July 29, 2002
- The relentless booing of Bud Selig every time he spoke to the crowd. (Selig normally presents and reads the plaque to the new Hall of Famer, but this year, for some reason, he yielded to Ozzie's son.).
- Stan Musial on harmonica leading the crowd in "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
- My brother's unexpected South Park sighting: Parker/Stone's BASEketball listed in the "Baseball in the Movies" exhibit.
- Talking baseball with the knowledgeable fans in the Records Room.
- As always, the saddest sight: an angry Pete Rose, sitting in the back of his shop, waiting for a stranger to either pay for his autograph or scream, "We still love you, Pete!"
- Buying an early-80's-vintage Seattle Mariners garbage can in my favorite souvenir shop.
And direct from the first batch of postcards, the text of Ozzie Smith's Hall of Fame plaque:
Osborne Earl SmithWho's on tap for next year? Certainly Eddie Murray, probably Ryne Sandberg and Lee Smith, hopefully Gary Carter. There looks to be some fairly lackluster inductions on the way (2004: Dennis Eckersley and Paul Molitor; 2005: Wade Boggs; 2006: Um...nobody? Catchup on guys like Bert Blyleven, Jim Rice and Goose Gossage?) until 2007, when Tony Gwynn, Mark McGwire, and Cal Ripken, Jr. become eligible. That should be quite the show.
"Ozzie" "The Wizard"
San Diego, N.L. 1978-1981
St. Louis, N.L. 1982-1996
Revolutionized defensive play at shortstop with his acrobatic fielding and artistic turning of double plays. The 13-time Gold Glove winner set six major league fielding records among shortstops, including most assists, double plays and chances accepted. An effective offensive player, he accumulated 2,460 hits and stole 580 bases. Named to 15 All-Star teams. His relentless pursuit of perfection helped lead the Cardinals to three World Series, including a 1982 championship. His congenial personality, consummate professionalism and trademark back flip made "The Wizard" a fan favorite.
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