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)
WORKFORCE SEMINAR – 8:30 a.m. Melinda Mack, Executive Director of the NY Association of Training & Employment Professionals, will speak on trends in employment and workforce development. Cost, $10, continental breakfast included. Bullpen Theater, Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-9983 or visit otsegocc.com
MINDFULNESS – 6-7 p.m. Come prepared to discuss “Peace Is Every Step” by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. The Green Toad Bookstore, 198 Main St., Oneonta. Call 607-433-8898 or visit www.facebook.com/TheGreenToadBookstore/
DRI WALKING TOUR – 7 p.m. Explore Main and Market Street areas covered by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative with Mayor Gary Herzig and the Greater Oneonta Historical Society. Learn about the Past, Present, and Future of Downtown Oneonta. Call (607)432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org
AWARDS PRESENTATION – 4:30 p.m. Features the presentation of the Ford C. Frick award for baseball broadcasting excellence and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. Gates open 3 p.m. Followed immediately by the Parade of Legends Doubleday Field, Cooperstown. baseballhall.org/events/Awards-Presentation-2017?date=0
ART EXHIBITION – 5-7 p.m. The Arc Otsego’s 13th Annual Voice! exhibit celebrates Artists with Developmental Disabilities. Reception includes live music, refreshment, and art for sale. $1,500 prize will be awarded and guests can cast their vote for the People’s Choice award. Martin-Mullen Art Gallery, SUNY Oneonta. Call (607)432-8595 or visit www.facebook.com/arcotsego/
WEDNESDAY WORKSHOP – 1-3 p.m. Try a new activity in a small group setting with a knowledgeable instructor. This week its Metal Detecting on the grounds of the museum with Alex & Michelle Osterhout and Christ & Kim Altman. Reservations required. The Swart-Wilcox House Museum, Wicox ave., Oneonta. Call (607)287-7011 or visit swartwilcoxhouse.wordpress.com/wednesday-workshops-2017/
WEDNESDAY WORKSHOP – 1-3 p.m. Try a new craft in a small group setting with a knowledgeable instructor. This week its Origami with instructor Pat Follett. Reservations required. The Swart-Wilcox House Museum, Wilcox ave., Oneonta. Call (607)287-7011 or visit swartwilcoxhouse.wordpress.com/wednesday-workshops-2017/
ONEONTA 5K – 5:30-6:30 p.m. Support the Oneonta YMCA and historic Damaschke field in this race through downtown Oneonta. Runners can stay for the Oneonta Outlaw game at 7 p.m. Ends at Damaschke Field, Oneonta. www.itsyourrace.com/event.aspx?id=9547
MUSIC AT THE MANSION – 6:30-8 p.m. Free monthly event features open mic for solo and small ensemble musicians followed by an intermission and then the featured performance by one-man-show, Fritz Henry. Community Arts Network of Oneonta, Wilber Mansion, 11 Ford Ave., Oneonta. www.canoneonta.org/calendar/
COMMUNITY CONCERT – 7-8.30 p.m. Presenting classic old time country music by “Country & Wes.” Held at the Historic Bandstand, Spring Park, Main St., Richfield Springs. www.richfieldspringschamber.org
DIGGING KNOTWEED – 6:30-8 p.m.Help dig Japanese Knotweed out before it can crowd out other plants at the Mohican Farm. Meet at the Mohican Farm Office, 7207 St. Hwy. 80, Cooperstown. occainfo.org/calendar/digging-knotweed-2/
LAKEFRONT CONCERT – 7 p.m. Cooperstown Community Band celebrates 156 years of patriotic marches, Broadway show tunes, dixieland, jazz, themes and other favorites. Bandstand in the Lakefront Park, Cooperstown. richcooperstown.org/lakefront-concert-series/
DANCE DEMONSTRATION – 10 a.m. Informative demonstration in the art of dance presented by Jillian’s Dance Arts. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. foothillspac.org
ART RECEPTION – 5-7 p.m. “Migration-Immigration: A Creative Depiction” opens depicting the arduous and dangerous path that has led many immigrant to the US throughout our history. Features the work of local artists working in water color, acrylics, oils, pen, ink, sculptures, and more. Cherry Branch Gallery, 25 Main St., Cherry Valley. cherrybranchgallery.com