The last 6 games have been so painful to watch that to pour any more energy into thinking or writing about them could leave me in straight jacket and you comatose from reading about it. So, lets skip those two series and pretend they didn’t happen. Instead I will share something fun.
Saturday morning, yay!! It’s my wifes birthday this weekend and we decided to make a day trip to Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Its a short drive from Albany New York, all of an hour or less, and the area is gorgeous. Camping, fishing, boating, golfing, and a few other museums nearby, are just a short list of things to see and do. It’s a small community and the little downtown area next to the Baseball Hall of Fame has a very welcoming feel to it. It’s homey and the people are friendly in most shops and restaurants.
We arrived around 11am and parked next to Double Day Park. The baseball field there has this great old feel to it and there is almost always a game being played, so a crack of the bat is one of the first things you hear when you open your car door downtown. The next sense is of course smell. Plenty of good cooking to choose from here including Nicoletta’s, an Italian restaurant with out of this world food and over the top service. Its located across the way from the HOF museum and is the place I asked my wife to marry me. We had hoped to grab some lunch there today but they weren’t open until dinner. Instead we followed our nose and went to the Doubleday cafe which features great burgers, and beer (Olde Slugger is our fav) from the local brewery Ommagang. It’s a great feeling when you walk into a eatery and the wait staff recognizes you from almost a year ago. The waitress and my wife had a good time discussing home made origami earrings during I entertained myself by watching breaking news on the e coli outbreak. Be sure to grab a Double Day shirt when you eat here: Cooperstown, a drinking town, with a baseball problem.
There is a a lot stores to meander through, many of which are in very old buildings that used be small inns, and in one case a very old theater. The architecture alone is a reason to visit Cooperstown. After lunch I did my usual around the horn where I scout the stores for things I am interested in, usually 1952 and 1953 Topps baseball cards. I should note though that the stores offer more than just baseball cards. You can find just about anything you want baseball related. From team seat cushions to a one of a kind Christy Mathewson/Cy Young duel signed postcard. Personalized bats are a favorite for the younger crowd, you can get them turned and watch while you wait. This trip I found a 1953 Topps Jackie Robinson and a Hoyt Wilhelm to add to my set. After doing two rounds into the stores to be sure I didn’t miss something I made my way over to the Hall of Fame. While your walking around town keep an eye out, you never know who you may run into. I almost bumped Rickey Henderson into the street one year, and another time came face to face with James Earl Jones while walking in the HOF.
Student interns from all over the country are helpful and courteous from the moment you walk into the museum. Every year I renew my membership and chat up the new kids to see where they are from. The money goes to not only take care of the halls great many artifacts but it also goes to some very innovative HOF education programs for young school children. The museum has changed quite a bit in recent years. Interactive exhibits and short films like Whose On First seem to attract most people. This year I took my time and went through the new Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream exhibit thoroughly. Things like Aaron’s home run balls are a wonder to enjoy and the exhibit tells the whole story of breaking Ruth’s record. Real hate letters with death threats sent from racists, donated by Aaron, are on display as well as photos of Hank being patted on the back by a couple of white guys after breaking the record.
The museum offers so many things to see and enjoy that it’s impossible to describe it all in words, so I hope you enjoy the pictures. Every year the HOF has a spot for the recent World Series champion. I took more pictures but I think I may just fit them into another page or post. This is cluttered so I may take them down soon and put them on a different page soon. Also sorry about the fuzzy photos, they are taken in haste to not be in the way of other people enjoying the sights.
Around the museums green space you can find bronze statues of ballplayers like Satchel Paige and others
Catfish during the A's dynasty in the 70's
HOF first inductees, no introduction required, I hope
The Hall, in the Hall.
Satchel Paige game used uniforms
A sample of each clubs lockers in the hall.