A couple of days ago I posted about the morning at the Baseball Hall of Fame. That was the only time we actually went into the museum during the weekend. As I mentioned – that went to lunch time when we went and grabbed lunch at Doubleday Cafe (my favorite restaurant in Cooperstown).
After that, I was going to get a few autographs. I started off with Ken Griffey Sr. It seemed like a good idea on the weekend his son goes in. I had him sign a ball and put “1980 AS MVP”. Senior was signing at the shop where Pete Rose always signs on this weekend, and all I can say is that it wasn’t a great experience. Griffey, Tony Perez and Rose were all there. Griffey basically refused to acknowledge people who paid to get his autograph. Almost every guy who has signed gives you a smile or something – he just didn’t want to talk to anybody. There was some kind of mixup where he maybe wasn’t supposed to do an inscription, but the ticket guy had said it was $10 extra (which is what I paid). I wonder if he had some kind of agreement with Rose where he had to sign but didn’t want to. Or had some issue with the promoter. I would understand why he wouldn’t want to do an autograph thing that weekend – his son didn’t and I get spending that with family. Anyways, like I said he was in some kind of a pissy mood and it wasn’t a good experience. I wish I hadn’t paid for an autograph in that situation. My wife was with me and she thought it was weird, so it wasn’t just me.
The Hit King gave me a wink on the way out – I was decked up in Reds gear – so on some level Pete went up a notch in my book. I don’t agree with a lot of what Pete has done, but I always he does realize the importance of fans.
The other 3 autographs I got were much better experiences. I collect autographs of players who are members of the 500 home run, 3,000 hit, or 300 win clubs. Someday I want to put them all in a table of something where I can display them. I’ve still got a number of living players left, so I get them when I can – a few a year. This is the event where I pick some up for 2016! All the autographs were at the MAB Celebrity Services event at Tunnicliff Inn.
First up was Dave Winfield. I was telling a few buddies on a Whats app conversation I was going to get his autograph, and a few were adamant he’s the best athlete of all time. I would go Bo Jackson, but I get the point – drafted in the 3 major North American sports, and making the HOF in one of them – certainly gets you there. Winfield was very nice; I didn’t chat with him for very long, but I did mention the point my friends had and he chuckled. He was friendly.
Next up was Steve Carlton. He didn’t have too bad of a line, though I don’t think he does a lot of shows like this so I was glad to get his autograph. Carlton was also very nice – I actually couldn’t remember his strikeout total and he kind of chuckled. I’ve read he didn’t get along with the media, but he was friendly too. I walked by Johnny Bench on the way out, and he gave me a “Go Reds”.
Last up for me was Rod Carew, whose line was very long. He’s had some health issues, and is eventually going to need a heart transplant. I was surprised he was signing, but I wished him luck with his health – he was very friendly as well though his line was so long I pretty much got my auto, shook his hand and left.
So that was the autographs for the day. One thing I’ll note – we got a great place for the weekend. We rented a room that was part of a 3 bedroom house called the “1797 house”. I thought originally that had something to do with the address, but my wife quickly pointed out it was built in 1797. So it wasn’t what I’d call up-to-date amenities, but it worked. It was a block from Main Street, on the same block that the Hall is on Main Street, so I could have hit the Tunnicliff Inn with a 7-iron and the Hall with a driver from my house. Don’t worry, I left the golf clubs at home 🙂
This was helpful – I could take the balls I got autographed back to our room in between. If my wife bought a shirt for the kids, she could do the same. If we wanted to run out and grab waters or Gatorade – or Advil for the hangovers – it was easy. This level of convenience was invaluable.