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News of Otsego County

Baseball Hall of Fame

Betty Jean McCarthy August 4, 1924 – September 20, 2021
Betty J. McCarthy

In Memoriam

Betty Jean McCarthy

August 4, 1924 – September 20, 2021

CHERRY VALLEY – Betty Jean McCarthy passed away on Monday, September 20, 2021 at the Eastern Star Home in Oriskany, N.Y.

She was born on August 4, 1924 to Grace Swift Yarter and Levi Yarter in Hartford, N.Y. When Betty was three, they moved to Cooperstown and then to Cherry Valley. Betty graduated from Cherry Valley Central School with the Class of 1942. Betty worked for the Gilday Insurance Company then moved to New York City where she worked for Citicorp Bank. Betty loved being in the city!

IF YOU GO: Take the trolley, pack sunscreen, water
The crowd walks up Susquehanna Avenue to a National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Induction at The Clark Sports Center in 2015. (File)

IF YOU GO: Take the trolley, pack sunscreen, water

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.

Induction tribute will feature game’s best, Hall favorites
A feature at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum pays tribute to Hank Aaron, who died in January at age 86. (Charlie Vascellaro)

Induction tribute will feature game’s best, Hall favorites

By CHARLIE VASCELLARO • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Each year the Hall of Fame Induction ceremony begins with a roll call of members of the baseball community who have passed during the previous calendar year projected on a jumbotron video screen adjacent to the stage where the returning members of the Hall are seated.

This year’s “In Memoriam” recognition stings with a particular poignancy in a continued season of mourning both across the country and within the baseball community devastated by an unparalleled loss of 10 members of the Hall of Fame since the last Induction Ceremony in 2019.

Midweek Induction brings questions about attendance, coronavirus safety

Midweek Induction brings questions about
attendance, coronavirus safety

By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

In the lull of the 2013 Hall of Fame Induction, when no living people were inducted and only about 2,000 die-hard fans attended on a rainy day, and some people speculated about the demise of the tradition, keen baseball observers knew the Yankees would be coming to Cooperstown eventually.
When large class after large class started popping big attendance figures for inductions the latter half of the last decade — topping out at 53,000 for Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, Alan Trammell, Jim Thome and Jack Morris in 2018 — keen baseball observers whispered, “just wait and see what the Yankee years bring.”

Jeter provides Induction with a headline attraction
Left: Derek Jeter, the former infielder and captain for the New York Yankees, takes questions with Larry Walker at their
announcement media conference in January 2020. Right: Jeter and his favorite sign. (Milo Stewart/National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum).

Jeter provides Induction
with a headline attraction

By CHARLIE VASCELLARO • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

A long time ago in what seems like a galaxy far, far away … way back in the pre-coronavirus era, January of 2020 the New York Yankees all-time greatest shortstop Derek Jeter was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, garnering 396 of 397 votes.

Jeter fell one vote shy of joining teammate Mariano Rivera as just the second unanimous selection in Hall of Fame voting history. Rivera was named on all 425 of the ballots cast in the 2019 election.
Jeter made his major league debut May 29, 1995, six days after Rivera made his first appearance, heralding an era that saw the Yankees reach the post-season for the first time in 14 years. The Yankees were eliminated by the Seattle Mariners in the 1995 ALDS but, propelled by Jeter’s Rookie of the Year performance, returned to the post-season in 1996 and won the World Series for the first time in 18 years.
Rivera finished third in 1996 Cy Young voting posting an 8-3 record with a 2.09 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 107 innings in his first full season as the team’s set-up man in the bullpen. The pair is eternally linked on Yankees modern “dynasty” teams of the late 1990s and early 2000s. As Yankees their entire careers, they would win 13 American League East division titles, seven AL pennants and five World Series, including three in-a-row from 1998-2000.

Jeter made the first of 14 All-Star Game appearances in 1998 and won his first of five Gold Glove Awards in 2004. He is the Yankees all-time leader with 3,465 hits; he surpassed Lou Gehrig’s mark of 2,721 in 2009. His 2,674 games played as shortstop are a record for the position and he never played another position in the field, even after Alex Rodriguez, a seven-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glover at the position, joined the Yankees in 2004.

The Baseball Lifer by Charlie Vascellaro: Ortiz tops list of eligible candidates on 2022 Hall of Fame ballot

The Baseball Lifer by Charlie Vascellaro
Ortiz tops list of eligible candidates
on 2022 Hall of Fame ballot

With a hopeful return to normalcy and an eye on the 2022 Hall of Fame Induction, there is a possibility for another first ballot inductee and an outside chance for the inclusion of a controversial last chance carry over candidate.

Considering the strength of the returning field of nominees and newly eligible candidates, the prospect also exists that no one will be elected to the Hall for the second year in-a-row.

