Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cooperstown, NY

Stacey and I traveled to upstate NY to hang out with her brother (who lives in Potsdam, NY) and the rest of her family who flew in from California. Potsdam is a 4 hour drive from Albany and we had two minivans to take the group of 10. Since Cooperstown is only about an hour and a half from Albany, and "kind of" on the way, I did my best to sway the minimum number of people to go with me so I could indulge in what may be a once in a lifetime side-trip.

Due to a late start we didn't arrive in the quaint village of Cooperstown until almost 3pm. This left me about 2 hours to look around, which to be honest was about 2 hours to few.

In the time I was there I was able suck in just about everything I wanted to. It all starts with some information about Cooperstown itself which was great since I had always wondered why the National Baseball Hall of Fame was in such a remote area of NY. It turns out the explanation was simple, it's the birthplace of baseball! One of the first things you read about in the museum is about the origin of baseball and how after a 3 year investigation by the "Mills Commission", a group organized by the founder of Spalding sports during the turn of the 20th century, they found Abner Doubleday (1819–1893; Major General of the U.S. Army and Civil War hero) to be the founder of baseball in Cooperstown, NY. Apparently this is still debated to some extent but if it's good enough for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, it's good enough for this guy.

There's way too much for me to mention about the details in the museum, I guess that's what going to the museum is for, right? Here are a couple highlights, oddly enough these first three pics were taken at the Ted Williams exhibit which I found to be one of the more intriguing parts of the museum.

Me, Hanne, and Ted: No explanation necessary.

Being a man of a science and engineering this was by far the most intriguing thing that I saw at the museum. Ted Williams was a hitter and at one point he got so into the science of hitting that he made this matrix of 77 baseballs. The matrix is the approximate size of the strike zone and on each individual ball he assigned a batting average and a color. This was based on the batting average that he thought he would be able to achieve if each pitch were thrown in a specific part of his strike zone. For example, if each pitch were thrown high and in the middle he could have a .400 BA, if each pitch were low and outside his average would be a mere .230. Pretty rad stuff if you ask me.

Here is a picture of what Cleveland would do whenever Ted Williams would come up to bat. We see this sometimes in modern baseball too but I think this is one of the earliest occurrences. There was a quote nearby, I think it might have be by Stan Musial but I'm not sure, that basically says- I don't know why he doesn't just have the sense to knock one into left field when they pull that crap. I guess if he could have perhaps he would but I thought it was all interesting just the same.

A bit more recent history... If you are a fan of ESPN's Sunday night games like I am you'll recognize Joe Morgan. Hall of Famer and co commentator with John Miller and they make one hell of a good team together. I'd listen to anything they'd call, they could possibly even get me to watch or listen to a basketball game, who knows.

When I was in Jr. High I just couldn't get enough of the Oakland A's. McGuire and Conseco were just the ultimate for me. In fact, I still have my "Bash Brothers" poster! So, this little corner pays homage to the entire A's team of that era. Conseco and McGuire were joined by Dennis Eckersly, and Ricky Henderson- just to name a couple. Good Stuff!

A really blurry picture of Curt Schilling's bloody sock, you all know the story ;)

That about wraps it up. If you every get the chance you should not pass by an opportunity to head out to Cooperstown and take in some nostalgia...I'd go again in a heartbeat!


Parry Particulars said...

It's almost a religious experience. I love it. Don't like the "bloody" sock though.

Melissa said...

I don't know the bloody sock story and a lot of this post was in another language for me man.
But I think it's great you got to go somewhere you really wanted to go.
Thanks Pugs.