JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

The saddest of sights

Earlier today I took my 4-year-old son to a baseball memorabilia show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. Included in the $7 aduly admission was a free autograph from LaMarr Hoyt. This was a strange lure, because I can’t imagine too many attendees cared about getting a signature from a 98-68 lifetime pitcher who had one magical Cy Young season back in 1983.

But I digress. The show featured a bunch of old baseball players—Hoyt, Tommy John, Jerry Grote, Steve Garvey, Luis Tiant—signing merchandise, as well as Bob Wolff, the legendary 90-year-old sportscaster who served as the voice of the Washington Senators from 1947-60. Wolff was there peddling copies of his new book, Bob Wolff’s Complete Guide to Sportscasting, and I was happy to see a line stretching, oh, 70 deep, waiting for his John Hancock.

Only they weren’t.

The line was for Tiant—old and young, holders of pictures and balls and programs. Wolff’s table happened to be stationed adjacent to Tiant’s space, but it was empty. Not one person interested in meeting/buying the book from a sports legend.

It broke my heart—and reminded me, yet again, why I loathe doing book signings.