My memories of going to baseball games puts me at Yankee Stadium and seeing players such as Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Clete Boyer, Bobby Richardson, Moose Skowron, Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra. When I left The Bronx, baseball didn't seem to be as much fun.
I recently had the opportunity to take a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown for the 2012 inductions of Barry Larkin and Ron Santo via a company called Sports Travel and Tours. This HOF Weekend included: Two nights hotel accommodations at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Albany (free breakfast); round trip motorcoach transfers to and from Cooperstown; membership to the National Baseball Hall of Fame; admission to the Induction Ceremony; a trip reception and dinner the first evening; plus a few souvenirs of which one was an engraved collectable mini bat.
Baseball fans came from afar to experience the weekend events. I made my way to Albany via Amtrak. I must say that the ride was quite comfortable as well as scenic. Inside information tells me that Amtrak now has an E-ticket. Check it out on http://www.amtrak.com/eticketing-your-ride-is-just-a-barcode-away.
There were two bus loads. John Werner was the ever knowledgeable tour guide on our bus as we were off Saturday morning to Cooperstown. Main Street, the main street, was crowded with baseball fans looking for souvenirs and autographs. Many famed baseball players were signing at a cost. Many fans were happy enough just to see and say "hello" to their heroes. I missed being able to chat with Yogi Berra.
The Baseball Hall of Fame was my first stop but with too much to see, I focused on two exhibits: Diamond Dreams: Women In Baseball; and the old Yankee players. Across the street the post office was issuing stamps with the players who were being inducted. You could buy stamps, or get a one of those artistic envelopes with a canceled stamp.
Over at Doubleday Field an awards presentation took place in the afternoon.
Early evening brought the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends that featured the famed players as they would each be seated in the back of a truck waving to the fans lining Main Street. Yogi Berra was not able to make an appearance but Whitey Ford did.
Sunday morning got us back to Cooperstown for the induction ceremony. The sun was beaming (I forgot to wear my cap and sunscreen that Sports Travel and Tours provided) as each of the living legendary HOF players were introduced and seated. Yogi Berra was introduced and Willy Mays helped Yogi to his seat. Willy was the next to be acknowledged.
If you weren't seated close enough there were big screens to view instead. In fact there was much more to see on the screens involving each of their careers. It was then time for Barry Larkin and Ron Santo's induction. Ron's wife accepted the plaque.
Back on the bus, a few more souvenirs, and we're at the hotel. Some of us decided to have dinner at the mall across the way from the hotel. Great job, John! You can check out the upcoming sports tours at www.sportstravelandtours.com.