City Paper is not for tourists
Elgin Baylor, likely the greatest athlete this city ever produced, has no presence in his hometown.
When he left for Idaho in 1954, he really left. The NBA All-Timer, Spingarn hero and D.C. playground legend almost never makes appearances in a place where men of a certain age and race regard him as a superhero.
So I was surprised to learn that Baylor was scheduled to be close by last weekend, at an autograph extravaganza at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly.
And, get this, he showed up!
“Yes, Elgin did come,” says Marco Rol, whose company, Collectors Showcase of America, put on the showcase.
Other famous sports stars from days of yore were on the Dulles bill—-among them Art Monk, Mia Hamm, Johnny Bench, Wade Boggs, Steve Carlton, Andre Dawson, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg, Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, Clyde Drexler, Jerry Lucas, Bill Sharman, and James Worthy.
But, the rarity of a Baylor sighting made his autograph, which went from $25-75, a top attraction.
“For advance ticket sales,” Roll told me this week, “only Mike Tyson beat him.”
Come home, Elgin!