In September of 1996, I decided to attend a Royals game with my neighbor Kent. I remember sitting at the game complaining that the crowd was so small. It's not surprising that the crowd was small - baseball was still in the shadows of the '94 strike season and the Royals were among the worst teams in baseball. But in this series against the Twins, KC fans had a chance to see a future hall of famer get his 3,000th hit.
It happened at that game. After Paul Molitor smacked his 3,000th hit, ushers distributed "I Was There" certificates to the small crowd. I still have mine with the ticket stub attached, framed and displayed in my home office.
Now, 7 years later, Molitor has been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
It's starting to make me feel old. To me, Hall of Famers were always great players from the past, who I only saw on grainy old highlight films. Now, Hall of Famers are guys I actually saw play. In my adult life.