With induction delayed, HOF awards get Saturday spotlight
By CHARLIE VASCELLARO • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
While the Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony has been pushed back to Sept. 8, in order to accommodate the inclusion of fans in attendance on the lawn at the Clark Sports Center, the Hall’s annual Awards Presentation honoring baseball writers and broadcasters is scheduled for Saturday, July 24, as a television only event.
This year’s Ford C. Frick Award and Baseball Writer’s Association of America Career Excellence Award ceremony will include respective 2021 recipients, broadcaster Al Michaels and writer Dick Kaegel as well as 2020 honorees, Ken Harrelson and Nick Cafardo.
‘Do you Believe in Miracles?’
Perhaps best known for his indelible call of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team’s stunning defeat of Russia in the 1980 winter Olympics, Al Michaels was already a seasoned and accomplished sports broadcaster at the time breaking into baseball with the Pacific Coast (minor) League’s Hawaii Islanders in 1968. The 45th winner of the Frick Award, Michaels assumed the lead broadcaster responsibilities for the Cincinnati Reds in 1971 and the San Francisco Giants in 1974.
MIDDLEFIELD — As summer began and COVID regulations eased, Clark Sports Center Assistant Athletic Director Scott Whiteman started getting more activity on his phone. It was the basketball athletes checking on open gym status.
“We couldn’t practice the last week of school, because it was finals,” said Piper Seamon, a 2020 Cooperstown Central School graduate and college basketball player at Hamilton College in Clinton.
“So, I was texting Scott a week before I got home, ‘Are you open? Can I work out?’”
In the off seasons of many sports, athletes go back to their college campuses to work with old trainers or scrimmage with young recruits. Around Otsego County, elite basketball players congregate at the Clark.
COOPERSTOWN — Following last week’s announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that lifted significant COVID-19 restrictions, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced Monday, June 21, that tickets will not be needed for free lawn seating for the Wednesday, Sept. 8, induction ceremony.
The ceremony was rescheduled from its traditional last Sunday in July to an event at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8, on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center in the town of Middlefield.
The event will celebrate the inductions of Class of 2020 members Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker and will be broadcast live exclusively on MLB Network.
Since 1992, the event has been held on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center, with estimated crowds approaching and surpassing 50,000 at five of the last six ceremonies, from 2014 to 2019. The second-largest crowd on record – an estimated 55,000 people – attended the Hall of Fame’s last induction, July 21, 2019.
COOPERSTOWN — A National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum official said the rescheduling of Induction Weekend to a Wednesday in September came down to one simple factor: the calendar.
“Looking at the calendar, we just had a very limited amount of options,” Jon Shestakofsky, vice president of communications and education, told Iron String Media, Friday, June 11.
The exclusive interview took place two days after the Hall announced it would shift from a virtual induction on the traditional Sunday afternoon in July to a limited capacity, ticketed-only induction Wednesday, Sept. 8, at the Clark Sports Center in the town of Middlefield.
Shestakofsky said the date was the best available option. He said there was no weekend date in September that worked for all of the induction stakeholders, including Major League Baseball, the MLB Network, the inductees and their families, the Hall and the Hall of Famers.
Saturday I had one of those “It Takes a Village” moments.
I offered a ride to a friend to the vaccination clinic at the Clark Sports Center. Sitting with her in a folding chair on the gym floor, I remembered just how special our community is.
We have a teaching hospital right here in Cooperstown, we have an amazing recreational facility and, most important, we are blessed with people who care.
Our local community members helped spread the word about vaccine availability, assisted with online registration, provided rides, checked people in, gave shots, stood by in case of an emergency, and checked up on our friends and neighbors.
We live in a one-of-a-kind place that I am pleased to call home.
For the past nine years, I have been privileged to represent village residents on the Board of Trustees. This Tuesday, March 16, I will be running for my fourth term.
There is little hype about this election. My name and Hanna Joy Bergene’s will be the only ones on the ballot, and there are two open seats. There is no national election going on simultaneously and no COVID-induced change to the voting date as there was last year.
Honestly, it may seem like there is little reason to participate. But I am hopeful that in our remarkable village people still will make the effort to exercise their right to vote.
