Hall ceremony full of tears, wisdom

Most intriguing interview

Jane Forbes Clark filled the time during TV commercials asking Hank Aaron, Bud Selig and Barry Larkin a series of questions in an "Around the Bases'' segment. Among the questions posed: "If you could pick three people to have dinner with, who would you choose?''

Aaron mentioned his mother, father and Dr. Martin Luther King, while Selig picked Franklin D. Roosevelt, Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson.

Larkin, taking a less traditional approach, selected Jackie Robinson, President Barack Obama and Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors.

Larkin also threw the audience a bit of a curve when asked to recall his favorite baseball memory.

"As a kid who grew up in Cincinnati, it would have to be Pete Rose breaking [Ty Cobb's] hit record,'' Larkin said.

That's the same Pete Rose who has been banned from the game since 1989 and can't be voted on for the Hall of Fame by the baseball writers because he's on the ineligible list. Rose is a man whose name tends to make some people in Cooperstown squirm whenever he's mentioned on induction weekend.

Best running joke

Glavine and Maddux both had a little fun at the expense of former teammate John Smoltz, who was at the proceedings as an analyst for the MLB Network. They both lobbied for Smoltz to be voted into the Hall when he goes on the ballot next winter, while simultaneously throwing a jab or two his way.

"Greg, as a teammate and a friend, you made me better through our conversations,'' Glavine said. "You made me better through watching you pitch. And you made me wealthier with all the money we took from Smoltzie on the golf course.''

Maddux, in turn, reflected on his early years in the Atlanta organization as a time spent "winning division titles, watching the kids grow up, and watching John Smoltz's hairline recede.''

Best pre-speech advice

Whether it's in the lobby of the Otesaga Hotel or on the bus on the way over to the Clark Sports Center, the incoming Hall of Famers invariably receive advice from the established members on how to keep their nerves in check or stay on message.

"Johnny Bench gave me a tip,'' Torre said. "He said, 'Don't look at your family, or you'll cry.'' I tested him. I looked. But I had the last speech, so I was already dried out by then.''

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