By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
If you are planning to attend the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Induction, here are some helpful hints:
• Bring water and an umbrella: Things can get hot on the field at The Clark Sports Center, where there is no natural shade and attendees might be under direct sun for more than two hours. This is just as likely on a Wednesday in September as a Sunday in July. So, bring something to drink, apply lots of sunscreen and think about a hat, umbrella or other form of shade. Of course, it could also be mid-60s and raining, so … bring an umbrella either way. If you don’t have VIP seating in one of the Hall designated areas up front, bring a chair or blanket, too. So many people leave their chairs after inductions, one local family organizes a collection of the chairs, followed by a yard sale to benefit the local school and its students. Speaking of the students, there will be lots of them selling concessions, too, either officially to raise money for their senior trips or along the roads to the Induction site, as budding entrepreneurs. So, bringing a couple of dollars for the kids is a good way to say hello to some locals and learn about Cooperstown.
• Take the trolley: There are only a few ways in and out of Cooperstown and State Route 28 will be the busiest of them. Village residents offer Induction parking, but the best parking spaces typically go quickly. Arriving early may be the key to getting in and out without traffic or other hassles. The blue lot is accessible to people coming north on 28; the red lot is accessible to people coming south on 28; the yellow lot is accessible to people coming south on State Route 80. An all-day pass is $5 per person. Go to www.cooperstownny.org/trolley-system/ for more information.
• On a field in Middlefield: The Clark Sports Center is about a half mile outside of the village of Cooperstown, in the town of Middlefield, on 124 County Route 52, which is also known as Susquehanna Avenue. To get to the Induction, walk south on Susquehanna, which begins at Chestnut Street (aka Route 28), and also connects with Elm, Beaver and Walnut streets. From Main Street, walk south on Pioneer Street or Fair Street until you get to Beaver Street and then turn right and walk to Susquehanna. People will be walking in the same direction.
The blue lot is the closest trolley lot to the induction site. Walk north on Linden Avenue and then right on Walnut to get to Susquehanna.
Induction activities begin at 1:30 p.m., but it will take time to get there and more time to find a spot to sit.
Once the crowd gets to about 50,000, it becomes hard to move around or to find a spot.
The hill is a good alternative for late arrivees to find a place to sit, but the best bet remains to arrive early.