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  #1  
Old 01-23-2015, 08:38 AM
keating3620 keating3620 is offline
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Default Who's the earliest HOF you met in person?

Satchel Paige.

I was a kid in the late 70's. My dad took me to a minor league baseball team banquet he was at. It was a couple of years before he died.

I think I had him sign a ball and then played with it it the back yard
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2015, 08:46 AM
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For me it was Eddie Mathews. He was signing cards at a local card show when I was around 10...but I didn't have any of his cards and also didn't have the money for the autograph.

I simply waived as I saw Eddie leaving. At which point he came over, shook my hand and asked me what I was holding (it was the flyer for the show). He took out a blue sharpie, signed his name, shook my hand again and told me to enjoy the show

Scott

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  #3  
Old 01-23-2015, 08:48 AM
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Johnny Bench
Also met Pete Rose the same day, not a HOF though...
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  #4  
Old 01-23-2015, 08:56 AM
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Default Casey Stengel

An in person autograph obtained in 1957.



He was pretty old then, 67.

I'm pretty old now, 67.
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2015, 09:03 AM
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Johnny Mize at Gloria Rothstein Card Show. I was talking to him and asked him a question. He seemed to be completely ignoring me. Then I got to thinking the guy is 80 years old maybe he is hard of hearing
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2015, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbmd View Post
An in person autograph obtained in 1957.



He was pretty old then, 67.

I'm pretty old now, 67.
Great Share, Frank...just remember 'not to be (67) again.'

As for me, I'm sure Aaron, Mathews, Niekro, and Torre were in the dughout when cousin Whitlow lifted me down from the stands on Opening Day, 1966, but I was far too starry eyed to recognize them. . and that was my one and only 'known' meet...guess I need to go to some card shows, huh?
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2015, 09:14 AM
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Luke Appling late 1980's, he was very nice.
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2015, 09:25 AM
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Mantle and Ford. They used to tour as an attraction to minor league baseball parks and sign autographs. One of the cooler things I got to do is Bob Feller would actually pitch to you for $2 with contributions going to youth organizations. Blooped a single over second base at the Charleston Charlies game in 1976 or so. I am 1-for-1 career vs. hall of famers.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2015, 09:52 AM
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Paige, DiMaggio in 70s
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2015, 10:09 AM
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I remember in the early 90s I was at a Gloria Rothstein show with my dad and Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, and Joe DiMaggio were all signing at the same show. We didn't get any autographs, but my dad talked the attendant into letting us into the room for a minute so we could see them.

I was maybe 9 or 10 at the time.
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2015, 10:14 AM
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Mantle and Whitey in 1987.
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2015, 10:18 AM
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I met Bob Feller at a card show just outside of New Orleans back in about '89.

And though he won't ever make the Hall of Fame, I likely saw Will Clark play in a high school game or two back when I was still on my first set of teeth.
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2015, 10:29 AM
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Back in the early '90's the Congressman who represents the Cooperstown area had a fundraiser every year during induction weekend and he would bring in several HOFers to meet and sign autographs. The best person to interact with was Harmon Killibrew but the oldest was Bob Feller. The man's grip even in his later years was freaking amazing and he was always cordial. Not a HOFer but a very cool person who would go was Buck O'Neil. The worst was Gaylord Perry.
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2015, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Hal View Post
Back in the early '90's the Congressman who represents the Cooperstown area had a fundraiser every year during induction weekend and he would bring in several HOFers to meet and sign autographs. The best person to interact with was Harmon Killibrew but the oldest was Bob Feller. The man's grip even in his later years was freaking amazing and he was always cordial. Not a HOFer but a very cool person who would go was Buck O'Neil. The worst was Gaylord Perry.
Did he spit on you?
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2015, 10:43 AM
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Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ryne Sandberg, Fergie Banks all at Cubs Fantasy camp
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  #16  
Old 01-23-2015, 10:54 AM
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Default Jackie Robinson

At the Martin Luther King, Jr. East-West All Star Classic (1970) at Dodger Stadium. Had to cut across the section that separated us, as the usher wasn't letting anyone down the aisle.
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  #17  
Old 01-23-2015, 10:56 AM
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I first met Phil Rizzuto in 1953....he was my nearby neighbor (2 blocks away) in Hillside, NJ. Phil would drive his 1953 Nash Metropolitan past our home on his way to Yankee Stadium.







Visited with Johnny Mize in his hometown (Demorest, Georgia). A really great guy to talk baseball with. One of my all-time favorite Yankees players.






Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio....and, many, many more HOFers....that I have stories of.



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  #18  
Old 01-23-2015, 11:02 AM
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Default Muisal & Appling

Stan Musial and others....(Appling & Aparicio I think) were at an armory in Manhattan at a card show in the 1970s.

My grandfather used to send Stan Musial Maple Syrup that he tapped from Vermont in the 1950s.

