June 21, 2011 - What East Coast baseball tour could be complete without a stop in Cooperstown, NY, the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame? We loaded up our motor coach early on Thursday morning and headed upstate to the wonderful little village nestled in by Lake Otsego.
Invariably around the third hour of our trip, someone asks the question, "Why is the Hall of Fame out here in the middle of no where?" Which, frankly, after making the trip several times myself, I think is a fair question.
Sources state that "according to an interview conducted in 1906 by the Mills Commission, nearby resident Abner Graves attributed the game's invention to his deceased friend, Abner Doubleday. Graves stated that Doubleday invented baseball on a cow pasture within the village in 1839."
I have also heard that early versions of the lemon peel-style baseball were found in a trunk owned by Doubleday in Cooperstown. (The picture to the left is a modern day recreation of those versions that you can purchase today from Leather Head Sports.)
So because of the credit given by Graves and the articles found in Cooperstown, it has been considered the birthplace of baseball and is therefore the home of the Hall of Fame. That doesn't change the fact that it's still a tough place to get to but it's definitely worth the trip.
The exhibit that was new to me that I enjoyed the most this year was the Viva Baseball exhibit. It's a dedication to the impact that Latin American baseball and ballplayers have had on the Major Leagues.
The section had information about great Latino members of the Hall such as Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichel, and Tony Perez as well as many modern day players like Adrian Gonzalez, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, and Johann Santana.
The exhibit is a great recognition of the impact that Latino players have had and will continue to have on the great game of baseball.
As you plan your family tours or look for baseball vacation packages, fans of all ages would enjoy a trip to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown to experience the rich history the game has to offer.