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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cooperstown


Baseball, our national pastime.  The stuff of myth and legends.  Romanticized in poetry (Casey at the  Bat, Baseball's Sad Lexicon), in song  (Take Me Out To The Ballgame, Centerfield, Talkin' Baseball, Joltin' Joe DiMaggio and even Mrs. Robinson), Broadway (Damn Yankees) and, of course, the movies (The Lou Gehrig Story, 42,  Field of Dreams, The Natural, aA League of Their Own).  Other sports might be exciting, other sports may have lots of fans, but nothing tells the American story quite like baseball.

You know I am a fan.  Have been a fan for most of my life.

Sooner or later I had to go to Cooperstown, I had to visit the Hall of Fame.

Cooperstown is a small town, in the middle of New York farm country.  Main Street in Cooperstown looks like a throwback to a small town circa 1946.  Quaint.    Lots of tourists, though, all seeking the ultimate baseball experience.  Parking in this town is very limited and relatively expensive.    We parked in a lot at Doubleday Field, and walked past souvenir shops and ice cream parlors with baseball-sounding names on our way to the museum.

You start your tour on the museum's second floor, in a theater designed to look like a ballpark.  Yes, the voice telling you that the movie is about to start is, indeed, Bob Shepard.  The film is an overview of baseball's history and influence.

The second floor galleries are devoted to the history of the sport, from the 19th century through today.  Babe Ruth,  Cy Young.  Ty Cobb.  There's a bit about the Black Sox scandal.  There's a display about the Negro Leagues, about Jackie Robinson.  The glory days of Ebbets Field.  The American Women's League.  I got a bit emotional when they started talking about teams and players from the late 1960's and the 1970's.  Tom Seaver.  Catfish Hunter.  Reggie Jackson.

Third floor exhibits include Sacred Ground (the ballparks), various hitting and fielding records, World Series trophies and memorabilia.

And then you go down to the main floor and enter the Hall of Fame itself.

What an honor to be among the plaques devoted to baseball's finest.

The museum entrance:

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Each current team has a locker displaying memorabilia photo AMBA0004.jpg photo AMBA0007.jpg photo AMBA0008.jpg photo AMBA0009.jpg photo AMBA0010.jpg photo AMBA0012.jpg photo AMBA0014.jpg photo AMBA0017.jpg


History photo AMBA0031.jpg photo AMBA0033.jpg photo AMBA0044.jpg photo AMBA0045.jpg photo AMBA0048.jpg photo AMBA0059.jpg photo AMBA0060.jpg



The closest Pete Rose has come to the Hall photo AMBA0073.jpg


Reggie Jackson's bat  photo AMBA0075.jpg


Records photo AMBA0092.jpg





trophies photo 504fada2-ee82-4840-8257-8a7caca69d2a.jpg





Holy cow! photo 29935279-c73e-4592-8995-2ffc2324b338.jpg photo 29935279-c73e-4592-8995-2ffc2324b338.jpg



The current inductees photo 2133ab8c-0962-414e-bc1c-784e3e18d5a5.jpg photo f4cb23cb-6f75-49b0-be1b-1b1d318b185c.jpg photo d5b9fd10-5ca0-4023-92dd-575d30cb2cd6.jpg photo 552f7d64-ea3f-4747-b466-43e8b1456425.jpg


And finally, the Hall of Fame photo AMBA0107.jpg photo AMBA0129.jpg photo AMBA0131.jpg photo AMBA0132.jpg

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