I expected to have a baseball savvy crowd in the audience asking me astute questions about Blass' life. What I didn't expect were some of the great stories they had for me during the book signing.
I will share my two favorites with you.
A blind man wearing a Pirates shirt was aided by a seeing-eye dog and his Pirate fan companion. They had travelled all the way from Pittsburgh, an 8 hour drive, to attend the 1 PM lecture. The companion said they were glad there would not be another lecture the next morning because they needed to drive right back to Pittsburgh. If the Pirates' brass is reading this blog, they should give these two gentlemen season tickets because they may very well be the best Bucco fans in existence.
The other was a family of three Pirate fans who long ago moved from the Pittsburgh area to the Cooperstown vicinity. The married couple in the group were in attendance when Blass pitched in the Hall of Fame game during his ill-fated 1973 season. The husband said he bumped into Blass on Main Street after Steve's rough outing and Blass, despite being very disappointed about his performance, still took the time to talk with the Pirates' fan.
It was just a taste of what makes Cooperstown the most special place on earth for baseball fans.