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Old 07-10-2012, 08:18 AM   #1
A Son of Martha

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Default Steelers fan, 10, is Pro Football HOF's nine millionth visitor

Steelers fan, 10, is Pro Football HOF's nine millionth visitor


It was both luck and a 10-year-old boy’s enthusiasm for a high-speed revolving door that made Alex Duff of York, Pa., the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s nine millionth visitor.

Duff and his parents, Kristen and Bob Duff, and brother, Joshua, 14, visited the hall a little after 1 p.m. Sunday.

The enthusiastic Pittsburgh Steelers fan made a beeline for the museum’s new spinning entrance and was greeted with the news.

“I was shocked! I thought, ‘Is this real?’ ” said Alex. “Turns out, because I wanted to be in a revolving door, I got to be the nine millionth visitor!”

His dad said it was a big shock to him, as well.

“I was paying and I turned around and saw a guy taking his picture,” Bob Duff said.

Kristen Duff thought at first someone was making a documentary and wanted to get a picture of a kid in an NFL T-shirt.

The family was greeted by Dave Motts, the hall’s vice president of marketing/sponsorship, along with several staff members.

Dave Harrison, a supervisor, said they had been keeping track all morning and gathered the employees when the time came.

“It’s a special occasion for the Hall of Fame,” Harrison said.

Duff and his family were showered with prizes that included a lifetime pass to the Hall of Fame, T-shirts, a $1,000 gift card to the Hall of Fame store, and a copy of the new “Pro Football Hall of Fame 50TH Anniversary book: Where Greatness Lives.”

Alex received balloons and a necklace, but best of all, “I’m going to get my own football card,” he said with a big grin.

“Everybody has been so generous and so nice,” added Kristen, who said the family was treated like celebrities on its tour, being greeted with handshakes and well-wishes all the way.

The family is off to Chicago, but hopes to return to Canton soon.

“We will definitely be back when the Steelers win their seventh Super Bowl,” said Bob Duff.

A photo gallery of Alex’s arrival can be found on Profootballhof.com.

Here’s a timeline of milestone visitors since the Hall opened Sept. 7, 1963:

1 million 1973

2 million 1976

3 million 1981

4 million 1984

5 million 1991

6 million 1996

7 million 2001
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