Friday, June 12, 2009

ON SPORTS ~ The Hall...


The Hall:

where previously Molly found someone other than the Red Sox to love

I have often said that my husband is a VERY lucky man – for many of the same reasons that women around the world use – but, in addition to those reasons, it is because I wanted to spend my birthday weekend getaway in Cooperstown, NY at the Baseball Hall of Fame. I had been to Cooperstown as a young child. All that I remember from that visit was having ice cream outside with my Mom on a very blue beautiful summer day. As I grew up I knew that there was a lot more I had seen and not connected with.

We started out on a drive away from Boston straight to Cooperstown. We got there late afternoon and got the last room at the motel on the lake. We didn’t realize there would be so few rooms available in the town but were very grateful we got the tiny room next to the ice machine underneath the stairs. I had no idea that there was a lake in Cooperstown but there is – it was extremely settling after a long drive to stroll out to a calming slice of water.

Cooperstown is as it should be. Small Main Street. I am sure that the locals on one hand hate the commercialism of everything Baseball being hawked in stores every which way you look. On the other hand, it still seems to be a small town. Outside of the Main Street world, there is a regular town. All we saw of Cooperstown was Main Street – so we kept away from the locals’ lair. The one peek that we had at true local experience was the first night we arrived. Having checked in to the last available tiny room at the lakeside motel we went to a pub on the main drag. We were seated next to a couple who were Yankee fans openly willing to root for the Sox if they ever got to the World Series. This was mid September. On the TV we were getting ready to watch the Yankees face the Orioles.

“Cal’s not in the lineup! Cal’s not in the lineup!” Some guy came bursting into the bar rushing up to our bartender shouting these words. Sure enough, the starting lineups for the O’s vs. NY came on the TV screen and proved Cooperstown’s local voice correct. We were all stunned - Cal Ripken, Jr. was finally taking a night off after 2,362 games. The end of an era and a record never to be broken had just occurred with us sitting in the birthplace of baseball.

The next day we walked the few blocks over to the Hall. Out in front we met this couple wanting their picture taken in front of the Hall Of Fame. They had no camera and had not anticipated that the experience would create the emotion they had. So we took their picture and mailed it to them, along with our pictures from Fenway later that summer.

I brought my future husband into the Hall and we were welcomed with a special display of McGwire & Sosa’s Home Run race as well as their jerseys and bats when they reached Roger Maris’ record. This was the season that rejuvenated baseball and led to the MLB marketing catchphrase – “Chicks Dig The Long Ball.” We had a blast! We didn't realize then that much of the rejuvenation was due to performance enhancing drugs - which tarnishes a lot of things looking back now.

The place is too small to exhibit all that deserves to be displayed. We took great pride in seeing Sox alumni represented. There was Roger Clemens’ ball & Hassleman’s mitt marking his 20 KO games. There was Teddy Ballgame’s hitter’s zone display. And before him, plenty to view on the contributions Cy Young and Babe Ruth made to baseball history. We were in heaven looking at the less ornate World Series rings that the Sox had NO trouble piling up in the early 1900’s. But the Hall really needs to do something about the pathetic display they had of Fenway Park.

Perhaps they have changed the exhibit since we were there – I certainly hope so. Baseball’s oldest remaining jewel deserves much, much more than a measly plastic tiny replica of the Shrine. It looked like some 6th grader’s homework project. I didn’t even bother taking a picture of such a joke – after all, I had plenty of awesome pictures of the real thing. A collage of my pictures would make a better display in the Hall than what they were offering back then. Once again, no respect.

next week, ALL STAR, where a Commissioner proves there's no crying in baseball, but tying in baseball is apparently OK...


BK said...

It seemed that you had a good trip. That walk at the lake must be good too. I was at the beach the other day, trying to catch some photos of crabs. I think at the end of the 2 hours, I became quite a 'crab' myself; tanned red.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I hope Andy knows that only one girl in hundred would want such a birthday...he IS lucky! I am amazed at what a good memory you have in reading all of these installments. I have memories of inane things (sometimes I freak out my friends from high school) but can't consistently remember the important things. I'm wondering how many of these you have left in you! I love 'em!

Julie@Momspective said...

I grew up in Syracuse, NY, so I'm very familiar with the hall of fame. I'm sure he appreciates your love of the sport, I have the same love to football and my DH loves that about me!