The National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum, Sunday, July 26

       We reserved Sunday as our day to tour the Hall of Fame before attending the Induction Ceremony for Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice. The admission is a bit steep at $15 a piece, but this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The HOF 1
Induction Day at the Hall of Fame

       We went directly to the Hall of Plaques. The plaques were the thing I liked best about the entire museum. Reading over the accomplishments of players long gone was interesting. You could tell that the favorite players' plaques had been touched often by the way the bronze was buffed on the person's face. It was neat.

HOF 2
Inside the Hall of Plaques
***

plaques
Wade Boggs - Gary Carter - Dave Winfield
***

       After I left the Hall of Plaques, I was disappointed. To me, and I speak only for myself, the museum seemed static. It seemed like there were too many displays of gloves, balls, bats, and uniforms and not enough displays of things that conveyed the action and excitement of baseball. The one display that was interesting was the audio of Bob Murphy (HOF 1994) announcing a 1962 Met game at the Polo Grounds in which Gil Hodges and Richie Ashburn (HOF 1995) were in the lineup. We listened to the play-by-play while in front of a display on baseball announcers and that was interesting, but overall, sad to say, a bit disappointed. We didn't stay long. I doubt if it was two hours.

HOF 6
Display of Tom Seaver
***
HOF 8
Display of Ozzie Smith and Rickey Henderson
***
HOF 4
Me standing next to the plaque mounts awaiting the bronzes
for Rickey, Jim Rice, and Joe Gordon
***

       Well, we leave the front door of the Hall and we notice a swarm of people across the street at the Cooperstown Post Office. It is Sunday, so we go over and check it out. Apparently, the name of the Cooperstown Post Office is called the "Induction Day Station." Every Induction Day the Post Office opens in order to apply a special Baseball Hall of Fame cancellation on anything that has a stamp. So what you do is take an item (almost anything from a ball to a bat to a photo), put a US stamp on it, and take it to the Induction Day Post Office on Induction Day and a postal employee will put a special "Baseball Hall of Fame July 26, 2009" cancellation on it.

Induction Day Stamp
       Well, John and I thought this was pretty neat and part of the experience and all. We trucked all the way back to the Red Lot to get our projects and then all the way back to the Post Office. We buy stamps and put one on each of our projects and get the special Induction Day Station Baseball Hall of Fame cancellation. Just another interesting happenstance in Cooperstown.

*

       I can't remember the exact order of events but John had a set of baseballs with him for signature and we were just walking the streets of Cooperstown letting fate come to us. Guess what, it did. We came upon Bob Feller signing at a table on the street. John got a ball signed. Feller was great, very accommodating.

John w Feller 2
John with Bob Feller (HOF 1962)

The Induction Day Ceremony of Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice
       
You won't believe what I'm about to tell you. We didn't go to the ceremony. What we slowly came to learn while we were whiling away the hours in Cooperstown was that people were laying out blankets and putting down their lawn chairs at the Clark Sports Center getting spots for the ceremony at 7:30 AM. I was a little tired and I made a suggestion to John. I said we should cancel the attempt to fight 21,000 people to listen to 15 minute speeches from each of the inductees. We had met half of the Hall of Famers in person by then so we didn't feel we'd be missing much sitting 500 yards from the stage. Instead we opted to see the Legends Interview with the new Hall of Famers on Monday.
       Click here to find out what I'm talking about.