I received a Ti-Cat souvenier hat that is enscribed “LB COACH? on one side and “RIVERS? on the other. On the underside of the bill is the autograph “Thanks for everything? signed by what looks to be “ Coach Ali? or “Phi? and finishing with “/97?.
I can’t find any reference to a coach named Rivers, and nothing shows up in the 1997 rosters or the sweater numbers 97 to a player named Rivers.
Don’t know if I am seeing what is written on the cap, or seeing what I want it to be, but the “Deke? would fit. The autograph would be, “Thanks for Everything Coach Deke/97?. The ‘k’ in ‘Thanks’ looks to match what would be the ‘k’ in ‘Deke’. I think The embossed lettering for “LB COACH? and “RIVERS? was added after the hat was sold, because it goes right through the tag. Maybe the guy who bought it?
Anyway, thanks again to everyone who offered suggestions and possible solutions.