I mentioned this to Stan and he remembered my grandpa. That was pretty cool.

Peace, Mike
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  #19  
Old 01-23-2015, 11:21 AM
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I met Clark Griffith in 1955, and remember it very well. I was nine.
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  #20  
Old 01-23-2015, 11:35 AM
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On 2 or 3 occasions, in the mid-60s we would wait for Roberto Clemente to exit from the Forbes Field press gate after a game. We would walk with him to his car parked at an Atlantic gas station a block or so away.
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  #21  
Old 01-23-2015, 11:41 AM
PMSeevers PMSeevers is offline
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Mickey Mantle. He was at a signing somewhere in Cincy. My grandpa took me and we got a ball signed. Still have it. I was nine at the time and can still remember the size of his hands when he shook mine. Great memories and great thread!
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  #22  
Old 01-23-2015, 11:56 AM
btcarfagno btcarfagno is offline
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Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Willie Mays, Bob Feller would be the older ones. Mel Allen as well.

I struck out Craig Biggio when he was in college and I was in high school. Their field over at Seton Hall had been deluged by rain that night and they used the field that our town team (in South Orange) used as a backup. We were practicing and they came in and we broke out into a scrimmage. I struck out Biggio before Mo Vaughn hit a ball so hard off me that I ducked. It went over the center field fence and I don't think it got higher than 20 feet the whole time.

This same field was used for a Babe Ruth/Lou Gehrig barnstorming event. There was a ball at auction recently signed by both with writing on it stating it was from that game in South Orange. Tried to get it but it went too high.

Tom C
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  #23  
Old 01-23-2015, 11:56 AM
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Hank Aaron and Tom Glavine. Met them both back in the late 80s/early 90s when my Dad took me to a card show in Richmond, VA. They were doing a signing and I got two balls signed. Unfortunately, the balls have toned pretty badly, but still have the memories.
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  #24  
Old 01-23-2015, 12:11 PM
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Default A couple of Football legends

I haven't met any baseball hall of famers. The most famous baseball player I met was Paul ONeil. The oldest athletes I have ever met were football legends Deacon Jones and Merlin Olsen when I was a senior at Richmond High School in Indiana. They were super nice, but I did not know who they were at the time. If I knew then what I know now, I would have had so many questions.
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  #25  
Old 01-23-2015, 12:22 PM
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I've never met a HOFer or a non-HOFer. I need to get a life...
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  #26  
Old 01-23-2015, 12:23 PM
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I went to Ted Williams Baseball Camp in the mid 70's. My friend and I were walking back from a game to our bunk house and Ted was strolling across the field by himself straight towards us. My friend had a ball in his glove, I only had some paper, but Ted signed both. When the other kids saw Ted signing, they came running over but Ted told them sorry, no more autographs today.

I still have the piece of paper with his signature.
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  #27  
Old 01-23-2015, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darwinbulldog View Post
Did he spit on you?
Ha! At least that would constitute a form of interaction. He just sat there looking at his watch. I wonder why his cheating doesn't come up more often during the steroid discussions...
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  #28  
Old 01-23-2015, 12:40 PM
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When I was a kid my dad used to take me to Old Timers Day at Yankee Stadium and we would always sit behind the announcers booth. After the game many old timers would come up to the booth to chat on the air. I once met, and got the autographs of, Dizzy and Daffy Dean. Unfortunately, the ball is long gone.
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Old 01-23-2015, 12:45 PM
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For seven years, I was a tournament director for a celebrity golf tournament in Pittsburgh, where I live. Most of the guys were veterans or guys that made a few All-Star teams, but my lone HOF experience from it was Bill Mazeroski. Really shy/quiet guy, but extremely nice.
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  #30  
Old 01-23-2015, 12:48 PM
SteveMitchell SteveMitchell is offline
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Default Earl Averill in 1973 at his home was my first HoF'er

Visiting Earl Averill at his Snohomish, Washington home for the purpose of interviewing him for a Sports Scoop magazine article in January 1973 was my first meeting of a Hall of Famer - though he was not yet elected to the Hall of Fame.

At Earl's 1975 Hall of Fame induction a variety of older HoF'ers were met and/or spoken with (briefly) including: Edd Roush, Burleigh Grimes and Rube Marquard, among others.

A 1977 Washington State Sports Collectors Association show featured Earl Averill (HOF 1975), Johnny Mize (1981) and Indian Bob Johnson (20??) signing free autographs. And a 1982 Connecticut show headlined Ted Williams (reportedly his first-ever show) but Duke Snider stopped by to see Ted and should-be HoF'er Smoky Joe Wood was brought to the show by his son to visit with Ted.

