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Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY

Dec 4, 2005, 12:13 AM EDT

While the Phillies were busy floundering their season away this past weekend, I figured I would have a much better chance of seeing a Phillies World Series ring by heading to upstate New York.  I made my first pilgrimage to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.  A walk down Main Street in Cooperstown is a pretty awesome experience.  The Hall’s website gets it just right: "Cooperstown represents a step back in time, with buildings dating to the early 19th century and
orange geraniums hanging from classically-styled streetlights."  The town itself is a time machine back into Americana, but when you step inside the museum you get treated to some of the memorabilia and stories you thought were only legends.

I could talk about many of the things I saw in detail, but you’d be better off driving up to New York yourself to see the bat Babe Ruth used and Honus Wagner’s famous tobacco card.  Like all of the paraphernalia inside the museum, every baseball fan has their own story.  I found myself looking at the baseball cards section with a Yankees fan pointing towards the cards of the late 60′s and telling a Cardinal’s fan those were the cards he grew up on.  The Cardinal’s fan pointed to the mid 70′s.  I just pointed all the way to the left where the late 80′s/early 90′s were and said I got in the game a little late.  I saw the glove of Willie Mays and the jersey of Juan Marichal, two guys I heard my Dad tell tales of growing up.  I’m guessing the Baseball Hall of Fame is a different experience for everyone.

476 North to 81 North to 88 East.  Go.  Perhaps you will get lucky and end up being their during Pumpkin Fest.

Some of the memorabilia that caught my eye:
-The cleat Juan Samuel wore to steal a record setting 72 bases as a rookie in 1984.
-Phillies 1980 World Series ring.
-Yoyo the famous Veterans Stadium dancing fan.  Supposedly he was let into every game for free and did some crazy dance to the tarantella.  Any old timers have any more info on Yoyo?
-Willie Mays glove worn during "The Catch."
-One of the things which bothered me: in the "Today’s Game" portion of the museum, the Phillies locker  contained a Jim Thome jersey, a Bobby Abreu bat, a Curt Schilling hat, and the only item I noticed from a current player was the helmet worn by Jimmy Rollins during his 38 game hit streak.
-I think we should bring back the Phillies Hot Pants Patrol.
-A kid can dream.

-Baseball Hall of Fame Official Site

-My Flickr Slideshow of Cooperstown