COOPERSTOWN – At Mickey’s Place, Vin Russo, dean of the baseball merchants, pointed out that, before Dreams Park began hosted baseball tournaments early in the month, “this week is when the season began.”
In other words, the Hall of Fame’s announcement it will reopen this Friday from the coronavirus pause won’t be like recent summer seasons for Main Street’s baseball merchants. But this used to be typical, and businesses survived, even thrived.
COOPERSTOWN – Marvin Miller, who as leader of the MLB Players Association established free agency, turning players into tycoons, will enter the Hall of Fame in the Class of 2020. He will be inducted posthumously Sunday, July 26.
He was elected yesterday by the Modern Era Committee, along with Ted Simmons, 70, an eight-time All-Star catcher who played 13 seasons with St. Louis.
The Baseball Writers of America’s picks, expected to include Yankee Derek Jeter, will be announced in mid-January.
COOPERSTOWN – Five-time World Series champion Derek Jeter heads a group of 18 new candidates on the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot that is being mailed this week to more than 400 voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
The results will be announced Jan. 21 live on the MLB network.
Additional newcomers to the ballot include Cliff Lee, Josh Beckett, Jason Giambi, Paul Konerko, Rafael Furcal, Bobby Abreu and Alfonso Soriano.
Jeter spent all 20 of his major-league seasons with the Yankees and finished with 3,465 hits, the sixth highest total in history.
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)
Outgoing Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson, left; Jayson Stark, recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, and Idelson’s successor, Tim Mead, wave from the stage at the conclusion of the ninth annual Hall Of Fame Awards presentation at Doubleday Field this afternoon. Between Stark and Mead is Mariano Rivera, the Yankee star pitcher, one of six players being inducted tomorrow. Idelson, who is seen embracing Jane Forbes Clark, at right, was honored for his 25 years of service at the Baseball Hall of Fame, the past 11 as president. Stark, who was inducted alongside Al Helfer, who posthumously received the Ford C. Frick Award, was all smiles as he addressed the crowd. “I always wanted to be a baseball writer. How many people get to be what they dreamed of being? To be elected by you is as cool as it gets. All I ever wanted since I was a kid was to be one of you.” (Ian Austin/ AllOTSEGO.com)
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)
COOPERSTOWN – The National Baseball Hall of Fame has announced the cap selections that will appear on the plaques for each of the six members of the Hall of Fame class of 2019:
Harold Baines – Chicago White Sox logo; Roy Halladay – no logo; Edgar Martinez – Seattle Mariners logo; Mike Mussina – no logo; Mariano Rivera – New York Yankees logo, and Lee Smith – Chicago Cubs logo.
COMMUNITY PROGRAM – 6:30 p.m. Learn how the baseball card game began with Hall of Fame librarian Jim Gates in “The Origins of Trading Cards.” Woodside Hall, 1 Main St., Cooperstown. 607-547-0600, ext. 101 or visit www.facebook.com/Woodside.Hall/
COOPERSTOWN – The Navy is planning a keel-laying ceremony for the USS Cooperstown this Tuesday in Marinette, Wisc., and Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh is planning to attend on behalf of her constituents.
The keel is the first part of a ship put in place, and the mayor will serve as “keel authenticator,” lowering the first module into place on the building dock. (Assembling of the modules can occur over several month before the assembly of the ship begins.)
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/
One of the many delights in getting older is you realize some things aren’t going to be resolved in your lifetime. If you’re 65-and-holding, you
American paranoia and its companion, the National Security State, won’t be dissipated tomorrow, if it can ever. And, year to year, we witness the ever-fuller flowering of these truly abhorrent aspects of modern American life during the Hall of Fame’s Induction Weekend.
In addition to all the other indignities of recent Induction Weekends – metal barricades, legions of police officers and military personnel, armored cars, frowning men in camo watching us from the rooftops – add two more for 2018.
One is drones that buzzed Cooperstown skies
this weekend, even as signs went up: “Drone Use Regulations In Effect” (for the rest of us). The other was no-parking signs that went up within block after block of Cooperstown’s barricaded-off downtown.
