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News of Otsego County

Baseball Hall of Fame

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Hall Of Fame Curators Discuss Artifacts From Exhibit ‘Starting Nine’ 02-09-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9

‘Starting 9’ Exhibit Discussed

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CURATOR SPOTLIGHT – 2 p.m. Hall of fame curators give glimpses of artifacts in the museums collection from each of the five American League Central Teams, featured from the ‘Starting Nine’ exhibit. This exhibit is a great introduction to the 30 MLB teams. Free, registration required. Presented by Baseball Hall of Fame. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-curator-spotlight-starting-nine-al-central?date=0

We’ll Miss Roars For That Great American
EDITORIAL

We’ll Miss Roars For

That Great American

The great Hank Aaron, and wife Billye, about to round the corner at Mel’s in the 2019 Parade of Legends. (The Freeman’s Journal)

The passing of the great Hank Aaron last Friday, Jan. 22, at age 86, emphasized the death threats the future Hall of Famer received as he neared breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record on April 8, 1974.

Death threats? Contemptible. But there’s a better perspective on Aaron’s 715th home run that broke Babe’s mark at a Braves’ home game in Atlanta.

“A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol,” Vin Scully, Los Angeles Dodgers’ announcer, declared that night.

“What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the State of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world.”

And it was, and it is.

Even better, today, 46 years later, two generations have grown up since 1974, and there’s nothing exceptional today about a black athlete breaking a record – it’s more than routine.

WHAT IF? Hosting MLB Event In Plaque Gallery Gets Wheels Turning
EDITORIAL

WHAT IF? Hosting MLB Event In

Plaque Gallery Gets Wheels Turning

The idea was to bring fans to Cooperstown. What about taking Cooperstown to the fans?

In the Age of COVID, the second sentence is a more intriguing one.

And it played out this week with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s annual announcement of the Induction Class of 2021.

While it turned out there was no one to announce this year, the MLB Network spent the afternoon transmitting the Hall’s various exhibits and attractions to a national audience.

The last few years, Hall of Fame presidents, first Jeff Idelson and, lately, Tim Mead, have been announcing classes from a sterile studio in Secaucus, N.J.

How much more of an impact comes from staging the event in the cathedral-like Hall of Plaques, sanctum santorum of America’s Pastime?

Thank Heaven For Derek Jeter

Thank Heaven For Derek Jeter

No 2021 Inductees,

No Schilling, No Bond, No Clemens

By CHRYSTAL SAVAGE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Hall of Fame President Tim Mead breaks the news.

If not for Derek Jeter and his Classmates of 2020, this would have been another sparse summer for baseball in Cooperstown.

For the first time since 2013, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America elected none of the 25 Hall of Fame candidates above 75 percent, leaving the class of 2021 at zero.

Hall of Fame President Tim Mead announced results pf BBWAA balloting Tuesday, Jan. 26 – for the first time, broadcast from the Hall of Plaques at 22 Main St.

He said he’s confident that the ceremony will take place on July 25, saying that there is a lot of “diligent” work happening “behind the scenes.”

Mead’s presentation, which was broadcast live by the MLB Network, also marks the first time an Induction Class has been announced at the Hall of Plaques.

For years, it was done at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Lately, HoF presidents, Jeff Idelson and last year Mead, announced the class at MLB Network headquarters in Secaucus, N.J.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Book Club Discusses ‘The Gown: A Novel Of The Royal Wedding’ 01-26-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, JANUARY 26

Book Club Discusses ‘The Gown:

A Novel Of The Royal Wedding’

14-19eventspageBOOK CLUB – 7 p.m. Read ‘The Gown: A Novel Of The Royal Wedding’ by Jennifer Robson about the wedding gown of Queen Elizabeth II and the women who made it. Then discuss with the group. Presented by Huntington Memorial Library. 607-432-1980 or visit www.facebook.com/hmloneonta/

For First Time, Induction Class Revealed Locally

For First Time,

Induction Class

Revealed Locally

MLB Network Will Broadcast

From Revered Hall Of Plaques

COOPERSTOWN – Live from the Hall of Plaques for the first time, the Hall of Fame Class of 2121 will be revealed on an MLB Network Broadcast at 6 p.m. tomorrow, the Hall announced a few minutes ago.

