Long before the festivities were televised and about 10-15 years before the number of autograph seekers started to become “a crowd”, young fans could come to Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown and gather signatures of men who competed alongside the likes of Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Many were elderly, but if they could make it, they surely wouldn’t miss the induction of their latest group of peers.
In 1970, Three Rivers Stadium was brand new and Roberto Clemente was still playing. In Illinois, ten-year-old Pirates fan Mike Morsch and his family would pack up that summer and head to Cooperstown, by way of Pittsburgh, for a baseball-themed vacation.
A hunt for autographs on baseball cards from members of the two teams playing in the annual Hall of Fame exhibition game led to a meeting with a kind man who gave him a lifetime memory in a matter of a few moments.
Morsch, now executive editor and digital news director of Packet Media Group, wrote about that special morning 45 years ago.