The Baseball Hall of Fame has some new members and thousands of fans have some new autographs thanks to another induction weekend in Cooperstown, NY. While some of the visitors were simply there to honor Randy Johnson, Craig Biggio, John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez, hear the speeches and tour baseball’s ultimate shrine, others were there to chase autographs.
Reggie Jackson cussed out one man for trying to get an extra autograph on Friday night, an inglorious moment captured briefly on video and thus, national news. Ex-players can be testy with the overzealous.
The National Sports Collectors Convention has a big roster, but even it can’t match Cooperstown for the number of Hall of Famers gathered in one place. Some will sign cordially when they’re approached but those opportunities are few and far between these days. The former players are ushered between events and public access is sometimes limited. However, if you’re willing to spend a few bucks, there are several organized autograph signings in town where you can acquire what you need—for a price.
It’s a far cry from what it was a few decades ago as one collector recalled for this story in the Daily Star of Oneonta which chronicled changes in the Cooperstown experience.