Who is buzzing us and what are they looking for? That information isn’t readily available. (Not the Russians, we hope.)
The vastly expanded no-parking zones, Cooperstown Mayor
Ellen Tillapaugh explained, are in the event of an incident at Induction venues – an exploding knapsack, ala Boston Marathon, perhaps: Visitors can be more quickly “evacuated” – yikes.
“These acts of mass murder,” President George W. Bush told us a few hours after the Twin Towers were felled on 9/11, “were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong.
“A great people has been moved to defend a great nation,” he continued. “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”
Of course, that was nonsense. Mohamed Mohamed el-Amir Awad el-Sayed Atta and his Gang of 18 won 9/11. As a people, we’ve been running scared every since, as evidenced yet again this past weekend as America’s Pastime was celebrated under Big Brother’s watchful eye.
(FYI, homeland security spending rose to $635.9 billion in the decade following 9/11, from $69.1 billion, according to the National Priorities Project.)
Ironically, how many visitors remarked to you how lovely Cooperstown reminds them of the good old days, of unlocked doors, kids on bikes, well-tended houses (where, presumably, mom and dad live with a couple of kids), for the time being, tree-lined streets? (What’s that buzzing?)
Still, you can understand the anxiety of the powers-that-be. If everything that might be done isn’t done and something happens, imagine the recriminations – in this space, no doubt, and far beyond. Heads would roll, careers would be lost. There’s a self-propelling momentum from – is it too much to say? – freedom to chains, at least e-chains.
How, as a nation, do we ramp it back? How, as a community, might we be a model? Maybe a place to start would be a community de-briefing in the next few weeks. Or is this none of our business? And more community input next spring as security is planned for Induction 2019.
To ask the question – how do we ramp it back? – is easy. Perhaps the answer will only be found in the march of history-to-come.
The Romans no doubt felt similar paranoia, with a resulting National Security State, archaic by comparison. It was solved when the Visigoths took over. Problem solved – at least that problem. Will paranoia be part of American life until American life is no more?
Meanwhile, what next? Returnees from the U.S. Open golf championship on Long Island on Father’s Day Weekend provide an inkling. All parking, all of it, was at Gabreski Airport, 10 miles from Shinnecock Hills Country Club.
To get to the open, you had to park your car or SUV there, along with 10,000 other vehicles. All attendees went through security screening, including metal detectors, then were put on buses that took them to the golf course and brought them back at day’s end.
Certainly, that model must be under consideration for the prospective Derek Jeter induction in 2020. If so, you read it here first, folks. The difference: Shinnecock is a golf course; Cooperstown – for the time being, anyhow – is a living, breathing community.
Weekend A Hit
While ever-tightening security is hard to ignore, Induction Weekend 2018 was also a lot of fun, and plenty of inspiration.
Six inductees – the most since 1971 – promised a lengthy ceremony, but it went by quickly, with Chipper Jones and Jack Morris’ humor, Trevor Hoffman’s food for thought and Jim Thome’s message: Success takes hard work, and he gave details. (Also, his daughter Lila’s rendering of the National Anthem was on it.)
Bob Costas winning the Ford C. Frick Award added a sheen of show biz, the Parade of Legends was bigger and better than ever, and the visitors were happy.
Given the crowd was the second-largest – 52,000 to Ripken-Gwynn’s 83,000 in 2007 – things generally went smoothly, even the traffic.
“Mi Tierra! Mi Tierra!” – Raymon Garcia leads the cheers for a group of friends from the Dominican Republican, here to cheer Vladimir Guerrero and other members of the Class of 2018 in the Parade of Legends, which ended a few minutes ago in downtown Cooperstown. It was too much excitement for Nolan Peet, a baseball fan for 6 months, who attended the parade with dad Steve and mom Marybeth. The Lewes, Del., family has a family home in the Cooperstown area; this is the Philly fans’ 17th consecutive Hall of Fame Weekend. The next big event is Induction at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Clark Sports Center. (Jim Kevlin, George Thabault/AllOTSEGO.com photos)