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Hall of Fame; Hall of a Lot of Histroy

July 3, 2012

The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York is a truly inspirational place. Despite the fact that all time great Pete Rose is still not a member of the Hall, which is a disgrace on so many levels, I still felt the “old pride in baseball” when walking among the floors full of wonderful history and memories. The museum is located in a beautiful, peaceful town with trolley cars and other museums.

“Know it all” me learned a great deal including the fact that Tom Lasorda delivered an early scouting report on Tom Seaver. This was on display next to a scouting report on Sandy Koufax. The irony is that Lasorda, a pitcher with the Brooklyn Dodgers, was sent down to the minor leagues to keep “bonus baby” Koufax on the major league roster. The displays and text regarding great teams for an era though brief, were very informative. Connie Mack’s (1929-1931) Philadelphia A’s are fairly well known as a great team but lesser known are the A’s under Mr.Mack from 1910-1914. The display on that team was really great. The team boasted the “One hundred thousand dollar infield,” an ungodly sum 100 years ago.

Another team that moved me were the New York Giants (1921-1924), still the only National League team to win 4 straight pennants. Names such as Ross Youngs and outfielder Casey Stengel were invoked. I thought of my father Norman, (1914-1994) and that those Giants were his first “team.”

I watched the reaction of the many people laughing long and loud as the classic “Who’s on first?” by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello was shown on a continuous loop. This version ended with a list of the lineup something I always wanted to see included in the incredible bit. It never grows old and represents timeless comedic genius.

The people enjoyed themselves and I overheard their reaction to some extraordinary baseball facts and history. Ryan Nadel of Staten Island, New York was surprised to learn there are still 8 teams that have never won the World Series. He put this information into his phone and soon memorized the 8 teams. That exchange of learning and inspiration sums up the positive Hall of Fame experience.

 

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