Marilyn and I made our first visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY in 1976. It was our Bicentennial Year vacation. It was great trip, but little did we know that that we would return to this little village again and again as the years went along. It took twenty-three years to make our second visit in 1999, but it was quickly followed by visits in 2001, 2006, 2011, and, once more, in 2016, just a little over a week ago.
If you've never been to Cooperstown, it is not an easy trip. It's about a seven or eight hour drive from Pittsburgh, and it is in the middle of nowhere in east central New York state, and while that can be a pain, it is also a large part of its charm. For this trip, we decided to break up the drive, and stopped in the town of Ellicottville, NY. This is near the Senaca Allegeny Casino, where we stopped and dropped a few bucks in the slots (Marilyn) and the black jack and three card poker tables (me). We also enjoyed the neat little town of Ellicottville, where we shopped and had a hard time choosing where to eat, before deciding on this place:
A good choice as it turned out.
The next day it was on to Cooperstown. We love it there. Yes, the Baseball Hall of Fame is there, but we find the Village of Cooperstown to be so much more. It is a small town (one traffic light) as I imagine must have existed everywhere in the early years of the twentieth century. People are friendly, and you can strike up lots of interesting conversations with the locals, and learn so much about the town and it's history, as we did with a gent named Ken, who was the desk man at our hotel, The Cooper Inn:
The Cooper Inn
(Stay there if you plan on going to Cooperstown!)
As for the Hall of Fame itself, what can I say? I have written often of this place, and no doubt will continue to do so. If you are a baseball fan and/or a student of history, it is a place you need to see. I won't go into a lot of detail here, but will take this opportunity to salute the 2016 Inductees...
And will salute a couple of other stand-bys....
And share a piece of genuine baseball history that particularly stuck me on this visit, the letter that Curt Flood wrote to Bowie Kuhn in 1970, that can properly be called the Declaration of Independence for major league ball players...
Ironically, if a poll were taken today of all current major league players, I wonder how many of them would even know who Curt Flood was and what they owe to him.
I also got a chance to play golf at the Leatherstocking Golf Course. Routed along Lake Otsego, the setting of this course may well be the most beautiful in which I have ever played golf.
Okay, enough of my vacation ramblings and pictures. Not sure if we will ever get back to Cooperstown (of course, we have said that every time that we have visited), but it will always remain one of our very favorite places.
Oh, and let me finish this with just one final observation, and I am not sure that this is a development for the better, but we did see something new, some 21st century encroachment, in Cooperstown this time around, something that had never been there before:
Yep, parking meters now populate Main Street in downtown Cooperstown. Oh the humanity!