For 2011, The Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend took place on July 22-25.
This is Part 2 of an article by guest author, Peter F. Eder. Peter is Senior Editor of The HUB magazine, a marketing publication and Contributing Marketing and Communications Editor of The Futurist magazine. Peter, a Darien CT resident, enjoys travel and writing about destinations in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
To read part I about planning the trip, getting there and getting autographs, click here.
Induction Weekend at the Baseball Hall of Fame
The Induction Ceremony
Tens of Thousands show up for baseball's favorite weekend
Sunday afternoon, the Induction Ceremony unfolds under a large tent erected for the Honorees, attending fellow Members and the presenters. A record number of Hall of Famers (54 of the 286) were at hand. There are no admission fees. Except for a small corral of official sets, the fans have their chairs, tents, picnic blankets spread out on a lovely rolling green field. Screens project the event for those not close enough to see it first-hand.
Impromptu Wiffle Ball games and softball games are organized and children wearing every possible array of team outfits and player gear enjoy the afternoon. Refreshments are provided by the students of the Cooperstown schools, who use the proceeds to fund their class trips – it’s a genuine, local and happy scene.
The formal start of the Ceremony is the recitation of “Casey at the Bat”, Ernest Thayer’s 1888 classic by a person wearing a uniform of that era. The fans are encouraged to add the appropriate sound effects – cheers, groans, sighs and boos – and even the closing line: “Mighty Casey has struck out!”.
Then “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” is sung, led by an appropriate baseball legend, with the audience joining in. That is followed by the singing of the U.S. and Canadian National Anthems.
With that as the traditional, annual preface, the Honorees are introduced, plaques revealed and acceptance remarks made. They are often touching –sometimes humorous, sometimes ironic – recognizing and thanking present and deceased family members, early coaches, managers, former teammates, and owners. No one is rushed and each Inductee proceeds at a different pace.
The fans offer their comments by enthusiastic applause, whistles, cheers, or polite claps, or murmurs of dissent or disapproval – but no actual booing – just some vocal grumbling.
Winding Down – Cooperstown and its environs
Staying an extra day on Monday, or coming a day earlier on Thursday, has some great rewards. Cooperstown and its surroundings should get the exploring they richly deserve.
Cooperstown, founded in 1785 by William Cooper, the father of author James Fenimore Cooper, sits at the south end of Ostego Lake. Not just the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame which opened in 1939, the town contains the Farmers Museum and the Fenimore House, all substantial in size and interest. And just ten minutes north is the Glimmerglass Opera House, one of New England’s famous summer theatres.
Another delightful option is to go to Glimmerglass State Park at the northern end of Otsego Lake. It’s a great place to picnic, grab a snack at the stand and go for a refreshing swim.
Cooperstown is unique in America today. It is a town that has not experienced the ups and downs or radical changes of so many other small U.S. towns. Rather it has gradually evolved into a classic showplace of Americana, not just baseball, but the well-lived and documented small town life.
A Cautionary Note:
Be forewarned that the town takes its parking ordinances seriously. While there is ample street parking – and it is all free – the two-hour parking limit is strictly enforced. If you are anticipating a longer stay in one location, use the many available lots. Churches, home-owners turn their parking spaces and sometimes lawns into lots.
By Peter F. Eder, written August 2008.
Induction Weekend 2011
This year, Induction Weekend will take place from July 22-25, honoring a number of the game’s legendary athletes including Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick. The Induction Ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. on July 24. This year’s festivities include a new Saturday afternoon event honoring the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum annual award winners in a free event at Doubleday Field. The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will salute the 2011 winner of the Ford C. Frick Award for baseball broadcasting excellence, Dave Van Horne, and the 2011 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner for meritorious contributions to baseball journalism, Bill Conlin, with the presentation of the awards and speeches from the award recipients at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown.
For more information on visiting Cooperstown, visit This is Cooperstown.
Be sure to read part 1 of this article, Induction Weekend at the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown NY – Planning, Getting There and Getting Autographs
You may also enjoy Genesee Country Village and Museum that includes information about the museum’s 19th Century National Baseball Tournament and League.