sam will accept ESPN's Arthur Ashe Courage Award before heading to St. Louis Rams training camp the following week.