There’s a little bit of Albuquerque in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
And Jeff Idelson didn’t exactly have to work very hard to get it there.
Idelson, the co-founder of Grassroots Baseball, an organization geared at celebrating and growing amateur baseball, retired just last month as President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
While preparing for an event at Isotopes Park on Wednesday morning with two dozen local kids who got free gloves and played catch in the stadium with Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, Idelson shared a story about an interaction he had with Albuquerque’s Alex Bregman on Nov. 1, 2017.
“When the Astros won the World Series, my job with the Hall of Fame, part of it was getting artifacts for the museum,” Idelson said. “If you recall, Alex was incredible defensively in that (2017) World Series. He did well offensively, but he was ridiculous defensively.”
Bregman had several defensive gems in the Houston Astros’ 4-3 Series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers that fall.
“So I go up in the clubhouse, and you start to realize how old you are when they start calling you sir. I say, ‘Hello, Alex.’ He says, ‘Hello, sir.’ I ask if he ever heard of Brooks Robinson. He said, ‘Are you kidding? That’s one of my dad’s favorite players.’ So I told him that he reminded me of what Brooks Robinson did in the 1970 World Series and we have his glove on display from the 1970 World Series.”
That was when the not-so-difficult negotiations came into play.
“I said, ‘Would you consider…’ He was like, ‘Say no more.’ And gave me his glove. He said if it was going to be with Brooks Robinson’s (glove), there’s nothing better.”