Trip to Cooperstown
Last year, my wife and I, along with some family, planned a weekend getaway to Niagara Falls.
One of the things on my “bucket list” was to travel to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. So, I decided to make a day trip of it because I enjoy baseball so much.
If you haven’t been, it’s about a five-hour drive through New York State, and it’s scenic and quite beautiful. The drive alone is a nice way to pass the time in the car.
Last year, one of the inductees was former Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay. Considering only one other Blue Jays player – Roberto Alomar – and executive – Pat Gillick – are enshrined, along with the one Canadian-born player (Fergie Jenkins, but now a second, Larry Walker, will join their ranks) it was time to make the trek.
There are a few things that I was taken aback by – the first is how small a small-town Cooperstown, NY is (pop. 1,700). The second is how busy it is with people from all over America and Canada, and beyond. The third is how big the actual Hall of Fame building is.
To some degree, we’re spoiled in Toronto to have the Hockey Hall of Fame. Most people have been in it once or twice, or many more times. It’s a big building but you can get through it in two to three hours.
Not Cooperstown. You could spend all day there. And if you love baseball, it’s a great place to celebrate the game.
The big attraction for me was the hall of plaques. For those who may not know, every person enshrined here receives a bronze plaque with their likeness and a summary of their career. You just saw a photo of these above.
Different parts of the wall denote a specific decade and then in the main rotunda you see the first class – Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Water Johnson.
There’s tons of memorabilia and artifacts to read about and investigate, but what I love most is the museum takes the opportunity to celebrate baseball in popular culture. I didn’t capture many photos of this but they had baseball movies and tv shows playing. Memorabilia from movies – you’ll note below the uniform from a certain Tom Hanks movie where “there’s no crying in baseball!”
With so much to see and do, this is definitely a place to spend some time if you enjoy baseball. The town itself is lovely and charming, and it has great shops and restaurants (not many but enough to offer some choice). The drive is scenic and beautiful too.
If you’re looking for a day trip activity, and something different, add this to your list. I don’t think you will regret it.