When Dennis Corcoran retired from his 30-year career teaching middle and high school special education in 2000, he didn't expected to have less free time than he did while working a full-time job.
"Now I do about 10 things," the Pleasantville resident said as he sat at his dining room table next to a wrinkled piece of paper with multiple to-do lists written all over it.
One of those 10 things is substitute teaching in the Chappaqua schools. Another is promoting his book, which he didn't expect to write in his retirement. He also didn’t expect the book to continue to take up his time after it was published. But today he finds himself giving talks and doing appearance to promote Induction Day at Cooperstown: A History of the Baseball Hall of Fame Ceremony, which was published last fall.
Corcoran was never especially into baseball more than any other sport. He's officiated basketball games for 30 years, coached cross-country running, and was a runner himself until a knee replacement surgery last year. What spurred him to write his book about the Baseball Hall of Fame started with a slow confluence of events.
First, his wife Pat tried to get him to share her interest in antiques, so he could do something other than sit in the car reading the newspaper when they went antiquing. She suggested he renew his childhood interest in old baseball cards, which are a standard fixture at many antique shows. Had she known that six years of research and writing a book would follow, she might have let him stay in the car.
"I always say that she created a monster," Corcoran said.
As his interest in baseball cards grew, his daughter started dating a semi-pro baseball player who attended tournaments in Cooperstown, N.Y., the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. And then he met friends who went to the induction ceremony every year.
"So I decided to go one year," Corcoran said.
And that's when it happened.
"Just seeing how many fans go to the induction ceremony affected me," he said. "They come from all over the country, they're so dedicated and no one had written about the ceremony and the fans' interest in it. I thought people should know about it."
Now he makes the 200-mile trip several times a year. This year he's going during Father's Day weekend for the Hall of Fame Classic old-timers game, and again in July for the annual induction ceremony.
All of this puts pressure on Corcoran's time, though, and can run up against other demands. His wife is interested in travel, for example, and has a trip to France planned for them in the fall. Also, they have three grandchildren in Florida, and recently bought a condominium there so they can visit them more easily.
"People always ask me when I'll write another book, and I always tell them I don't want to get divorced," Corcoran said.
If he does write another book, though, it'll have something to do with history, he said.
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