Free Parking — Then and Now
When we lived down the road from the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies, we offered free parking.
Free — no strings attached — just free.
We generally had quite a few takers. We were, after all, less than half a mile from the site.
But we sold that house in 2006 and my brother, 2 miles from the ceremony site, took up the task.
He offers free parking AND a free shuttle.
He even offered free water and hot dogs, although they didn’t make the sign.
This year, he had only three takers. To be fair, it was a smaller crowd than some of the past years.
Two guys pulled up and asked what the deal was.
“You can park here for free,” my son said, “and we give you a ride to and from the ceremony.”
“What’s the catch?” the man asked.
“No catch. My family just likes to do nice things,” my son replied.
My brother drove them in and gave them a paper with his phone number on it so they could call when they were ready to be picked up. They called when it was over, he picked them up, and that was it.
Really. No strings.
In the next few years, the crowds may be larger.
Derek Jeter will probably set some records. Yankees support their own.
But then, so do the Red Sox, and David Ortiz will probably go in the year after Jeter.
Free parking may be more appealing when no other parking is available.
On an unrelated note, on Induction Sunday, I decided to walk home from church — about 2 1/2 miles — to take some pictures of the crowds.
Of course, I forgot all about the crowds when I walked down the path and instead took pictures of my favorite bridge.
Some things about Cooperstown (or me) don’t change. I’ve been taking pictures of this bridge for years. It’s always beautiful.