Friday, June 22, 2007

Cooperstown - The Baseball Hall of Fame

After our whirlwind tour of Vermont, we ended up on Glens Falls, NY. Now it was time to head towards Cooperstown, NY and the Baseball Hall of Fame!

On the way we drive through Wilton, NY. Since Adam (Paul's son in law) grew up in Wilton, CA, Paul thought it would be fun to take a picture.

It rained most of the morning, so I didn't any pictures of the ride into Cooperstown. It did dry up long enough to get a picture of my beautiful bike in front of the Baseball Hall of Fame!

Like you'd expect, they have a full on multimedia presentation, with everything short of James Earl Jones saying "Baseball reminds us of all that was once good and could be again". It's definitely not your plain vanilla movie screen.

Of course, they do have the obligatory monument to Babe Ruth, clearly one of the best baseball players ever.

They also have many special displays, like this one about Negro League Baseball, and how black athletes changed the game.

One of my favorite players is the immortal Shoeless Joe Jackson, debatably the greatest baseball player ever. And here they have his hat, jersey and glove! If it hadn't been for the Black Sox scandal, he probably would have gotten the recognition he deserved. Ironically, the best games in his career occurred during the games he is accused of throwing.

In many ways, the Hall has a fetish for the New York Yankees. Not too surprising considering their incredible history.

Another one of the special displays is dedicated to the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, that played during World War II and for about ten years afterwards.

They were immortalized in the movie "A League of their own" with Geena Davis. It's nice to see they got recognized here as well.

Here they immortalize all the greats, from Lou Gehrig...

To Willie Mays...

To Hank Aaron...

And David Winfield (One of my all time favorite Padres!)

One of the most difficult things in baseball is the no-hitter. It's exceedingly rare for a pitcher to pitch all nine innings. Even less likely for them to pitch a game where the other team never gets a hit. This display talks about no-hitters, but most importantly about Nolan Ryan, who not only pitched a no-hitter, but did it SEVEN times! Considering most pitchers have never pitched one no-hitter, this is a pretty amazing accomplishment.

This year the Hall inducted Tony Gwynn. Tony was one of the Padres greatest players, and my friends and I nicknamed him Tatonka, or "buffalo" because he moves like that large and powerful beast in the outfield. A great fielder and an even better batter. I'm glad to see he got recognized.

Another personal favorite is Ozzie Smith. I had the good fortune of seeing him play in his heyday, catching a ball in midair as it flew between second and third, and throwing it before he himself hit the ground. He truly deserved the nickname, "The Wizard of Oz!"

After an amazing afternoon at the Baseball Hall of Fame, we once again hit the road. The rains came again, but when it stopped I took as many pictures as I could of the beautiful New York countryside.

Don't you just love "Golden Hour?"

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