THEATER – 7 p.m. Classic metatheatrical play “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder portrays everyday live of residents of the fictional Grover’s Corner. Lucy B. Hamilton Amphitheater, Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org
The 2019 inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame – from left, Harold Baines, Lee Smith, Edgar Martinez, Michael Mussina, Mariano Rivera, and Brandy Halladay, accepting the plaque posthumously on behalf of her husband Roy Halladay – pose for a group photo on the stage following their Induction ceremony earlier today in the field next to the Clark Sports Center. If your eyes were good, you may have even spotted Laurentino Cortizo, right, the President of Panama, who was in the crowd with fellow Panamanians to witness and celebrate their countryman Rivera’s induction. The Hall announced this evening that 55,000 fans attended the ceremony, making it the second-largest, after the Cal Ripken Jr./Tony Gwynn weekend in 2007. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
AUTHOR SERIES – 1 p.m. Wayne Coffey discusses his new book, “They Said It Couldn’t Be Done: The ’69 Mets, New York City, and the Most Astounding Season in Baseball History” in the Bullpen Theatre. Baseball Hall of Fame, 25 Main St., Cooperstown. Info, www.baseballhall.org/, 607-547-7200.
Jeff Idelson, Baseball Hall of Fame president, left, and Hall board Chairman Jane Forbes Clark, right, stand with members of 30 Major League Baseball teams who made up the roster for the 2019 Hall Of Fame Classic game at Doubleday Field this afternoon in Cooperstown. Despite some sprinkles, professional ballplayers gave their fans a great game as well as T-shirt give-aways, children’s competitions, as well as signing autographs and memorabilia. At right, Maria Noto, Cooperstown, backed by the Cooperstown Sign Language club, sings the National Anthem at the beginning of the afternoon’s game. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Baseball star Bryce Harper, now 26, who played at Cooperstown Dreams Park in 2003-05, has just signed a 13-year, $330-million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, the largest contract in MLB and pro-sports history.
CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. Boston Brass treats audience to one-of-a-kind musical experience featuring classical, burning jazz standards. Tickets, $25 general admission. First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St.,Oneonta. 607-433-7252 or visit oneontaconcertassociation.org
KITE FESTIVAL – 6 p.m. Build your own kite then see if it can fly without wind at indoor kite fly event. All ages welcome, cost $3. Old School Gymn Genesee St., Cherry Valley. 607-264-3080 or visit www.facebook.com/cherryvalleyartworks/
MANSION TOURS – 7 – 8 p.m. Tour historic Fairchild Mansion with Bruce Van Buren and other Masons. Cost, $3/non-gohs-members. Enter through Portico on west side of lodge. Oneonta Free Mason Lodge, 322 Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org/upcomingevents.htm
FAMILY PROGRAM – 6 – 6:45 p.m. Ross Park Zoomobile presents sit down program featuring opportunity to learn about, handle exotic animals. Cooperstown Village Library. 607-547-8344 or visit www.facebook.com/VillageLibraryOfCooperstown/
FRONTIER HISTORY – 6:30 p.m. Terry McMaster presents “Ethnicity, Alliance, Family & War – Defenders of the NY Frontier & The Andrustown, Springfield, and Cherry Valley Attack of 1778.” Hyde Hall, 267 Glimmerglass State Park Road, Cooperstown. 607-547-5098 ext. 6 or visit hydehall.org/event/ethnicity-alliance-family-war/
CONCERT – 7 p.m. Small Town Big Band features 14 piece band performing music from the ‘30s to present in the style of the Big Band Era. Lakefront Park, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-5256 or visit richcooperstown.org/lakefront-concert-series/
INDEPENDENCE DAY PARTY – 3:30 p.m. Bring the kids to learn about the 4th of July, hear stories, make independence day crafts. Arkell Museum, 2 Eries Blvd., Canajoharie. Call 518-673-2314 or visit www.arkellmuseum.org/events-calendar
KNIT DAY – 1:30 – 3 p.m. Celebrate World Wide Knit in Public Day with the HML Yarn Club. Knitters, Crocheters of all skill levels welcome. Huntington Park, Oneonta. Call 607-432-1980 or visit hmloneonta.org/adult-programs/
Hail Doubleday! Historic Ballfield To Be
Reinvented For 21st Century Fans’ Needs
Too much discussion about Doubleday Field in recent years has centered on how it
was once considered the Birthplace of Baseball, and now isn’t.
That’s not a productive conversation.
Let’s stipulate that boys played baseball in Phinney’s Field in the mid-1800s, as boys did across the country. Let’s stipulate that Abner Doubleday was at West Point in 1839, when he purportedly invented baseball here. Let’s stipulate that, yes, something with a bat and ball was played as far away as Poland as long ago as the Middle Ages.
No matter. Doubleday Field has played a central role in Cooperstown becoming the locus of the National Game, which in turn led to the founding of the National Baseball Hall of Fame here instead of Hoboken, which in turn fueled Otsego County tourism, which in turn led to the youth baseball camps that now underpin our cornerstone local industry.
In announcing a $1 million grant the other day toward $5.8 million in renovations, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, caught the personal dimension of that living history. He remembered seeing Mickey Mantle hit a single there, (although a pinch-runner took it from there.) One of the Wounded Warriors told him, with awe, the other year: “Babe Ruth sat in the dugout where I’m sitting now.”
In short, Doubleday Field IS historic.
So the renewed interest in renovating Doubleday Field is as welcome as it is overdue.
In addition to Seward’s Million, another $3 million is expected any day from the Empire State Development Corp., (which this week announced the opening of The Wick, a boutique hotel in
Hudson, a $10 million project – the state DOES do this sort of thing, as it should.)
The resulting Doubleday Field – with a green swath leading from Main Street to the main entrance, a historic exhibit beneath the grandstand, and a multi-purpose building (offices, restrooms, a pressroom and space for public gatherings) – will cement this national icon further in community life.
Cooperstown’s new mayor, Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, immediately began promoting the project on taking office April 1, winning the endorsement of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Commission – necessary to receive the grant – just days after taking the oath.
She appointed her predecessor, Jeff Katz, as president of the Friends of Doubleday, which will assure continuity as things move forward.
Tillapaugh has a sensible priority list: As soon as the money is in hand, no matter how much, work will begin on the most important things first. No waiting.
This should assure that something – fingers crossed that is will be largely complete – will be in place in time to celebrate Doubleday Field’s centennial properly, sometime next year or in 2020.
Hail Doubleday!, (wherever or whenever baseball emerged from the primeval maw.)
Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson and Chairman Jane Forbes Clark, far right, pose for a team photo with Hall of Famers and Major Leaguers who came out to play ball in Doubleday Field for the Hall of Fame Classic game Saturday. Among them were Rollie Fingers, Eddie Murray, Tim Rains, Ozzie Smith, Ryan Sweeney, Chris Gomez, A.J. Pierzynski, Tim Crabtree, Todd Zeile and more. Between innings fans clamored at the gates around the fields, hoping to get autographs from the star players. At right, Goose Gossage gives a fist-bump to Russle Slamowitz and his father Adam who traveled from Reno, Nevada, especially for the game. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)