Polls are open noon – 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, at the fire hall, and absentee-ballot applications and absentee ballots can be picked up by 4 p.m. Monday, March 15, at Village Hall, 22 Main St.
The pandemic has been difficult on all of us individually and collectively. The village government is no exception to that – the last year has been trying, and the coming months will be critical as we begin to creep forward into a post-pandemic world.
I encourage you to take part in the democratic process as we enter this next phase, and I would greatly appreciate your vote on Tuesday the 16th.
This past weekend Bassett performed an amazing feat of vaccinating a large group of people, more than 1,100 over two days. The confirmation of vaccine availability only came though on Wednesday, March 3, leaving but two full days to prepare. Nevertheless, I visited on Sunday and it had the appearance of a military operation (which in a sense it was).
The Bassett community, from Dr. Tommy Ibrahim on down should be proud, as should the staff of the Clark Sports Center, which hosted the event.
I want to especially commend the Bassett Director of Network Pharmacy, Kelly Rudd, Pharm.D., who was in command of the clinic from planning through implementation.
She worked from the list of patients from the state, a list of patients from Bassett’s own scheduling system, and an ad hoc group of volunteers who worked to contact and track down people qualified to be vaccinated, but for whom the computer-driven scheduling system was difficult or even impossible to use.
Also, many thanks are due to the Bassett staff who took the time to make hundreds of calls to help schedule seniors 65+.
There are many reports of computer-savvy individuals signing up friends, family members, and neighbors for vaccine appointments. To see this community spirit and kindness is a great thing.
The clinic was also able to smoothly access the waiting list to make sure no dose went unused. The volunteer group – which went out and identified about 175 people who had difficulty finding appointments on their own – included church members, other faith-based organizations, philanthropic NGOs (non-government organizations) including the Community Foundation of Otsego County, and additional individuals.
Many had been working on an individual basis, but recognized the synergy of working together.
In a noontime press briefing convened by Bassett President/CEO Tommy Ibrahim, top, the network’s pharmacy director, Kelly Rudd, left, announced Bassett Healthcare Network will provide vaccinations to the public at its first public clinic 8 a.m.-1 p.m. this Saturday at the Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown. Register later this afternoon by clicking here. “Given the limited supply of vaccine, we know appointments will for the community clinic will fill up immediately,” Rudd said. “Individuals must register through the state’s COVID-19 vaccination portal, using the ‘Am I eligible’ app, and we anticipate that a link to the state’s portal will be live later this afternoon.” (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
VIRTUAL TOUR – 2 p.m. Zoom meeting featuring walk through of exhibit ‘Pete Souza: Two Presidents, One Photographer’ featuring live Q&A session with Pete Souza himself. Free, registration required. Suggested donation $20. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org
“Your health and safety is our top priority,” a notice on the website reads. “With continued guidance from the CDC and NYSDOH we will determine the safest course of action for everyone entering and using our facility.”
COOPERSTOWN – The Clark Sports Center announced today it will remain closed “at least until Sept. 8.”
“We have been closely monitoring the guidelines from the CDC, Governor Cuomo, the state Department of Health, and the Otsego County Department of Health,” the message to members reads. “Although the Sports Center is eligible to open on July 1 as part of Phase Four, the guidelines issued by the State of New York make it extremely difficult to assure members and guests of a safe environment for health and wellness, and recreational activities.
COUNCIL ROCK RACE – Enjoy fun race in time of Social Distancing. Run 4.4 miles in a location, distance from Council Rock to Council Rock Brewery, at time & location of your choosing. Visit www.facebook.com/clarksportscenter for info on virtual event.
5K RUN/WALK – 1 p.m. Support local non-profit SADD ‘Strides For Safety’ providing educational programs for students. Participate in virtual 5k run/walk. Sign up, then run or walk the 5k anytime between April 17-20 along route of your choice (just abide by social distancing and stay safe). Post of picture of you completing your run with hashtags #saddstridesfor safety and #clarksportscenterevents. Runners are encouraged to wear past SADD run t-shirts or to show off school colors. Entrance fee, $10/person. Invite friends and family from everywhere for this virtual event. Register at saddstridesforsafety.itsyourrace.com//event.aspx?id=8944