HALL OF FAME WEEKEND 2015
By JIM KEVLIN • for allotsego.com
COOPERSTOWN – Jeff Katz, the first mayor in a while who is both a fan of Cooperstown and of baseball, spent his first few years in Brooklyn, where it was all about the Mets. “In 1969, when they won the World Series, I was 7. It was huge,” he remembers.
He adored Tom Seaver, who led their team to the pinnacle. “When they traded him in 1977, I was heartbroken,” said Katz. “I realized I loved Tom Seaver much more than I did the Mets. That broke the spell of rooting for a team.
“I became very much on the side of the players – because of Seaver. People tend to blame everybody equally” – the players, the owners. “That’s not exactly true when you get into the weeds.”
That sympathy informs “Split Season: 1981: Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball,” published in May. Kirkus called it a “delightful, opinionated history… Katz brilliantly describes the bitter, fruitless, yearlong negotiations aimed at determining a team’s compensation for the loss of a free agent player.”