Monday, August 24, 2015

Visiting Cooperstown

I think it’s a fairly safe assumption to think that I haven’t been the only Red Sox fan to visit Cooperstown this summer. If the gift shop inventory is any indication, Sox fans have been invading town for a month or so.

Of course, we’re all there because the great Pedro Martinez was inducted this summer. I didn’t make it up for the induction itself. I actually thought about it. But, when the visitors guide reminded you that “It’s summer. It’s outside. It’s long. You WILL melt” (I may be paraphrasing a bit) I decided to pass on the ceremony. As long as I got there in time to see the Pedro display, and the plaque, things that would be enough for me.

So, that made this trip a little different for me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but even though I hadn’t been to the Hall in years, I suddenly had an agenda. I realized I was less interested in all the wonderful displays, and more interested in checking those things off my list.

Where is the Red Sox stuff?

Where is the Pedro stuff?

Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoyed the museum completely. It just felt like it was more “what’s next” as opposed to enjoying the moment. Bad job by me.

Of course, even in this apparently rushed viewing, there were still several highlights.

One of the first rooms you go into are the current teams displays. These have fairly recent artifacts from the existing teams, in a locker room format. One of the first items that caught my eye was the Cleveland Indians locker. They had a set of phantom tickets to the 2007 World Series. They mentioned that if the Indians had made it to the series that year, these are the tickets that would have been used. Struck me as odd that a recent highlight was almost doing something. Couldn’t they have at least shown the tickets to the ALCS that were actually used?

Naturally the Red Sox locker was full of great stuff. There were Dave Roberts’ cleats from The Steal. The last out from the 2004 World Series. That one was funny to me because of the made up controversy surrounding who got to keep the ball. It ended up in the right place after all.

There were displays from the first set of Red Sox championships too.

Of course the current inductees were the big draw. Each of them got their own display.

And, of course, there was the plaque itself. I still love the fact that they’re right there available for touching.

One of the things I was nervous about when going there was if Pedro’s plaque would be there. I know the Hall had loaned it to the Sox for a couple days, and had this mini dread that it wouldn’t be there. As it happened, while Pedro’s was there, Randy Johnson’s was a replica, since his was on loan to the Diamondbacks. Can’t imagine making the trek from Arizona to see a cardboard copy.

But it worked out for me. Even if the aforementioned Pedro inventory in the gift shop was lacking. Johnson and Biggio stuff everywhere…but Pedro you had to look for.

But, a minor hiccup in an otherwise fantastic trip.

I should really go back soon.


  1. I haven't been to Cooperstown since the 80's. I went to Canton last year for the first time and will be going to Toronto in September for the Hockey HOF, but I really want to get back to Cooperstown. Maybe in the offseason when its not crowded and I have time to really take it in.

  2. I've never been there...and it's not like it's really, really far away for me. I need to get there at some point.

  3. I am a lifetime member and go at least once a year. I did go to the induction, and it was a lot of fun. I was surrounded by a bunch of crazy Dominicans, and they were jumping up and down, hugging me (and, believe me, I do not in any way, shape, or form look Dominican!), and just all around rejoicing. Many of them were wrapped in Dominican flags, wearing them as if they were capes, and they were just having the most fun they could. The sun was hot and beating down on us, but they didn't care. Pedro's speech was terrific. In Spanish, he said that he hopes that his plaque will not just be about his accomplishments in baseball, but rather, a symbol of hope for children in poverty all over the third world, who, like himself and his brothers, sometimes don't have enough food to eat or shoes on their feet. He said that he and his brothers had to work hard to get where they are, and he wants kids everywhere to know what is possible in life. Pedro gives so much back to the DR. I think that's one of the reasons people love him.

    I am so glad you went to the HOF. It's one of my favorite places. Here's another one I can recommend to you--the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City. It's terrific. I go there once a year, too.


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