Having a plaque in Cooperstown is nice. The unstated-but-significant financial windfall that comes with being a hall-of-famer could be nicer.
Think Andre Dawson was getting antsy waiting nine years to put "member, Baseball HOF" on his resumé? Putting "member, Baseball HOF" next to his signature is the real prize:
I've always said making the Hall of the Fame is worth a minimum of a million dollars," said Alan (Mr. Mint) Rosen, the renowned "Million Dollar Dealer." "To begin with, guys who were getting $10 per autograph, as Dawson was, immediately jump to $40, but then you have to take into account the greatly increased demand for his autograph. Once you're in the Hall of the Fame there are hundreds of thousands of collectors who have to get your signature on their Hall of Fame pieces - photos, balls, bats, plaque cards whatever."
And don't forget appearance fees. Goose Gossage went from making $3000 for a speaking engagement to $25,000 per appearance overnight. So next time you see Pete Rose or Jose Canseco campaign for induction, don't make the mistake of thinking they want the honor; it's just that they really need the money.