Cooperstown Mayor Katz Fan Of Baseball & Village

HALL OF FAME WEEKEND 2015

Cooperstown Mayor Katz

Fan Of Baseball & Village

Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, the first mayor in decades who is also a baseball fan, visits the Hall of Plaques.  Over his right should is the plaque of his Mets' hero Tom Seaver.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, the first mayor in decades who is also a baseball fan, visits the Hall of Plaques. Over his right should is the plaque of his Mets’ hero Tom Seaver. (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)

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.”

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