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Boston-related observations from Hall of Fame weekend

Jeff Bagwell spoke on Sunday about being a Red Sox fan while growing up and the confidence he gained while playing baseball on Cape Cod.Mike Stobe/Getty Images

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Everything is about Boston. Everything is about the Red Sox. Even on a weekend when the Sox didn’t have anyone getting inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Here are some vignettes from induction weekend, as the family of baseball gathered to enshrine Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Pudge Rodriguez, John Schuerholz, and Bud Selig:

■  Juan Marichal and Rich Gossage spent part of Saturday morning in the village of Cooperstown, sitting side-by-side signing autographs for the benefit of a local fire department. Both looked as if they could still pitch. Marichal pitched for the Red Sox at the end of his career. Gossage had many big moments against the Red Sox. He’s the guy who got Carl Yastrzemski to pop to Graig Nettles to end the 1978 one-game playoff.


■  Dodgers executive/owner Stan Kasten was here to pay his respects to Selig. Kasten was running the Atlanta Hawks when Larry Bird scored 60 against the Hawks in New Orleans in 1985. What did Kasten do with the basketball from that game? “I came into the Celtic locker room and gave it to Larry,’’ he said.

■  Bumping into Craig Biggio in the lobby of the Otesaga Resort Hotel, I had to tell him about our experience at his restaurant/bar at the NFL media hotel headquarters at the Houston Marriott last February. “Biggio’s” was our go-to spot every night in Houston. “Thanks for spending your money there,’’ said the Astros legend.

■  Jim Leyland was a presence at every event. He asked, “How’s my guy, Dave Dombrowski?’’ Informed that things were not going especially well for the Red Sox these days, Leyland said, “They’ll be OK.”

■  Sat in a rocking chair at the Otesaga alongside Peter Gammons for a few hours Saturday and we got to talking about players-vs.-media in the old days when we traveled with the Red Sox. We both remembered an episode on a team bus in Texas when Mike Torrez started giving it to Gammons from the back of the bus. The nonsense stopped when manager Ralph “The Major” Houk stood up in the aisle in the front of the bus, put his hands on the seat backs, and stared toward the back. That was the end of it.


■  “David Price has no idea what I went through,’’ said Wade Boggs, who played 11 calamity-filled seasons in Boston. “ ‘Yuck?’ That’s it?’’ Boggs asked. “Try living in my shoes back then.’’ Boggs showed me a photo of himself from his last trip to Boston, standing next to a statue of Paul Revere. “Two guys famous for riding horses,’’’ Boggs chuckled.

■  At a crowded post-parade reception in the Hall on Saturday, Hall of Famers mingled with guests while sampling hors d’oeuvres and drinking beverages. I noticed that Billerica’s Tom Glavine and Randy Johnson both camped out in front of the plaques. Must be cool to tell friends, “Meet me at my plaque.’’ Johnson is still travelling the world taking photographs and is still in contact with the Globe’s Stan Grossfeld, who gave him some photo pointers here in 2016.

■  Carlton Fisk forever will be frozen in time, waving his home run fair in the sixth game of the 1975 World Series. In Cooperstown, Fisk is a grandfather of 10, shopping in the Hall’s gift shop, picking out mementos for his grandsons and granddaughters. Does he ever come across a late-night cable showing of “Good Will Hunting,” with its famous Robin Williams-Matt Damon scene re-creating Fisk’s foul-pole moment? “I hear the film’s been on a lot lately,’’ said Fisk. “I remember meeting Matt Damon and talking with him about it and I got him to call my daughter and leave a recorded message. That was a big deal.’’


■  Barry Larkin’s son just signed with the Celtics. A 5-foot-11-inch guard who played his college ball at Miami, Shane Larkin has played with the Mavericks, Knicks, and Nets. I told Barry his son will get a fair shake from Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge. “Hope to see a lot of you in Boston this year,’’ said the Hall of Fame shortstop.

■  Saw Jim Rice at the Hall of Fame and reminded him not to be too critical of Red Sox players. Also congratulated Jim Ed on the amount of time he spends in the clubhouse. That seems to be important these days.

■  Tom Werner and Sam Kennedy represented the Red Sox here. Werner should forever be indebted to Selig, who delivered the Sox to John Henry’s group when the sale from the Yawkey Trust went down in December of 2001. During the post-parade party in the Hall on Saturday, Kennedy inadvertently got an earful from a Montreal broadcaster who was unaware he was in the presence of the Sox team president when he spoke with Dennis Eckersley and blasted the Red Sox’ handling of the Price ambush. Kennedy handled it well, as usual.


■  The ghost of the late, great Lou Gorman stalked Cooperstown over the weekend. Inductee Schuerholz cited Gorman as the man who gave him his first job in baseball, and Bagwell — who was traded from the Red Sox to the Astros for Larry Andersen — forever will be Gorman’s biggest mistake.

■  From Bagwell’s acceptance speech: “I was a Red Sox fan my entire life. I dreamed of being a Red Sox . . . I was a dishwasher at Friendly’s at Cape Cod . . . I got a scholarship offer from the University of Hartford . . . I got to play at Cape Cod. I realized I could play, which really helped me . . . I got drafted by the Red Sox, which was a dream come true. I got to Double A and got traded and I had no idea what I was getting into. I said, ‘Who’s Larry Andersen?’ ’’

■  Eckersley is staying quiet for the time being. Over the weekend, he received much support from his friends and fellow members of the Hall. It would be safe to say that Price’s doubling-down performance in front of his locker at Fenway Saturday did not sit well with folks in Cooperstown. Price must think people are stupid. He says he never listens to Sox broadcasts, but at the same time says Eck “has been really good. He’s said a lot of positive stuff’’ since the incident. Eckersley planned to drive home from Cooperstown Sunday night, then appear at Fenway’s Legends Suite on Tuesday. He will be back in the NESN booth Thursday. Despite back-channel efforts by Red Sox and Hall of Fame officials, no “talk it out’’ meeting with Price and Eckersley is scheduled. Why would Eckersley want to meet with a player who is so clearly unapologetic and still ripping Eckersley for not hanging around the Red Sox clubhouse? Stay tuned.


Dan Shaughnessy can be reached at