COOPERSTOWN – Two weeks before his baseball buddy Richard Faust died, Steve Murfin and his pal were at the annual Baltimore Orioles “Dream Week” in Florida.
“I was talking to my mother on the phone, and I handed the phone to him,” said Murfin. “He told her jokes and made her laugh for 10 minutes, and when she handed the phone back, she said, ‘I love that guy. He’ll never change and that’s great’.”
Faust, 70, who ran the annual Cooperstown tournament for members of the Orioles fantasy camp, died suddenly this past Feb. 27 in Washington D.C.
“He loved Doubleday Field,” said Murfin. “He always wanted his ashes spread here, and although we can’t do that, we’ll have a ceremony for him,” he said. “We loved him, and he loved us.”
COOPERSTOWN – Where some people saw scraps, Jeff Katz and Quinton Hasak saw a fundraising opportunity.
“When the demolition of the third-base bleachers started, the question arose about what we were going to do with them,” said former mayor Jeff Katz, now president of the Friends of Doubleday. “They’re not the original bleachers, but they’re still a thing from the field.”
Someone offered to buy the entire pile for $1,000. “It wasn’t ours to sell, but even so, not for that little,” said Katz. “It’s worth more than fill.”
COOPERSTOWN – If you’ve ever dreamed of setting foot on historic Doubleday Field, Jeff Katz and the Friends of Doubleday can make that happen.
“People always want to get on the field,” he said. “There’s lots of signage telling people the story of Doubleday, but it doesn’t get them out there.”
The Friends of Doubleday – Katz is president – have begun offering tours 8-9 a.m. every Wednesday and Thursday to take fans through the grandstand, into the dugout and onto the historic field, where they can take pictures or take a run around the bases.
COMMUNITY PROGRAM – 5:30 p.m. Panel on “Downtown Renewal: Community Economic Revitalization” featuring panelists Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, Sociology Chair Dr. Alex Thomas, President/CEO Otsego Co. Chamber of Commerce Barbara Ann Heegan, more. Presentation followed by audience Q&A. Free, open to the public. Otsego Grille, Morris Complex, SUNY Oneonta. Call 607-436-3498.
SENIOR PLAY – 7 – 9:30 p.m. CCS produciton of “Almost. Maine.” Auditorium, Cooperstown High School. Call 607-547-8181 or visit www.cooperstowncs.org
Speaking to the Cliff Kachline chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) at the Hall of Fame today, Doug Gladstone, author of “A Bitter Cup of Coffee: How MLB & The Players Association Threw 874 Retirees a Curve,” detailed how hundred of retirees failed to gain Players Association pensions. Players who retired before 1980 earn only $625 per quarter for every 43 roster days in the Major League, he said. Gladstone encouraged society members, who include Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, to reach out and urge the Players Association to right a wrong. “If they awarded $10,000 per year to the 645 living players, it would cost the Players Association about $6.5 million,” said Gladstone. “I’ve been called an agitator, but this country was founded on agitators. You can call me any name in the book, but no one has ever called me wrong.” (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – With the deadline for tourist-accommodation permits nearing and a moratorium in its fifth month, Mayor Jeff Katz updated the Village Board, saying he foresees tighter regulations on housing for visitors to the village.
“Clearly, the future is going to be where tourist accommodations in the village are harder to come by,” said Katz. “We’re not saying you can’t have tourist accommodations, but we’re working on bolstering the definition of owner, occupancy and owner-occupancy.”
COOPERSTOWN – The Village of Cooperstown announced today that Mayor Jeff Katz has joined Climate Mayors (aka, Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, or MNCAA), a network of nearly 300 U.S. mayors representing over 60 million Americans.
Climate Mayors are working together to strengthen local efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting efforts for binding federal and global-level policy making.
With Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the board, Jon Shestakofsky, VP/communications, and Jeff Idelson, president, right, Homer Jay Simpson of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame at the end of a 25th anniversary round-table discussion of The Simpsons TV show’s “Homer At The Bat” episode. Behind Idelson are fellow Hall of Famers and Power Plant teammates Wade Boggs and Ozzie Smith. “If the Cubs can win the World Series and a cartoon can enter the Hall of Fame, there are no rules,” Homer said in his acceptance speech. At right, Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz and Homer pose following the opening of the “Homer at the Bat” exhibit in the Hall of Fame, featuring figures, animation cells and signed memorabilia. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)