This may come as a shock to some but the active player who loves baseball history—and memorabilia—more than any other just might be the first Japanese player who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
According to the New York Times, Ichiro has visited Cooperstown six times. Most of his visits have been very quiet, with Ichiro accompanied by a “small entourage” and marveling at many of the exhibits. He has also spent time in the Hall’s archives, getting a chance to see and appreciate artifacts relating to players from the past, some of whose records he has broken.
Ichiro, who could reach 3,000 hits sometime this coming week, even visited the grave of George Sisler when he was in St. Louis.
The story is well worth a read.
The new 100 Greatest Baseball Autographs book we told you about earlier this month is now on Amazon.
You can order it here.
For youngsters who grew up collecting Ken Griffey Jr.’s baseball cards starting in 1989, Sunday’s induction was almost a religious holiday.
As we wrote shortly after his induction, having Junior’s famous 1989 Upper Deck card in the national spotlight again can only do good things for the hobby. It’s how many fans first connected with him.
The Hall of Fame had a display of Griffey cards on the wall during the weekend, but one was conspicuous by its absence.
Completely unacceptable: Ken Griffey Jr’s HOF display has 12 baseball cards. One of them is NOT his 1989 Upper Deck pic.twitter.com/KLYdKfs6bO
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 24, 2016
Junior’s first card wasn’t the ’89 Upper Deck, though. He appeared on the Bellingham Mariners’ minor league set in 1987. They’re somewhat plentiful and less expensive than you’d think.
In the early and mid-1990s, there were no stars bigger than Junior and Michael Jordan.
When the All-Star Game came to Baltimore in ’93, Jordan was there to take some BP (just for fun at the time)—and even he had to ask Griffey for an autograph.