Ted Williams was Mexican, and other tales from Cooperstown

I tried not to include the corny or cliche, but this IS baseball so it is inherent. That said, here’s a quick ‘guided’ tour to our pictures from our visit to Cooperstown, NY, Baseball Hall of Fame, November 4 – 5, 2010:

 

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Yes this really is a “VILLAGE” – population 2,032

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1950 or 2010?
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Our wonderful domicile, the Tunnicliff Inn– Established 1802. Seriously

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The Hall.

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We walk in – first exhibit, “House of David” a band of roving Jewish ballplayers. Sweet.

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The Hall suggests you begin the visit with a trip to the Grandstand Theater.

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The original rules of the game, as established in 1845 by the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club.

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Yes, they played versions of baseball in medieval Spain.

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Come see the Babe in Fresno, CA (1934)

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. . .or just check out Babe Ruth‘s actual Yankee locker.

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I was underwhelmed by the Negro Leagues exhibit, but we asked one of the museum docents why there wasn’t much in the way of memorabilia – “the players were underpaid and oftentimes sold equipment, jerseys. . .the demand is extremely high because there really aren’t too many artifacts remaining.”

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Did NOT realize that the Yankees were one of the last teams to integrate. . .
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Brooklyn Dodgers, baby! Note the sad clown icon. I had a pennant handed down to me as a child from my Dad’s brother that featured that ‘logo.’
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Stan the (literal) MAN’s locker. Check out his numbers – easily one of the top five players ever and seriously underrated nonetheless.

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Uniforms from the women’s game. . .
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A copy of the New York Times from when lefty female Jackie Mitchell struck out Babe & Lou at Yankee Stadium.
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This was sweet – Ted WIlliams hitting zone based on his timeless The Science of Hittting.
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Willie Mays.
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Mickey Mantle.
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Really unexpected, deserved and spectacular – Viva Baseball, celebrating baseball in Latin America throughout the history of the game. Really nice exhibits on Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, etc. Also, did you know Ted Williams was Mexican?

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This was the one controversial exhibit in my eyes; baseball lore says that Fidel Castro had a tryout with the Pirates sometime around 1947, yet the placard at the HoF states that “research now confirms that he was never a pro prospect.” Interesting. . .except reading the bilingual Spanish translation, the placard says “Las investigaciones confirman ahora que Castro nunca fue un asipirante a profesional.” Translation: “The investigations confirm that Castro never aspired to be a professional.” Semantic, yes – but a HUGE differentiation. Which is it, Hall of Fame?!?!? We want answers!!!

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Viva al beisbol de Mexico!

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Yes, that is an Anaheim Angels (California Angels?) sombrero. Think it’d look mighty nice on Mike Scioscia. . .

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Jamie Jarrin gives both the Spanish and English ‘tour’ at the Hall.
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You remember Fernandomania, right? Did you remember that there were hit records dedicated to the hearthrob?!?!
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Stuff like this is what gives me chills. The original scouting card for Roberto Clemente. Filled out by Al Campanis, nonetheless – “a real good looking prospect!”
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The Count in front of the Dodgers display.

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Yes that IS Sandy Koufax‘s glove and jersey.

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I believe Pete Rose was the only player – ironically – that had two jerseys represented in the Hall.

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Rickey Henderson‘s cleats.

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Yep, rocking the Puckett shirt in the Hall.

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Baseball cards. . .wow, wow, wow. The Hall has quite a collection, as you can imagine. Enough so that I was inspired enough to pick up Mint Condition by Dave Jamieson – check it out if you like cards, baseball, nostalgia or all of the above. ps – if you’re not a card nerd, you might want to scroll a bit – this is where I get nuts-o about the game. Baseball cards really sucked me in during the 1980’s.

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This sign was noted in at least three places in the Hall. Very interesting and well-intentioned approach to the PED controversy.

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This is the closest you’re going to get to seeing The Count worshipping.
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The Mariners locker featured Ichiro, who’s going to be in here personally in about 12 years. . .
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The Aaron Boone bat.

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The base from Armando Galarraga‘s not-so-perfect game.
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The bat/guitar & lyrics from John Fogerty‘s Centerfield.

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The Mangus and designstILes gave a great effort, but after a couple hours, they had to head back to the Village.

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!!!!!!!!!!

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A really great wing of the Hall was dedicated to Henry “Hank” Aaron. Some really good detail from his childhood and early struggles in the Negro Leagues, on through the racial attacks he experienced while chasing down the Babe. Class act, and truly deserving of his own Ruthian section.
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Honestly, did you know Jamie Moyer is the active leader in strikeouts?!?!?
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The hats from each of Nolan Ryan‘s seven no-hitters.
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Again, I’m a sucker for these things – a scouting report on Nolan from High School. Wow.

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The Dodgers 1988 World Series Ring, along with the Pennant Pendants.
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Orel Hershiser‘s World Series clinching jersey.
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The hilarious and classic Abbott & Costello routine is on constant rotation in the HoF.

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The members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. . .
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. . .and those that served their country.

And now a look at a few of the Plaques:

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(above: Hank Greenberg, Ted Williams, Josh Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Tommy Lasorda, Kirby Puckett)

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“The First Class” in the Hall.

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The announcer/writer’s wing was a bit smallish for my taste, but certainly represented the legends well, as Vin Scully was part of the six-announcer rotation of all-time greats.
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Best. Movie. Ever.

And a trip to Cooperstown could not be complete without a visit to Doubleday Field, the first ‘official’ ballfield of the Game of Baseball. Talk about evoking the ghosts. . .

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That’s baseball.

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3 comments

  1. Pingback: Ted Williams was Mexican, and other tales from Cooperstown | topbaseballreview.com
  2. Pingback: Giants World Series artifacts now at Baseball Hall of Fame | Baseball Field Equipment

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