Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cooperstown

Oh yeah, and on my long road trip from Indianapolis to Boston, I managed to stop in to see my sister Susie's opera, which was through the Glimmerglass Opera Company in Cooperstown, New York. The opera was great--"Orpheus and the Underworld", a comedic operetta by Jacques Offenbach, and by far the most engaging and least snooze-inducing opera I've seen thus far--but in addition to that it also afforded me the opportunity to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame!

In all my experience with the French people I have met thus far, I have yet to meet one who was not either completely appalled or utterly indifferent to the concept of baseball. I have to say that to some extent, I can see their point of view: the game itself has less moments of action than, say, football or basketball, and the rules can seem quite bizarre to outsiders not familiar with the game. However, having grown up in a world of baseball cards, wiffle ball, and every regular season Chicago Cubs baseball game available on WGN--I have to admit that I was legitimately thrilled to visit the Hall of Fame and reminisce about my childhood heroes. On to the pics:

Doubleday Field, the alleged site of the first-ever baseball game.
If this isn't a blog-worthy photo, I don't know what is: outside the Hall of Fame there's a wax museum featuring likenesses of baseball greats. In a brilliant marketing ploy, the statue they have showcased to lure people into the museum is a wax statue of George Castanza in a Yankees uniform. (And as any true Seinfeld buff would know, this is clearly an allusion to the time that George intentionally tries to get fired from his job with the Yankees by intentionally spilling food on a historic Babe Ruth jersey he removed from the display case).
The weekend prior to our visit, it was the Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Cal Ripken, Jr and Tony Gwynn. Perhaps I should have dug up their rookie cards from my collection (being stored at my parents' house, of course) and tried to capitalize on the hype...
A feature on one of my favorite all-time players, Ozzie Smith of the St. Louis Cardinals. (If you squint hard, you can also see other members of the famous 80's St. Louis teams, including E.T.-look-a-like Willie McGee).
The First 5 Inductees of the Baseball Hall of Fame (in 1936) are not obvious: You've got your Babe Ruth, your Ty Cobb, your Honus Wagner. The pitchers are Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson. Why wasn't Cy Young (whose name is synonymous with pitching excellence) chosen instead of one of these two?
Museum's entrance.

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