Monday, September 26, 2011

Cooperstown in Pictures* (*Mostly)

The Hall of Fame is a serious place.  They spell "Museum" with "v"s!

At the Bambino's locker.  As you'll see below, I loved the Hall.  But this seems like a good place to express a beef:  all the goods are behind glass.  I get it.  It's priceless stuff, you don't want it touched or damaged -- but the Met has 500-year-old tapestries hanging al fresco; certainly SOME of the treasures of baseball's past could be en plein air.  It just makes it more immediate, more real.

Re-creating a memorable photo from my '89 trip, inside Hank Aaron's locker.

Yvonne loved how I was loving this section.  They had this whole exhibit on baseball's record books, with lots of fascinating stuff -- like how Ty Cobb's lifetime average of .367 (one of those stats I committed to memory long ago) is actually .366.  Some dude went back and looked at all the official scores from Cobb's career and found that he wasn't charged for a number of at-bats that he should have been, which lowered his official lifetime average.  Insane.

Second place in the day's trivia score.

This is where we took a break after the three-hour mark.  Above is a shot of Yvonne's favorite player, Hideki Matsui.  Yes, this is a photo of a photo of Matsui's face painted on a jumbo jet.  You gotta love the Japanese.  

At the entrance to the Hall itself.  That ethereal glow behind me?  That's greatness.

If I'm gonna rock the Oaks jersey, I gotta give some love to the greatest Oak of all time, Kirby Puckett.  You're my boy, blue!
Addendum: I wasn't the only Visalian "in the Hall."  He doesn't have a plaque, but he does have a mention in the chronology of the game which makes up the main exhibit:  Orval Overall, a pitcher with the 1906 National League Champion Chicago Cubs -- who were, incidentally, led by Fresno-native first baseman-manager Frank Chance (who IS enshrined). 

Addendum #2:  Yvonne was an impeccable sport.  Five (!) hours in the museum and nary a complaint.  Although this did happen over a photo of the first night game, from May 24, 1935...

Me:  That was as good as it would ever get.  It's been all downhill from here.
Yvonne:  Do you even listen to yourself?  The things that come out of your mouth sometimes...
(No one is surprised that my favorite era of baseball pre-dates my birth by a good 40 years though, right?  And I'm not entirely serious about night games...especially after I read the letter that FDR wrote to the Commissioner in 1942 urging him to keep baseball going during the war, and in fact to keep up with the night games so that the boys on the day shift could catch a game.  Love FDR.)

All in all, not a bad way to spend a day!  Thanks, love, for the gift of baseball!


Ara said...

Are the plaques organized by team or year enshrinement?

Squeen said...

Year of enshrinement.

kunka. said...

That Oaks jersey is fresh.

Squeen said...

Thanks, dude. It's field-worn. The shirt they wore in '83 when Puckett and gang won the Cal League title.