MLB Network will air extensive coverage, interviews and analysis beginning at 3 p.m. ET, then televise Hall of Fame President Tim Mead’s announcement of the results. The announcement will be simulcast on MLB.com and at facebook.com/baseballhall.

Hank Aaron Praised For His ‘Legendary Accomplishments’

CLICK FOR HALL OF FAME TRIBUTE

Hank Aaron Praised

For His ‘Legendary

Accomplishments’

Jane Clark Also Cites ‘Generosity Of Spirit’

Hank Aaron waves to fans during the 2018 Parade of Legends during Induction Weekend in Cooperstown. His wife Billye was by his side. (AllOTSEGO.com file photo)
Jane Forbes Clark
Hank Aaron’s plaque at 25 Main St.

COOPERSTOWN – Hank Aaron’s “generosity of spirit and legendary accomplishments will live in Cooperstown forever,” Hall of Fame Chairman Jane Forbes Clark said in reaction to this morning’s passing of the baseball legend.

“Hank Aaron’s incredible talent on the baseball field was only matched by his dignity and character, which shone brightly, not only here in Cooperstown, but with every step he took,” said Clark.

“His courage while pursuing the game’s all-time home run record served as an example for millions of people inside and outside of the sports world, who were also aspiring to achieve their greatest dreams.”

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Hall Of Fame Presents ‘Statistics: Batter Up’ 01-14-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, JANUARY 14

Hall Of Fame Presents

‘Statistics: Batter Up’

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VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP – 1 p.m. ‘Statistics: Batter Up.’ Learn about how baseball statistics are calculated through example of Ted Williams final game of the 1941 season, and other exciting stories. Free, registration required. Presented by Baseball Hall of Fame. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-field-trip-statistics-batter-up-2021?date=0

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HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: 4 Mile Hike On Oneonta Greenway 01-12-21
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, JANUARY 12

Presentation From Starting Nine

Exhibit At Baseball Hall of Fame

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CURATOR SPOTLIGHT – 2 p.m. Hall of fame curators give glimpses of artifacts in the museums collection from each of the five American League East Teams, featured from the ‘Starting Nine’ exhibit. This exhibit is a great introduction to the 30 MLB teams. Free, registration required. Presented by Baseball Hall of Fame. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-curator-spotlight-starting-nine-al-east?date=0

Pitcher, Hall of Famer Phil Niekro Dies At 81

Pitcher, Hall of Famer

Phil Niekro Dies At 81

Phil Niekro’s plaque in the Hall of Fame.

COOPERSTOWN – National Baseball Hall of Fame announced yesterday that pitcher and  Hall of Famer Phil Niekro passed away overnight after a battle with cancer. He was 81 years old.

For years after he entered the Hall, he was often seen along Main Street during the annual Induction Weekend.

Niekro rode his knuckleball to 5,404 innings pitched – the most of any pitcher who started his career in the live ball era. But Niekro, who pitched for 21 of his 24 big league seasons with the Braves, was more than simply durable. His 318 wins and 3,342 strikeouts are a testament to a pitcher who was often untouchable.

HoF Takes Fresh Look

HoF Takes Fresh Look

Idealism, Injustice Balanced

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Hall of Fame spokesman Jon Shestakovsky discusses adjustments to exhibits at 25 Main. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

The Baseball Hall of Fame is striving to balance the sport’s sometimes troubled racial history with athletic prowess on the diamond.

“The conversation began this summer,” said Jon Shestakofsky, the Hall’s vice president/communications.

“We wanted to shine a light on these conflicted stories. And when the Board of Directors met this summer, its members unanimously decided to make these important changes”

So now, the “Pride and Passion” exhibit has been renamed “Ideals and Injustices: A Chronicle of Black Baseball.”

