Cooperstown, NY Baseball Hall of Fame

Our adventure took us from the Catskills Mountains to Cooperstown, NY to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Today is all about baseball, America’s favorite pastime, where the boys of summer gather to determine who will become World Series Champions.

Baseball Hall of Fame

For baseball enthusiasts, this is where baseball started. The museum opened in 1939 and houses every inductee plaque to the major league hall of fame. As a baseball player this is the ultimate award.

Babe Ruth’s plaque

I have been lucky to now have seen the Hall of Fame, Louisville Slugger Bat Museum, and attend many games at a number of different stadiums.

In my opinion, baseball is more than a game. There are probably more international players than in any sport we have in our country. What baseball does is bring the kid out of adults. Everyone probably has some memory of throwing and catching a ball. It’s an escapism from the adult world to being a kid again.

As a kid, I didn’t play organized baseball but it didn’t mean I couldn’t love the game. I remember going with my dad to ball games and rooting for the Salem Pirates. Getting excited when someone hit a homerun or stole a base. I remember standing with everyone for the national anthem and hearing the PA announcer say, “play ball!” I remember standing and singing, Take Me Out To The Ball Game, during the seventh-inning stretch. I got excited if I got a foul ball or even an autograph.

Baseball helped to teach me math, keeping statistics of my favorite team. I collected thousands of baseball cards, which I still have, and always got excited opening the wrapper and chewing the gum.

Brooks Robinson, the best fielding third baseman ever to play the game, came to Roanoke for a grand opening of a bank in Roanoke in 1972. I went to my second-grade teacher, to ask for permission to leave school to attend. My teacher’s response was that I could go only if I got her an autograph too. I remember telling Brooks this and him laughing and granting my teacher’s request.

Some of the best sports movies are from baseball with great one liners. The Bad News Bears, The Natural, Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come”. A League of their Own, “ There’s no crying in baseball”. The Sandlot, “You’re killing me smalls”,to name a few.

There have been many of characters to play baseball. We had Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, Babe Ruth, Yogi Berra, Luis Tiant, Billy Martin to name a few. Some of the mascots were just as colorful as the players. The San Diego Chicken would make any kid or adult laugh. All in the Hall of Fame museum.

Baseball had the kissing bandit, Morganna, whom famously rushed the field on many occasions and kissed MLB players. She has been described as “baseball’s unofficial mascot” and “the grand dame of baseball”.

Morgana kissing George Brett during a game

Baseball has always had streakers that ran across the field during the game. Everyone always got a good laugh while cheering for the streaker to avoid security.

Also, there was the Bob Uecker commercials. Google them for some laughs. He was the Rodney Dangerfield of baseball.

Baseball has always been famous for its baseballism too. Yogi Berra said it best with his words of wisdom.

A few of his most famous sayings:

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

You can observe a lot by just watching.

It ain’t over till it’s over.

It’s like déjà vu all over again.

No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.

Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.

A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

Seeing the player’s names at the Baseball Hall of Fame museum brought back these memories for me. I saw names of players I hadn’t thought of in years. Most players from yesterday had nicknames. Hamerin Hank Aaron, say Hey Willie Mays, Joltin Joe Dimaggio, Willie “Pops” Stargell just to name a few.

Baseball has also been a very colorful sport over the years. I have to mention my favorite team the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the 1979 World Champions. They wore the old pill box hats with mix and match polyester uniforms.

The 1979 Pirates team song was “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. Their slogan was, “ if you hear any noise, it’s just me and the boys bopping”!Captain Willie Stargell gave out stars for their hats for individual achievements. What a fun bunch of individuals who came together as a team to win the World Series.

On deck circle from Pittsburgh’s old Forbes field 1909-1970 in Hall of Fame Museum

In Cooperstown, there were plenty of shops with baseball memorabilia. Every kid needs an MLB baseball. A Cooperstown slogan I liked was, “Cooperstown a drinking town, with a baseball problem”. The town itself was very small, but very cute. We enjoyed coffee and an old fashion doughnut at the corner bakery.

We then drove to Boston in time for a baseball game at Fenway Park. Fenway Park opened in 1912 and with the green monster wall is one of the iconic ballparks today, The Fenway Franks are a must as well as the Dr. Mcgillicuddy shots. Thank you Connor for a great time.

The Green Monster

I hope this post brings back some sort of memory or interest. Enjoy


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