Hall of Fame weekend better for business
Cooperstown, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Dozens of baseball legends will be descending on Cooperstown for what many consider one of the biggest Hall of Fame induction weekends in years; and the Hall itself is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Every year, Art Shockley starts creating drawings and other pieces of art after the Baseball Hall of Fame inductees are announced. Then, he brings the player cards to Cooperstown. "I've been fortunate enough to create artwork that people seem to enjoy," said Shockley, of Albany, "And as long as I can do that, the money's secondary." Shockley said he doesn't do it for the money, but it can't hurt. "Last year was a slow year, not only for me but for the village," he said. "This year, we hope to have a good crowd." Main Street businesses make about 20 percent of their yearly revenue this weekend. And with so many living inductees in the lineup, fans want to be prepared. "I started collecting their autographs and quite honestly it becomes an addiction," said Charles Moss, who travels all the way from California every year with his teenage son. "This year I've targeted about 15 people I want to have sign bats." Fans make sure they have memorabilia with them at all times, they don't want to miss their chance for an autograph. "You'll see people walking around with bats and baseballs and photos and they hope to run into them on the street," said Vincent Carfagno, owner of Seventh Inning Stretch. "Get an autograph, shake their hand, tell them what a great fan they were." The best way to make it a successful weekend for businesses, owners said, is to make sure the fans are happy. "You're trying to take care of all these people who are here, you want them to have a good time," said Pete Henrici, owner of Baseball Nostalgia. "They're all baseball fans, and they're very passionate and you know if they go home after having a good time, they'll come back."