Hall of Fame trip
I had Friday off of school, so I made my first-ever trip to the Hall of Fame. It’s a nice day trip from here, about 2.5 hours each way of pleasant driving through the Catskills. Incidentally, I found a great baseball fan litmus test for anyone living in this area. This week at school people were talking about their weekend plans (we have a four-day weekend, Friday off for a day between blocks and Monday for Memorial Day). I told people I’d be going to Cooperstown on Friday. You can tell a baseball fan right away, because the face lights up and they say something like, “oh, that’ll be awesome.” Non-baseball fans who know the town say, “Yes, that’s a very nice little town.”
I spent a little more than three hours taking it all in. It reminded me of watching Ken Burns’ Baseball back in the day — you really have to search to find something, anything, about the Mariners. There’s a Mariners jersey display, which all teams have. The M’s are listed on Gaylord Perry’s plaque. You can scan various displays to find out that Ken Griffey Jr. won an AL MVP award, or that Edgar Martinez won two AL batting titles.
Of course there’s the Ichiro 262 display, which is pretty hard to miss. Derek talked about this before, and it’s pretty darned cool. Bats, gloves, sunglasses, the “Ichi-meter” fan sign from Safeco, it’s all there in a very nice glass case. But, sadly, that’s the only thing that screams “Mariners.” I guess that’s fair, given the team’s place and relative youth in baseball history.
Going on a weekday before school’s out was a good way to go. It wasn’t emtpy, of course, but there were far fewer people there than I expected. There were no fights to see displays or long lines, nothing like that. The biggest annoyance was finding a place to park, as all the street parking nearby is two-hour limit.
All in all, it was a very good time, and I highly recommend every baseball fan make it to Cooperstown at least once. I also suggest, as was suggested to me, that you go by yourself the first time if at all possible. I had been planning to take my son, but I’m glad I didn’t, because there’s no way he would have put up with three hours of looking around. I’m sure we’ll make it up there at least once before I’m done with school, though, when he’s old enough to get something out of it.