TAMPA — Five years ago, Dave Baker started a tradition to show fans what it’s like when he knocks on the door and tells former players they are going to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“I shared today the story of Ray Guy, who’d been eligible for 29 years. And when I told him on the phone, he actually fainted. And his phone fell on the ground. And his wife was saying, "honey, baby, are you ok?" And he didn’t get up for two minutes. He said, "Hey I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understood until now how much this means to me". And we knew that was something we had to then share with fans.”
Baker who is president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, shared the video of those magic moments at the 50th annual Tampa Bay Leadership Prayer Breakfast Wednesday morning at Armature Works.
He was the keynote speaker.
Hall of Famers Tony Dungy and Derrick Brooks were there, along with the shiny Lombardi Trophy.
ABC Action News consumer reporter Jackie Calloway hosted the event.
One of Baker’s most recent knocks came at the door of another Buccaneers' great, John Lynch.
“At that moment, Erik, it’s not just them thinking about how much money they made or that big play. Or the toughest guy. Or the biggest hit. They are thinking about their mom that drove them to practice when they were 10 years old. Or their dad that wouldn’t let them quit. Or the coach that inspired them. Or their teammates that helped them get there. It’s all about this long journey to get there," said Baker.
The Buccaneers are on another journey to try and win another Super Bowl with at least a couple guaranteed future Hall of Famers. “I think you’ve got it going on in Tampa. Enjoy every minute. Get behind it in every way you can.”
Dave Baker will be back in Tampa in November at the Giants game to present John Lynch with his official Hall of Fame ring.