It’s a special weekend at Cooperstown

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 28 July 2018 at 10:02 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – The crowds were large today waiting to get in to see the exhibits at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame weekend.

Cooperstown is called the birthplace of baseball and every summer during one special weekend in late July it also becomes the Mecca of the diamond sport for the Hall of Fame inductions.

Each year fans flock to the small picturesque community by the thousands with the largest delegations this year coming from Detroit, San Diego, Atlanta, Cleveland and Montreal  as the new inductees include pitcher Jack Morris and shortstop Alan Trammell from the Detroit Tigers, third baseman Chipper Jones from the Atlanta Braves, pitcher Trevor Hoffman from the San Diego Padres, outfielder Vladimirr Guerrero from the Montreal Expos and first baseman Jim Thome from the Cleveland Indians.

And with the weather cooperating it made for a fun time to spend the day getting a chance to see some of the players, visit the Hall of Fame and take in the sights and activites on Main Street and the nearby Leatherstocking golf course.

Here former major leaguers Dale Murphy of the Atlanta Braves, left, and Darryl Strawberry of the New York Mets are shown at one of the Main St. autograph sessions.

It’s a weekend when fans rules on Main Street as Cooperstown’s main thoroughfare is closed to traffic.

And there are numerous opportunities for fans to meet and get autographs (for a fee) from Hall of Famers and other former major leagues at several of the shops in Main St. and nearby Pioneer St. The fees can be a bit high and the lines can be a bit long but there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of fans willing to pay up to get to meet and a signature from one of their favorite players.

Main Street is also the locale for the Hall of Fame itself which each year at this time features special displays oon the new inductees. Understandably with the large crows the lines to get in can be long and the display areas a bit congested but for ardent diamond fans the wait is worth it.

The nearby Leatherstocking golf course also provides a good opportunity for fans to see Hall of Famers at their annual tournament. Today’s field included new inductees Morris, Jones and Hoffman as well as such Hall of Famers as George Brett, Mike Schmidt, Wade Boggs and John Smoltz.

The most entertaining part of attending the tourney is watching the crazy feeding frenzy that often occurs when “autograph hound” fans stampede when one of the players comes over the the wall to sign as few autographs. It is amazing how quickly some adults can run to chase down in an attempt to get an autograph.

The Class of 2018 will be inducted on Sunday afternoon in ceremonies at the Clark Sports Complex.

The Hall of Famers golf tournament at the Leatherstocking course brought out very large contingents of “autograph hound” fans at every hole where they could get close to the players.

With Main Street closed off to traffic fans had plenty of room and many of the shops had Hall of Famers or other former major leaguers appearing to sign autographs (for a fee).