Ah... the memories.
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Old 01-23-2015, 12:53 PM
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Ralph Kiner in 1979. I was friends with one of his daughters. We went to several Mets games together, sat on the Kiner's Korner set then had dinner. Saw him put down 6 double scotch's is about 20 minutes one time. Great guy, super friendly and as you can imagine great stories.
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Old 01-23-2015, 12:58 PM
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I think we have a winner. How could anyone beat Hank Thomas' meeting with Clark Griffith. He has an Old Judge card for god's sake.
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:00 PM
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Hubbell, Gehringer and DiMaggio
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  #34  
Old 01-23-2015, 01:21 PM
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For me it was Jesse Haines. As a High School senior in Dayton, Ohio in 1970 I was writing a history paper on baseball that required 3 primary sources. He lived in Clayton, just a few miles away. I spent about an hour with him at his home--he couldn't have been more gracious. And for the record, he insisted that Alex wasn't drunk in the 26 WS Game 6. The other two interviewees were Roy Highes and Jim Fridley, both in the area at that time, and equally pleasant
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  #35  
Old 01-23-2015, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
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I think we have a winner. How could anyone beat Hank Thomas' meeting with Clark Griffith. He has an Old Judge card for god's sake.
Griffith was born in 1869. Anyone met someone born in the 19th century lately? Way cool, Hank.
As for me, exchanged a few pleasantries with Hank Greenberg on the sidewalk outside of Yankee Stadium around 1957 or so. Didn't specifically "meet" but more "interacted" with old-timers like Stengel, Dickey and Rizzuto and just about any future American League HOFer of that era (Berra, Ford, Aparicio, Kaline etc) whose autograph I sought.
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:51 PM
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About 9 years ago, I was fortunate enough to have dinner with Fergie Jenkins in the very small town in which I live - Binbrook Ontario (population about 1000). One of his daughters lives in town and he stopped by during a visit to the local restaurant (The Bin) as a favor to the owner (a friend of his daughter) and any autograph proceeds to go to our local food bank. Super nice guy who was great with the kids. The picture kills me - my youngest son (wearing the Cubs alternate jersey) now towers over me at 6'5". I'm 6'1" ... Lol.

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  #37  
Old 01-23-2015, 02:08 PM
Peter W Thomas Peter W Thomas is offline
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Default Warren Spahn

Met Warren Spahn at Earl Torgerson's house across the street from my parents house in 1950 or 1951. Nice guy and he autographed a card that I still have. With today's pay checks it would never have happened.
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  #38  
Old 01-23-2015, 03:37 PM
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When I was 6 my mom wrote a commercial starring Brooks Robinson and took me to the commercial shoot in Florida for two days to meet him. I still have an autographed baseball from the day. Only bad part was that when I got home I learned that my pet guinea pig had died.
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  #39  
Old 01-23-2015, 04:06 PM
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I've led a very meager (baseball-speaking) life.

I guess the closes I've gotten is FUTURE HOF'er Griffey Jr. in '91 at a card show in Boston.

My father pitched AAA for the Colt 45.s

I did meet my great grandmother and great aunt who were both born in the early 1890's...
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:07 PM
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Yogi in the early sixties, when he was peddling Yoo-hoo down at the local grocery store in Little Falls, NJ. Get in line, buy some Yoo-hoo from Yogi.

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  #41  
Old 01-23-2015, 04:22 PM
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He wasn't a Hall of Famer at the time,but I met Ryne Sandberg when he played at AA Reading.He took the time to talk to me, and signed my glove.His signature was a lot better then.
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  #42  
Old 01-23-2015, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darwinbulldog View Post
I met Bob Feller at a card show just outside of New Orleans back in about '89.

And though he won't ever make the Hall of Fame, I likely saw Will Clark play in a high school game or two back when I was still on my first set of teeth.
I played against Will Clark when I was in high school. I actually had a higher batting average than he did. Of course, mine were singles and his were often not singles. He got college scholarship offers. I did not.

My earliest HOF encounter was in 1980. I was a teenager and my dad's boss got me in to meet the Orioles and the Yankees in a preseason game in the Superdome. I got to meet Yogi, Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, and Reggie Jackson (plus Mike Flanagan, Bob Watson, Ron Guidry, and Jim Spencer). It was a blast!

In 1976 I got to go to the Pete Maravich Basketball Camp at the University of New Orleans, so if we aren't specific about baseball, he was the first HOFer I met.
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  #43  
Old 01-23-2015, 05:54 PM
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Default Met two...

My grandmother was good friends with George "High Pockets" Kelly and his wife. They invited her to his HOF Induction ceremony in 1973. She went and brought me back an autographed program with a few other HOFs... (as soon as I find it, I'll scan and post)... I went over to his house later that year (I was 11 years old at the time) and he told me some amazing stories of the 1921 NY Giants... also told a doozy of a story involving a fight between Casey Stengel and Leo Durocher... Stengel was kind of a mentor to Kelly... First time I recall hearing the term "son of a bitch." (Kelly was NOT fond of the Lip.). I also got a tour of his trophy room and he gave me an autographed baseball. Pretty cool.

