Tag Archive | "Cooperstown"

#BaseballJourneyman to Cooperstown Part II


I got to turn into #BaseballJourneyman to Cooperstown earlier this year. Over spring break I took off to the Hall of Fame so I could do some research. While there I had the chance to walk around the Hall of Fame and check it out. However, I did not get to spend as much as I would have liked in the Hall of Fame itself checking out the displays because I lost 2 days due to a snowstorm.

However, I saw some of the coolest things I’ve ever seen on my trips through the museum. And I thought I would share a few with you here. Forgive the not-so-great photos. I did not take  my good camera with me since it was more of a work trip, so all of my photos come with my phone. Besides if any of you have ever taken a nice camera into a museum it doesn’t always work out. There are usually too many reflective surfaces and not a lot of light. So without delay, here we go.

#BaseballJourneyman Cooperstown

One of the first things you see as you make  your way through the museum is a locker with things from each team. Being a die hard Atlanta Braves fan, thank you TBS, I couldn’t pass up a chance to snap a quick photo of their locker.

#BaseballJourneyman Cooperstown

It may be hard to read the plaque but it tells information about the team including year founded (1871), former locations, retired numbers, and world championships (4 times). Each team has this along with various items from the team which include Brian McCann’s bat, Tyler Flowers mask, and Billy Wagner’s shoes.

Keeping with the Braves theme, one of the coolest things I saw was a jersey made of baseball cards. It is a full-size replica of a Phil Niekro jersey made out of thousands of baseball cards cut and arranged just right. It comes from collage artist LaVern Brock, and I thought it was quite amazing.

Phil Niekro card jersey

Speaking of cards, I collected baseball cards when I was younger. I even had a small side business where I would sell cards at card shows. This was late 90s early 00s and it was a lot of fun. One card I would love to have come across, even just to see one, was the Honus Wagner T206.

Background of Wagner T206

The card was made by the American Tobacco Company as part of its T206 series between 1909 and 1911. However, Wagner did not want the production of the card to continue. I’ve read stories that said he did not like the fact it was a tobacco company making the card and others saying he simply wanted more money. For whatever reason, the card became very limited with just 50-200 being released. The exact number is unknown. While the card is not the rarest, it is among the most sought after. The most recent sale that I could find came in October 2016 when it sold for $3.12 million.

So as you can see there are extremely famous items in the museum and works of art. I will come back to art in a later post, but right now I want to talk about perhaps one of the strangest things I saw.

History in Cooperstown

I love history. In fact I am a high school history teacher, and I love my job. History encompasses so much, and I love historical places. And there are two places in Baltimore I’d love to visit that are no longer around. One is the St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, and the other is a saloon on Frederick Street. Both no longer exist and both deal with George Herman “Babe” Ruth.

Ruth attended the school and this is where he began to play organized baseball. The saloon was once owned by Ruth’s father. Both places hold history that I would love to learn more about. However, both are long gone. But the Hall of Fame somehow has a piece of each building which I found interesting.

The top brick was part of the saloon owned by Ruth’s father. The stone came from the school Ruth attended.

I don’t want to make this an extremely long post, so I am going to end it here. However, I have more in the works including some things about women in baseball, the sport in Latin America, and I want to talk about some of the plaques I saw.

Read up on our other posts on the Hall of Fame here.

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Travel to Cooperstown, NY: Hall of Fame


This past March I was fortunate to be able to travel to Cooperstown, NY and visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. The main reason I went was to do research for my master’s thesis at the Giamatti Research Center which is inside the Hall. And it turned out to be a crazy week.

Despite getting there on Monday, I was not able to get into town until Monday evening, so I missed one day of possible research. But at least I missed the snow, all 30+ inches of it.

Monday night the snow came and it just kept coming. I wound up being snowed in at my hotel for 2 straight days. I had rented a very small car and after the snow stopped it was completely covered.

I don’t know how much snow actually fell, but I heard reports from people at the hotel of upwards of 40+ inches. The Holiday Inn Express was where I stayed which was fortunately near a grocery store that was open. Twice I walked to the store since I could not get my car out until late Wednesday. I really liked the hotel and would recommend it to anyone traveling there. The only issue I had was the internet was not fast enough to stream MLB.tv which drove me nuts since the World Baseball Classic was going on and the hotel did not have MLB Network.

I spent the last two days of the week in the research library which was an amazing experience. The staff there was very helpful having pulled a lot of items I’d requested weeks before I arrived.

Food/Coffee in Cooperstown

It was a very quiet time to be in Cooperstown. Most stores weren’t even open, but the town has some fantastic spots. I really enjoyed Stagecoach Coffee which is in downtown Cooperstown. I loved the food here and the coffee was good too, and I am admittedly a bit of a coffee snob. But my favorite place, and I ate lunch here more than once, was the Doubleday Cafe. The food was fantastic, the beer was cold, and the staff was very nice.

Stagecoach Coffee

My breakfast sandwich at Stagecoach Coffee – it was amazing!

Since I was on a trip more to research than be a tourist, although I was both, I did not even bring my camera. So all my photos came from my phone unfortunately. With that in mind I want to close out this post with some photos of the Hall of Fame. I will be back to talk more about some of the things I saw inside the Hall, but for now I leave you with some photos of one of the coolest places I’ve ever been.

 

This is the first post in a series on the Baseball Hall of Fame and my trip there. Stay tuned and check back for more. You can stay up to date on all Hall of Fame posts here.

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