After enduring the Tigers' month long slump, I spent the weekend in the beautiful town of Cooperstown, NY. I believe this was my 5th trip to The Hall of Fame and, as I always, I enjoyed it very much. It was the first trip to the Hall for my girl friend Simona. She is not much of a baseball fan but she liked the town and even learned some of the names of a few historic Tigers.
For those who have not been to the HOF, I highly recommend it. It's a large musuem and you could spend a day in there without seeing the same thing twice. My favorite room is the timeline room which starts in the 1800's and goes all the way into the 21st century. They have all kinds of memorabilia - pictures, newpapers, lockers, equipment, clothing and other items from every decade of baseball's existence. Another favorite room is the theatre which is designed like a miniature ballpark.
As you might expect, the Yankees are the most visible team in the HOF with Babe Ruth and others popping up everywhere you look. However, the Tigers are among the best represented teams in the museum. Ty Cobb shows up a lot and they also like the Tigers of the 1930s and 1980s.
By the way, for those of you who are concerned about Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson not being in the Hall of Fame, both of them are exhibited numerous times. The only place you won't see them is in the plaque room which is probably the least interesting room in the HOF. You can also forget about Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire getting banned. They're both in there already. As for the Tigers, Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell and Jack Morris are in there.
The town itself is probably the best part of the trip. You might expect it to look like a tourist town with a McDonalds and Burger King on every block but there are actually no fast food outlets to be found and very few franchises of any kind. Instead, you'll see a town that looks like something out of the 1940s with old buildings, small businesses and no traffic lights (I think there is actually one in the whole town).
The best part for baseball fans is that the center of town is all baseball. Every store and restaurant has some kind of baseball name and is filled with baseball photos, pictures and memorabilia. Then there is Doubleday Field which opened in 1939 and looks like it hasn't been renovated at all since then. It's another must see location for those who like baseball history.
If you are bringing someone who is not a baseball fan, there is scenic Lake Otsego with parks and boating activities. There is a summer theatre and an opera house, both of them beautifully located. There are also a number of museums including the The Farmer's Museum and the James Fenimore Cooper Art Museum.
But back to the Hall of Fame. As promised, I communicated with Ty Cobb. He said that modern day ballplayers are a bunch of sissies who never could have survived in his day. However, he says the Tigers will be in the playoffs though and I'm not going to argue with Ty.