I also met Willie Mays at the San Jose Airport. We talked for about 20 minutes before the plane boarded. This was around 1989... He talked about how much he liked Kevin Mitchell, talked about the current Giants. He also recounted some stories from his past (talking about how that great catch in the '54 World Series wasn't nearly his best... and said preventing the runner from tagging up was the biggest thing.) I know he has a history of people saying he was ornery, but he was awesome to me.

I guess (according to some)... I met the greatest and the worst HOFers ever.
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  #44  
Old 01-23-2015, 08:23 PM
Tom Hufford Tom Hufford is offline
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I attended the 1971 Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown, my first trip there (I was 21). After the HOF activities were over, I met with 15 other guys in the HOF Library for the Founding meeting of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) (and if you're not a member yet, you should join!).

I spent quite a bit of time sitting in the lobby of the Otesaga Hotel, where the players stayed, and I met dozens of oldtimers. I was in awe.

I met four Hall of Famers born before 1890 - Rube Marquard, Harry Hooper, Zach Wheat and Stan Coveleski. Marquard was the oldest at 84 , born 10-9-1886.

But the oldest former player I met was Larry Gardner. He was there to see his old Red Sox teammate Harry Hooper inducted. Gardner was born 5-13-86, about five months before Marquard, and made his ML debut in June 1908, three months before Rube.

I sat for a while in the hotel lobby talking to Marquard, when he said "Are you going to be here for awhile?" When I assured him that I would be he said "I'm going to run up to my room and get something, wait for me til I get back." In a few minutes he did return, carrying a large old scrapbook of his career. We sat for several hours while he went through the scrapbook, telling me stories about the games and the many guys he played with.

Can you imagine something like that happening today? I've always appreciated the time that he gave me, and I corresponded with him up until his death. I wish that I had gotten a photo of us together. I did get a photo of me with Harry Hooper and Ernie Shore that year, however, that I later sent and got signed by both.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:25 PM
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Now that is a great story Tom. WOW!
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hufford View Post
I attended the 1971 Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown, my first trip there (I was 21). After the HOF activities were over, I met with 15 other guys in the HOF Library for the Founding meeting of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) (and if you're not a member yet, you should join!).

I spent quite a bit of time sitting in the lobby of the Otesaga Hotel, where the players stayed, and I met dozens of oldtimers. I was in awe.

I met four Hall of Famers born before 1890 - Rube Marquard, Harry Hooper, Zach Wheat and Stan Coveleski. Marquard was the oldest at 84 , born 10-9-1886.

But the oldest former player I met was Larry Gardner. He was there to see his old Red Sox teammate Harry Hooper inducted. Gardner was born 5-13-86, about five months before Marquard, and made his ML debut in June 1908, three months before Rube.

I sat for a while in the hotel lobby talking to Marquard, when he said "Are you going to be here for awhile?" When I assured him that I would be he said "I'm going to run up to my room and get something, wait for me til I get back." In a few minutes he did return, carrying a large old scrapbook of his career. We sat for several hours while he went through the scrapbook, telling me stories about the games and the many guys he played with.

Can you imagine something like that happening today? I've always appreciated the time that he gave me, and I corresponded with him up until his death. I wish that I had gotten a photo of us together. I did get a photo of me with Harry Hooper and Ernie Shore that year, however, that I later sent and got signed by both.
Wow.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:20 PM
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Don Drysdale outside of Busch Stadium II after a Cardinals v. Dodgers game sometime in 1988 (I think)

While everyone else mobbed the likes of Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser & Steve Sax, Drysdale walked right by and I guess nobody else recognized him. Alas I had no Drysdale cards with me but he was more than happy to sign my ticket stub from the game. I was 15 and it was the first time I had met a Hall Of Fame player & I was a little nervous but he was very gracious & kind.

Scott
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:27 PM
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Craig Biggio. We played little league together. I was probably about 8 years old. In HS he was the best Football player in Suffolk County. A great athlete.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:39 PM
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I met Ralph Kiner in an elevator in New York after a Mets game. Then he happened to be sitting at a table next to us in the restaurant we ate at. I was there with a friend and his parents. My friends dad encouraged me to go over and ask for an autograph. The only thing I had on me was the program from the game. Mr. Kiner was polite and gracious in signing even though I interrupted his meal. It was around 1990 or so.
I got the ball in the photo signed TTM by him about two months before he passed away.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:42 PM
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Warren Spahn, Brooks Robinson, Bob Gibson, Harmon Killebrew, Eddie Mathews, Yogi Berra, Duke Snider, Phil Rizzuto, Gaylord Perry, Bob Feller, Ernie Banks, Whitey Ford, Sparky Lyle...

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