Baseball Hall Pass Means Cushy Retirement

Players battle for spot with political-style campaigns
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 23, 2009 2:40 PM CDT
Baseball Hall of Fame 2009 inductee Jim Rice speaks with reporters on a tour of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Friday, May 15, 2009.   (AP Photo/Tim Roske)
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(Newser) – This weekend, Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice are headed for baseball’s Hall of Fame—and a life without financial headaches, the Wall Street Journal reports. Retired players make money with autographs, speeches, and endorsements, and a place in Cooperstown means their values skyrocket. “‘HoF’ after a signature is the single best predictor of baseball price,” a memorabilia expert says.

The Hall itself gives 30% of its profits from merchandise to inductees. Perhaps tempted by all the cash, ballplayers jockey hard for a spot in Cooperstown: Bert Blyleven is campaigning with the help of a political consultant who aided Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone; ex-Cub Ron Santo has help from Sen. Dick Durbin’s office; and Venezuela hired a DC lobbyist to help its president’s favorite shortstop, Dave Concepcion, get a place.