Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Cooperstown, Day One

Me and the Class of 1936: Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Walter Johnson. The inaugural class at the Hall of Fame is the centerpiece of the gallery.

I was intrigued by this little advertising piece on the second floor from a barnstorming tour through Fresno by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Anybody remember "Firemen's Baseball Park"? Where was it in Fresno? Also, the baseball game that Saturday in 1936 was to begin at 3:00, two hours following kickoff of Fresno State's game with St. Ignatius.

A pictorial recreation of Ebbets Field, the venerable home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. In front of the picture is the home plate taken from the stadium before the wrecking ball hit after the Dodgers moved west to Los Angeles.

Maybe my favorite display in the Hall was devoted to Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters. The display captures Ryan in classic pre-pitch form and showcases the seven hats he wore when his no-hitters were thrown.

Finally, throughout the Hall are lockers of famous players whose contribution forever altered major league baseball. This is Jackie Robinson's locker. You can click the picture to enlarge and perhaps read the handwritten hate mail from fans' threatening his life during his first season in the big leagues.

Thanks to Rick Holland's advice, Rick Northen and I will be spending Tuesday in Cooperstown. I love this little hamlet! All the storefronts are devoted to baseball -- memorabilia, souvenirs, etc. It is truly a baseball fan's oasis. I'll be back Tuesday evening with more pictures of the history of baseball as captured in the National Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.