Speaking from the heart…speeches that went on-and-on, meant allot and forgot some things too.
It was a special Hall of Fame Sunday in tiny Cooperstown, New York, as baseball honored glory guys from the past.
A legendary class admitted before a record crowd of more than 48,000 fans, where baseball was first played, just outside history Doubleday Field.
Joe Torre strolled down memory lane of great players and teams he managed, from longtime coach George Kessell, to the stars in New York he won rings with. His 28-minute ad-lib speed was from the heart. Unfortunately he forgot to give praise to the man who brought him to Yankees Stadium, and spent the money to get his players so they could go get 4-rings.
Hard to believe, he could not remember to sing the praises of George Steinbrenner, even though the relationship ended so badly. He has spent the past 24-hours apologizing for it.
Tony LaRussa, dashing, daring, creative, passionate, independent thinker, talked about all the places he had been, once his .199-hitting career as a player was over. He too forgot to mention White Sox exec Roland Hemond, who gave him his first break.
Bobby Cox was nuts and bolts old school baseball, in his speech, just like he managed. He did salute the 3-great pitchers he had, Maddux-Glavine and Smoltz for the reason he got to Cooperstown.
Greg Maddux was typical, insightful, unexcited, methodical, in his speech, just like he pitched. Part scientist-part artist.
Tom Glavine could have been a hockey player, but became a pitcher, learning his craft throwing snowballs and ice balls as a kid growing up.
Frank Thomas, slugger supreme, named everybody in the Chicago phone directory in his speech of salutes. History should write he played the game the right way, played it hard, played it clean.
In the era just passed, of syringes and sluggers who stained the game, it was refreshing to see honest-good people and players, have their day in the sun. For 1-day the clouds over baseball were pushed away by the specialness of this Hall of Fame class.