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July 26, 2013

Merchants: Lack of HOF inductees hurts

"We're not sure what to expect. I would say we're not expecting much." -- Barry Renert, Seventh Inning Stretch manager

(Continued)

“Unofficially, just visually, I would say they are down in attendance,” he said. “If they are down, then usually we are down too.”

Added Renert, “We’ve had days this summer that are more like a typical spring day. Nothing exciting, for sure.”

A lack of enthusiasm won’t keep the merchants from trying. Signs have sprung up along Main Street touting major leaguers who will be doing signings this year.

For example, Pete Rose will be in town for four days at Safe at Home. Seventh Inning Stretch will have Ozzie Smith. “We’re only having one this year,” Renert said, “normally we’d do two.”

As the Hall of Fame prepares for a non-headline induction — honoring several men who missed having inductions because of World War II, and publicizing posthumous Pre-Integration era inductees like New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert — Renert said he questions whether the publicity has been enough.

“I heard through the grapevine they were going to have living Hall of Famers read the inductions for the group that never got inducted,” Renert said. “I think it is great. Cal Ripken reading for Lou Gehrig. But I wonder how anyone will know about it?”

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