Hall of Fame recap – Saturday at the Hall

28 07 2016

So I finally got back home and now have the the time to do a little posting on my trip to Cooperstown.  For reference, here was the timeline my wife and I had:

  • Thursday – Flew in to Newark, hung around Hoboken and Manhattan
    • Fiore’s deli for “beef & mutz” for lunch – if anyone has had it, you know what I’m talking about
    • Pony Bar for a craft beer or two after walking around Times Square
    • Stayed with a friend in New Jersey
  • Friday – drive to Cooperstown
    • Ommegang Brewery
    • Kayaking in the afternoon
    • Check in to the house/apartment we rented
    • Dinner at Cooley’s Stone House Tavern
  • Saturday
    • Visit the Hall of Fame in the morning
    • Lunch at Doubleday cafe
    • Got a few autographs at the MAB Celebrity Services event at Tunnicliff Inn
    • Spink/Frick awards presentation
    • Hall of Fame Parade of Legends
    • Dinner at Mel’s 22
  • Sunday
    • Hall of Fame Induction
    • Cooperstown Brewing Co.
    • Dinner at Toscana Italian
  • Monday
    • Legends of the Game roundtable with the 2 new HOF-ers
    • Howe Caverns

After Monday, I dropped my wife off at Albany and went on a “beer pilgrimage” trip in Vermont and Western, MA.  Not really the scope of this blog, but I’ll just say it was a lot of fun, though I’m happy to be back and maybe get some rest from my vacation 🙂

Today is about the first part of Saturday, but before I get to that, I want to talk about Friday kayaking.  We went to a place on the Susquehanna River, about 10 minutes south of Ommegang, and you can kayak to Goodyear Lake.  It’s beautiful, as the pictures below show.



Saturday is the biggest day for getting autographs, but most of that happens in the afternoon.  We woke up and got breakfast from the local pastry shop.  Cooperstown blocks off the main street for this weekend – which makes getting around much easier.  After gobbling up our donuts & croissants, we went to the Hall of Fame at about 9:30 – I think it had been open since 8 – and walked around where we could.

The first thing we did was go check out the special exhibit for each of the two new inductees.  To my approval – baseball cards are prominent in this display!  They had a blowup of 12 cards for each player.  I really like the inclusion of the 1994 Collector’s Choice painted checklists for both guys, but I think they really missed out not having the 89 UD Griffey.

Griffey cards in display

And partially missed out by not having the 1992 Bowman Piazza.

Piazza cards next to display

But that aside, just having baseball cards on here was really cool.  Piazza’s in-case display had some baseball cards as well.  They had 3 cards from 1998 where he was on the Dodgers, Marlins and Mets all within a week.

Piazza cards in display

They also had a ball from each of the no-hitters he caught.

Piazza no hit bottles

Here’s Griffey’s display:

Griffey display

The have a card in his – it’s from 1991 Score (lower left).  My favorite thing from his display was his MVP.

Griffey MVP

Here’s the spot waiting for their plaques.  It was too busy for me to stay around to see them after that.

Empty plaque

I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in the Hall, because I’ve been there twice before – and I’ve included pictures of it on this blog.  Most of the exhibits are the same (though the stuff they put in them rotates).

The one exhibit that was new this time around was called “Today’s Game”.  It focuses on the last 40 years and the changes in the game throughout the ’70s, ’80s, 90s and current century.  I’m really glad they did an exhibit like this.  If you’re in town visiting the Hall, you’re obviously a baseball fan.  And you probably either aren’t a fan from the 50’s and 60’s, or if you are old enough, you are also a fan of the game since then.  So it’s relatable to just about everybody.  There are interactive polls – do you think Pete Rose should be in the Hall? – and playable highlights.

HOF - replay highlights

This Tom Seaver painting by Andy Warhol is one of the first things you see in the exhibit.  Seaver was not at the Hall for this weekend.  Kind of sad if you ask me – Piazza was joining him as the 2nd Met to make it.  I’ve read that it just boils down to price for him.  I hope that’s not the case.


There were a lot of baseball cards in these exhibits.  Here’s the 1974 Topps Senators/ Padres situation explained.

HOF - Padres Senators 1974 Topps

They had a baseball card display for the first all-black lineup in 1971.  The Hall used 1972 and 1971 cards to show this off.

HOF - first all-black starting lineup

They even had the book “House of Cards” about Upper Deck!  There’s the 1989 UD Griffey card!

HOF - house of cards

Finally, here was a cool piece of art – Phil Niekro’s uniform made out of cut-up baseball cards.

HOF - Niekro bb card jersey

A few other things I appreciated – they had a uniform and the DJ’s army hat from the failed Disco Demolition Day in Comiskey back in the 70’s.

HOF - Disco Demolition

And they had the display case for MLB ice cream cup hats that were handed out at Dairy Queen (and possibly) other places back when I was a kid.  My dad got a guy from DQ to give us the display and me and my brother would collect the hats.  I’ve got to say this was, for me personally, the coolest new thing I saw in the Hall just because it brought back good memories of my dad, my brother and me.

HOF - ice cream caps

That’s about it for the Hall.  After we finished there, we hit up Doubleday Cafe.  If there was one restaurant I’d recommend in Cooperstown – it’s that.  They have standard fare, but their food is top-notch and I love the environment.

Tomorrow or later tonight I’ll cover the rest of what we did Saturday.




2 responses

29 07 2016

OK, I got my fix. I don’t have to go to the Hall of Fame this year. I was really getting the urge a couple weeks ago.

29 07 2016

Glad to help! You’ll probably consider my next 2 posts unnecessary.

I went 4 years ago, and the lack of change was a little surprising to me. I’m not complaining – I could spend days walking through there if I had the time – just hadn’t thought about it that much.

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