Hall of Fame recap – Saturday autographs

31 07 2016

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).

Doubleday Cafe

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.

signing - Griffey Sr

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.

Tunnicliff Inn - the pit

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.

signing - Winfield

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”.

signing - Carlton

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.

signing - Carew

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.

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