We're not even huge baseball fans. Never have been. But we had a great time during out visit to the Hall of Fame.
Indeed, who among us has not grown up playing baseball? We played street ball, sandlot ball and something akin to little league and can remember long summer afternoons filled with baseball. It's simply part of the fabric of America. And it all comes together at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
As the hallowed home of America's pastime, the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a fixture in the delightful village of Cooperstown. Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2014, this independent, non-profit educational institution fosters a deeper appreciation of baseball and its place in history through interactive exhibits and special events.
Today, the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown honors the players, managers, and journalists who have dramatically impacted the sport – both through their outstanding careers on the field, and by bringing the game to life through newspaper stories, radio broadcasts and televised games. Here you can dive into baseball's past and discover the struggles and defeats that made champions and crowned World Series winners.
Here's some of what you'll discover:
- Baseball is a lighter, faster game today than ever before. Lighter clothing and equipment and new rules have made it that way.
- Modern technology makes major league baseball more accurate and efficient than ever since umpires' calls can be challenged and overturned with the use of cameras and digital advances.
- Baseball has spawned its share of modern American heroes but fewer men have done more for the sport than the Sultan of Swat, the Big Bambino, Babe Ruth. Babe was one of the first superstar players in any sport. He captured America's heart and his life and accomplishments have reached near mythical proportions. And rightfully, a whole corner of the Museum is all his.
- The three outs that define every inning in baseball are a race against time and talent. Sooner or later, the outs will catch up with you, the innings will pile up and you'll be out of time and out of luck. But until that happens, you're alive and anything can and often will happen. In more ways than one, baseball is a matcher for life itself.
- Among legendary major league teams, none have been more renowned or more successful than the pinstriped New York Yankees. Love 'em or hate 'em, the Yankees sit atop baseball's storied history, rich not just in monetary terms but rich in legacy and personality as well.
- Ball parks (not to be confused with stadiums) have done as much to create the lure of major league baseball as anything else and the great ball parks (think Wrigley and Fenway) have a magic all their own.
- You can enjoy a baseball game on the simplest, basic level (halls, strikes, outs, hits, runs) or with all the intricacies of an elaborate chess game. It's that simple and that complicated -- and therein lies its beauty.
Bottom line: While football may be America's most popular sport, baseball remains America's pastime. And no sport has a shrine like the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It's a not-to-be-missed experience.
Below are photos of some of our favorite parts of the Museum as well as some of our favorite players enshrined in the Hall of Fame:
Above three photos: Babe Ruth's uniform, Joe DiMaggio's jersey, Willie May's jersey, shoes and a notable baseball hit by Mays.
|Pete Rose is not in the Hall of Fame (he was banned from major league baseball for betting on games) but his Phillies jersey is in the Museum, signed in honor of his record-breaking 3,631st hit.|
Above, the Phillies and Yankees (along with every other major league team) have their own section of the Museum -- all are filled with notable and often priceless memorabilia.
Below, some of the enduring stars of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
All photos copyright 2014 by Dan Cirucci.