Outgoing Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson, left; Jayson Stark, recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, and Idelson’s successor, Tim Mead, wave from the stage at the conclusion of the ninth annual Hall Of Fame Awards presentation at Doubleday Field this afternoon. Between Stark and Mead is Mariano Rivera, the Yankee star pitcher, one of six players being inducted tomorrow. Idelson, who is seen embracing Jane Forbes Clark, at right, was honored for his 25 years of service at the Baseball Hall of Fame, the past 11 as president. Stark, who was inducted alongside Al Helfer, who posthumously received the Ford C. Frick Award, was all smiles as he addressed the crowd. “I always wanted to be a baseball writer. How many people get to be what they dreamed of being? To be elected by you is as cool as it gets. All I ever wanted since I was a kid was to be one of you.” (Ian Austin/ AllOTSEGO.com)
The crowd was building by 1 p.m. today in downtown Cooperstown, and will peak beginning about an hour – with the 6 p.m. start of the Parade of Legends, when almost 60 Hall of Famers in town, including the six new ones who will be inducted at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow, are ferried up Main Street to a private reception in the Hall of Fame’s Hall of Plaques. Judging from past year, the crowd along the sidewalks could be 8-10 rows deep. Merchants – including, inset, Anthony Guyer of Clinton and Lindsay McIntyre of Utica, who had hundreds of souvenir T-shirts to sell in front of Seventh-Inning Stretch – were expected a near-record crowd would make it a banner weekend. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
With some predicting tomorrow’s 1:30 p.m. Induction of Yankee phenom Mariano Rivera and five MLB colleagues will break attendance records – the heat wave encompassing the Northeast may dampen that – many more fans than usual are thinking ahead and getting out to the field next to the Clark Sports Center to reserve a good spot to view their Heroes of the Game. By noon today, there were already hundreds of lawn chairs in place, many, above, with “Reserved” signs. An innovation this year, at left: Things that looks like flower pots with broom handles in them. The idea is to keep an open passage through the crowd after last year’s fans completely filled the space between the Induction seating and Susquehanna Avenue. At this hour, attention is focused on Doubleday Field, where Jayson Stark is accepting the Taylor Spink Award for sportswriting and Al Helfer is posthumously receiving the Ford Frick Award for broadcasting. Watch for our photographer Ian Austin’s photos this evening. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
April Long, above, daughter of Bill and Lynne Compton, new owners of the former Clough’s Bookstore in downtown Cherry Valley, points out a timely artifact that surfaced as her parents were sorting some-15,000 volumes in what is now the Cherry Valley Bookstore: the front page of the New York Times from July 20, 1969. That’s 50 years ago today, as Apollo 11 astronauts were preparing to land on the moon. Bill put it in the front window of the rechristened Cherry Valley Bookstore, but wasn’t sure what it’s worth; he was researching that today. The Comptons, inset photo, purchased the store last month from Franzen Clough, who had owned it some 20 years. The couple of bought a home in Richfield Springs, moved there from Bristol, R.I., and are getting the inventory organized to their liking. Asked what the collection contains, Bill, most recently town planner in Tiverton, R.I., described it as “all encompassing,” from history to mysteries to Shakespeare to a stack of varied dictionaries and Bibles. The children’s collection, he said, seems particularly strong. Daughter April is visiting this weekend from New York City, where she is beauty editor on Town & Country magazine. The store is open Wednesdays through Sundays, from late morning to early evening. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar and Cal Ripken Jr. today were elected to the Board of Directors for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Hall Chairman Jane Forbes Clark announced this afternoon.
The total number of directors for the nonprofit educational institution is now 17, with Bill Gladstone and Tom Seaver being appointed as Honorary Board Members.
BASEBALL AUTHOR – 1 p.m. Reading by Jane Leavy, author “The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created.” Discuss baseball history, ask questions, get your copy signed. Included with Museum admission. Grandstand Theater, Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events
COOPERSTOWN – Working in the kitchen at Mel’s at 22 late last week, Brian Wrubleski got the word: “Somebody’s choking.”
One waitperson had already attempted the Heimlich maneuver, he was told.
Walking out onto the restaurant floor, Wrubleski saw a second waitperson was performing the maneuver on a customer who, with a morsel trapped in his windpipe, had fallen out his chair in the restaurant’s southeast corner.
P.J. Carter, left, son of famed Expo and Met Gary Carter, gives his dad’s best wishes to Tommy Lasorda, famed two-decade manager of the L.A. Dodgers, who is signing autographs today on Main Street, Cooperstown. Behind Lasorda is another great, Lou Pinella, who finished up his 16-year playing career as a Yankee. Crowds are bigger than usual for a first day of Induction Weekend, said Vinnie Russo, proprietor of Mickey’s Place who can compare hour-by-hour records from past years, and are only going to grow tomorrow as Induction Weekend gets underway in earnest. Inset, part of the Hall of Fame’s brain trust – from left, Vice Presidents Ken Meifert, sponsorship & development; Doug Jones, finance & administration, and Sean Gahagan sponsorship & development – slipped out for a quick hot-dog lunch in front of Danny’s Place. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – Mildred “Millie” L. Jennings, retired chief switchboard operator at Bassett Hospital, died Wednesday evening, July 17, 2019, with her loving family beside her at Fox Nursing Home in Oneonta. She was 88.
Mildred Lucy Bridger was born Jan. 29, 1931, at home in Middlefield, one of 13 children of Orlando and Nellie Mary (Page) Bridger. Raised in Middlefield, she attended school there.
On Aug. 27, 1950, she married Gerald F. Jennings in a ceremony at the parsonage of the Westville Baptist Church, with the Rev. Walter Miller officiating. For the next 60 years, Millie and Jerry made their home and raised their family on Elm Street in Cooperstown.
COOPERSTOWN – Panama’s newly elected president, Laurentino Cortizo, will be in Cooperstown this weekend to attend the induction of his countryman, Mariano Rivera, into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, according to reports in Panama’s major newspapers.
Sworn in only on July 1, Cortizo is leaving Panama at 1 p.m. Saturday, will be in New York City by 7 p.m., and is scheduled to arrive in Cooperstown at 7:30 a.m. Sunday to participate in Rivera’s induction into the “Salón de la Fama del pelotero,” according to La Estrella, Panama’s oldest newspaper.
COOPERSTOWN – The post office here is again marking Induction Weekend with a souvenir picture postmark – also known as a pictorial cancellation in collectors’ circles — to be offered at a special postal booth 9-6 p.m. this Sunday in the post office’s parking lot.
The postmark bears an image of the logo of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Sunday’s Induction Day ceremony date. The Postal Service applies the postmark on any envelope that has proper postage, making it a first class souvenir of the day.