Soon to be Cooperstown-Bound

I received an email from my friend Craig the Yankees Fan about a week ago out of the blue. Craig lives in Zambia with his wife Kathleen. They moved there earlier this year because Kathleen got a job in public health. Craig hasn’t had a job, which isn’t a negative except for the fact that I think he probably gets bored a lot, so Tom and I get a lot of weird emails and website links amid the occasional update or photo about life in Africa. This is actually normal for Craig, who used to send us these things even when he lived less than a mile away.

Anyway, the other day, he sent me an email about a trip he took to Cooperstown, and I wanted to share it with anyone still reading this. So here it goes…

“So, wanted to let you know a couple things.  First of all; you are gonna love it, and the museum is only part of the whole experience.  The town itself breathes baseball.  It’s a very small town and around the museum area are tons of small shops – so small they could be called “shoppes” – where all they sell is vintage baseball equipment, cards,  and other memorabilia [tons of old school mitts for sale very cheap].  It’s a gas to just stop in and visit look around and chat with the owners.  I remember one shop in particular made bats from scratch to your specs…the lathe was right in the front of the store where you could watch it run.  It’s a very upstate NY small town. That said, things like restaurants will probably close earlier than you expect…you should be able to find a pizza joint or something.
The museum itself totally kick ass, so much to see.  My dad and I went a few years ago [for like the 3rd time] and we just loved it; tons to take photos of, and the exhibits aren’t stats-based – lots of nostalgia and interesting facts.  I think that even Tom would enjoy it haha.  Take note of the women in baseball exhibit as it only opened a few years ago. Maybe a few blocks away from the museum is “Doubleday Field” which is where they play the old-timers games…its basically a minor league-sized park, its usually open to walk in and sit in the stands for a bit, great place to take a breather.
Now if you’re going in December, there MAY be some snow on the ground, its about a 2 hour drive from where I grew up and there is usually some snow on the ground in December but nothing like in Jan/Feb…OK so don’t worry about driving…the thruway [I-90] will be clear as a summer day…it’s the main east to west highway…its essential to NY.  When you take the exit there will be some windy small town roads, and it may take a little while, but the roads should be cleared and salted as well…upstate NY takes a lot of pride in keeping their roads very clear and safe during the winter.  Here is the good thing…parking [have to park in town] should be a breeze. It wont be empty, but we went in the summer [right after inductions] and it was a pain…so good on you there.
Let me know if you have any questions….oh, and if its clear I highly recommend you go outside when you see the bronze Satchel Paige statue pitching and go over and stand in the batters box position get in your best batter’s stance and have Tom take a picture, its not everyday you get to stare down 60’ at Satchel’s leg kicking high over his head ready to hurl one [its inside the museum grounds, and at one point you see it, and there is a door close by to go outside].  Be sure to wear your Seattle gear….a jersey if you got one…anything else if not.
After that email, I got another one, a correction:
“Sorry I was mistaken: there is a Satchel Paige leg kick statue, but this is the one I was thinking of, makes a great photo.  My dad got behind the pitcher [which may be Paige] and angled it so everything got into the camera.  That’s all I’m showing you, haha.”
This is the photo in question:
Podres to Campanella, Courtesy: Find Free Graphics
He then sends me this email:
“My bad, the pitcher statue is Johnny Podres, and the catcher is Roy Campanella.”
So now I’m looking forward to this trip even more than I was before, and really hoping that the snow does not ruin my plans.
It looks like the Mariners have another team to play in 2013. The Houston Astros have moved to the AL West. I’m really pretty ambivalent about this, but on the bright side, it will help me remember that the Astros exist. Texas is a large state, so I suppose it makes sense for them to have two AL teams, but I do feel for Astros fans, who have grown accustomed to NL rules and play. I don’t actually know any Astros fans, however, so they might be really happy about this move, who knows. I guess I kind of like it because it will add some variety to who we play the most during the year, but other than that, I really have no opinion about this. It makes more sense mathematically, and I’ve always wondered why the AL West only had four teams, but my hope was that MLB would give Portland, Oregon a team. I wasn’t holding my breath or anything, but it would give us an actual rivalry instead of the fallacy that is the Mariners/Padres antagonism.
We also lost out on Ryan Doumit and any hopes of obtaining Grady Sizemore have also been crushed…for anyone who had those hopes. There is still a lot of Prince Fielder talk, with a little Albert Pujols tossed in occasionally for those of us who are truly delusional. I don’t care much to deal Jason Vargas, but nobody cares what I want. I will be sad if the club decides that Vargas is to be a trade chip, as I have become somewhat attached to him in Mariners blue, and due to near-overexposure last year and the year before, have become used to him being in our starting rotation (I swear almost every live game for me over the past two years has been a Vargas start). I would also prefer not to lose Brandon League, but I am setting myself up for the inevitability of his departure. I like this time of year because it allows me to regroup, hate it because the demon of Change rears its ugly head.
Alright, enough from me, off to work!
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5 Responses to Soon to be Cooperstown-Bound

  1. I hovered over the Vargas link, but didn’t click because I assumed it’s the Baker piece making the rounds. Dealing Vargas doesn’t make a whole lot of sense right now, next year I can see it, due to that being his 3rd arb year, and we might be able to allocate the money better and plug in like a Blake Beavan or Snow or whoever. But this year he’s still providing us good value.

    Oh, and when you go to Cooperstown, if you can get a pic of the Nomar Garciparra display about his 2 grand slams in 1 inning (against none other than the Mariners), that would be amazing. I don’t know if it’s on display still or whatever, though.

  2. Bart's Evil Twin says:

    Never really thought about visiting Cooperstown, but it sounds pretty cool. Looking forward to reading about your experiences there. Hope you have fun! 🙂

    Personally, I’m fine with every division having the same number of teams. Having both Texas teams in the AL seems a bit weird, but maybe this is the easiest way to make the change. Having a one game playoff for two wildcard teams seems about right, and according to Larry Stone this arrangement would have given the M’s several additional playoff appearances. 🙂

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