irty minutes, an hour, even longer, deep into the night.
Bradford pulled a mini-Ripken. The security guards told me they have their orders from coaches on how long to allow Bradford to sign.
When he reached the east-side stands, I asked the guards how long they’d let him go. About two minutes, one of them said.
Bradford stayed 20. He would sign and sign and sign, just as fast as his hand would go, then take a few steps, just to reach some fresh requests, since no one this side of Shelby Davies-Jones could move the human mass.
When Bradford’s watchmen tried to end the session, Bradford shook them off, saying he would stay longer.
"That’s Sam! That’s Sam!” said a kid sitting on his knees atop the wall. "He’s getting closer.”
Alas, Bradford never made it to the boy. Eventually, the guards won out. Bradford’s coaches would have had a conniption had he stayed longer.
This is a guy who, while thriving on the stage, doesn’t enjoy the spotlight. Bradford is visibly uneasy in the public eye.
Yet there Bradford stood Saturday for at least a half-hour, with Sharpies and shouts of his name coming in rapid fire.
"He understands that that’s kind of a role that’s expected,” said Kent Bradford, Sam’s father. "You gotta give your fans some time.”
Well, actually, you don’t have to. But Bradford has chosen to.
"It’s fun,” Kent Bradford said. "Yeah, maybe sometimes it’s inconvenient, but there’s a lot worse problems to have.”
When Signin’ Sammy finally broke free, he had something to say, not loud enough for anyone to hear him above the din, but clearly for us lip-readers.
"I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.