It focuses not just on the formation of the Negro Leagues and Jackie Robinson’s breaking of the color barrier, but addressing the history of racism within the game, even by those honored in
the Hall of Plaques downstairs.

“Cap Anson, for example, was an early superstar of baseball, but his actions helped lead the league towards segregation,” said Shestakofsky.

A first baseman for the Chicago Cubs, Anson was reported to have said he “would never step on a field that also had a Black man on it.”

He was inducted into the Hall with the first class, in 1939.

Though Anson and others, including Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, had previously been mentioned in “Pride and Passion,” Shestakofsky said the updated panels “clarifies” their opposition to integrating the league.

“These upgraded panels delve more deeply into the complicated history,” he said. “They’re in the Hall of Fame for a reason, they did a lot to sustain the game, but there’s more to be said about their lasting impacts.”

Nonetheless, the Hall does not plan to alter the plaques in the gallery.

“I don’t feel in any context that one should expunge history, that one should erase history,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Hall of Fame chairman, in an interview with the New York Times that appeared over the weekend.

“Part of our mission is not only to honor excellence and connect generations, but it’s to preserve the history of the game, and that’s what we’re doing,” she said. “We’re reacting to the evolution of society and society wanting a deeper understanding of underlying racism — its causes, its history, and how it continues to affect the game.”

Instead, a sign has been placed at the entrance to the Hall of Plaques, which reads: “Enshrinement into the National Baseball Hall of Fame reflects the perspective of voters at the time of election. The plaques on these walls recognize Members for their accomplishments in the game.”

It also directs visitors to continue their own exploration of the history in the museum exhibits, library archives, and educational resources.

“When people request educational materials, Jackie Robinson and Civil Rights are requested the most often,” said Shestakofsky. “Education is one of the pillars of our work as an institution.”

But the changes have also allowed the Hall to tell more stories to their visitors.

“Someone like Effa Manley, the only woman enshrined in the Hall, deserves a more full look,” he said. “As an owner, she did a lot to enhance the status of black baseball.”

“She was exceptional,” Clark told the Times. “I just find it a wonderful balance, because it’s not just that we’re looking at racists and Anson and Landis, we’re also looking at somebody who did something so positive.”

Manley was among 17 figures — all deceased — from the Negro leagues elected to the Hall in 2006, following a study by the Major League Baseball. However, that same vote excluded Buck O’Neil, former players and the MLB’s first black coach.

In 2006, O’Neil spoke at the induction ceremony, and a lifetime achievement award at the Hall was named in his honor. But he was never voted into the museum.

Shestakofsky said the exhibit and new signage have received “a very positive response,” so far, and that the curators will continue to look at ways to improve exhibits throughout the museum.

“We are a history museum,” he said. “Our job is to preserve the game’s history.”

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: History Of Women In Baseball 12-16-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16

History Of Women In Baseball

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VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP – 1 p.m. “Women’s History: Dirt On Their Skirts” program about how women made their baseball dreams come true and how that led to greater opportunities for all. Includes Q&A session. Free, registration for Zoom meeting required. Presented by The Baseball Hall of Fame. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-ask-the-expert-curatorial?date=0

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Learn About Diversity In Baseball 12-09-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9

Learn About Diversity In Baseball

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VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP – 1 p.m. Learn about Cultural Diversity in the ‘National Pastime’ and how the game changes around the world. Includes Q&A session. Free, registration for Zoom meeting required. Presented by The Baseball Hall of Fame. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-ask-the-expert-curatorial?date=0

ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Hall Of Fame Curator Q&A 12-08-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8

Hall Of Fame Curator Q&A

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ASK THE EXPERT – 3 p.m. Join the Curator of the Baseball Hall of Fame to discuss how the collections are selected and organized. Includes Q&A session. Free, registration for Zoom meeting required. Presented by The Baseball Hall of Fame. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-ask-the-expert-curatorial?date=0

ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

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