Now that Edgar Martinez has opened the Hall of Fame’s doorway to designated hitters with his election in 2019, the strongest candidate on the ballot is first timer David Ortiz, arguably the most productive DH in history. Whether he is elected this year, it’s likely Ortiz will eventually gain admittance and be delivering his acceptance speech on the field at the Clark Sports Center in Middlefield sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Colorado slugger becomes first Rockies Hall of Famer

Larry Walker points at the spot where his Hall of Fame plaque will hang during his orientation tour Feb. 25, 2020. (File)

Colorado slugger becomes first Rockies Hall of Famer

By CHARLIE VASCELLARO • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Almost 30 years after the Colorado Rockies joined the major leagues as an expansion team in 1993, former Rockies outfielder Larry Walker is the first member of the franchise to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Walker spent 10 of his 17 big-league seasons in a Colorado uniform and his plaque will be the first in the Hall of Fame gallery to feature a Rockies cap. His name is all over the franchise’s leader board in career offensive categories and his 1997 NL MVP remains one of the highlights of the team’s history.

Walker bashed a career-high and National League leading 49 home runs in 1997, with a .366 batting average and 130 RBI, and also led the league with a .452 on-base percentage, a .720 slugging percentage, 409 total bases, and a 1.172 OPS (on base + slugging percentage), becoming the first player to record a .700 slugging percentage with more than 30 stolen bases in the same season.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Baseball Author Series presents ‘Heroes: Stories of Sports, Courage, and Class.’ 08-19-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, AUGUST 19

Baseball Author Series presents
‘Heroes: Stories of Sports, Courage, and Class.’

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AUTHOR SERIES – 2 p.m. Join award winning writer Ralph Wimbish to discuss his latest book ‘Heroes: Stories of Sports, Courage, and Class.’ Wimbish has compiled a collection of stories from his 40-years in sports journalism and it includes entries on Jackie Robinson, Elston Howard, Bill White, and Buck O’Neil. Free, registration for Zoom required. Presented by The Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-author-series-ralph-wimbish?date=0

VACCINE CLINIC – 2 – 4 p.m.  The DOH is offering free vaccines to all aged 12 and older. Stop in and be entered to win a $50 gift card for Brooks BBQ. Schenevus Central School, 159 Main St., Schenevus. 1-800-227-7388.

Miller changed baseball in ways that improve players’ lives
Former MLBPA President Marvin Miller enjoys a game in this undated photo. (Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery)

Miller changed baseball in ways that improve players’ lives

By CHARLIE VASCELLARO • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Marvin Miller, the first director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, was elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Modern Era Committee, along with catcher Ted Simmons in December 2019.

The cancellation of the Hall’s 2020 Induction ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic postponed their inductions, along with Baseball Writers’ Association of America selections Derek Jeter and Larry Walker, all four of whom will be enshrined when the ceremony returns to the grounds of the Clark Sports Center in the town of Middlefield at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Miller who passed away Nov. 27, 2012, gained induction to the Hall posthumously on the eighth occasion his name appeared on a Veterans/Era Committee Ballot and will occupy a unique corner of the Hall as the first labor leader to be enshrined.

Elected as the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1966, Miller succeeded former president Bob Feller (1956-1959) and player agent Frank Scott (1959-1966) in the first year the organization was recognized as a union.

Rawitch didn’t think path would lead to Cooperstown
Josh Rawitch shakes hands with one of his favorite players, Clayton Kershaw. Rawitch worked for the Dodgers when they drafted Kershaw. (Contributed).

Rawitch didn’t think path would lead to Cooperstown

By Charlie Vascellaro • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

The first thing that came to mind upon hearing that 45-year-old Josh Rawitch was hired as the new president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame (he was 44 when it was announced) is how young he seems to be.

Like his predecessor (once removed) and interim President Jeff Idelson, who was 43 when he first ascended to the position in 2008, Rawitch is a baseball wunderkind, having worked in the industry since his teenage years, beginning his career as an intern with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994.

“I don’t feel that young, maybe, because I was so lucky to start so young in baseball,” Rawitch said in an exclusive interview. “I was 18 years old when I got my first internship. Often, when my mom sees my bio and it says 27 years in baseball, she says, ‘how is that possible?’ and now I’m 45, and the answer is, I started when I was 18.”

Rawitch continued to work for the Dodgers for 15 years before more recently spending 10 years with the Arizona Diamondbacks, ascending to his most recent job as president of content and communications.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Demolition Derby, tractor pull Otsego dancers, more at County Fair 08-05-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, AUGUST 5

Demolition Derby, tractor pull
Otsego dancers, more at County Fair

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OTSEGO COUNTY FAIR – 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Come out for the 6 best days of summer featuring livestock shows, rides, games, food, the Demolition Derby, antique tractor pulls, a performance by the Otsego School of Dance and Performing Arts, much more. Otsego County Fairgrounds, 469 Mill St., Morris. 607-263-5289 or visit www.otsegocountyfair.org

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103