Stark: Behind the scenes in Cooperstown on Induction Weekend

From SABR member Jayson Stark at The Athletic on July 24, 2019:

It was a room full of legends. And also, I was there.

It was a room packed with the greatest players who ever lived, assembled for a bus ride to Doubleday Field so they could all listen to (gulp) me speak. And that voice inside my overloaded brain had only one question:

What the heck was I doing there?

This was Saturday afternoon at the beautiful Otesaga hotel in Cooperstown. My Hall of Fame speech, to accept the rarified J.G. Taylor Spink Award, was now less than an hour away. I’d spent the last eight weeks writing, rewriting and honing that speech. I’d spent months thinking about this moment. I was ready to deliver the words. But I wasn’t prepared for this.

I wasn’t prepared to look around me and see Sandy Koufax, Brooks Robinson, Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey Jr. and 50 other baseball icons — and digest the idea that in some crazy, incomprehensible way, I was now one of them.

From the moment Wade Boggs walked directly toward me Thursday and said, “Welcome to the club,” that’s how they’d all been treating me, in the coolest, classiest way imaginable. But as I tried to comprehend the magnitude of seeing them all in one place, I found myself inching toward a corner of the room away from them. Then I decided I’d walk down the hall to the men’s room, just to breathe.

Read the full article here (subscription required):

Originally published: July 24, 2019. Last Updated: July 24, 2019.