Verona - Monticello
Nov 2, 2007
|This morning it is VERY cold. After it rained last night, it cleared up and got mighty cold. There is frost on the truck windows and the grass is white all around. We run the generator so we can turn on the heatpumps; this is faster than our little electric heater that we run most nights. After breakfast we depart on our way to Cooperstown, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. We get back on I-90 and exit at Herkimer, where we take Hwy 28 south to Cooperstown. This is a nice rural, county road with homes made out of brick, and narrow roads through small towns, where the houses are very close to the road. The leaves are still on some of the trees and the bright red colours are still visible in abundance. It is a nice crisp fall day; we drive along Otsego Lake, there are hills all around, surrounding the lake.
Cooperstown is a small town of around 2,000 people, it was founded in 1786 by Judge William Cooper, father of James Fenimore Cooper, author of 'Last of the Mohicans'.
In 1839, another Cooperstown resident, General Abner Doubleday, invented the game of baseball, while he was a student at a military academy. In 1908, he was officially recognized by the National Baseball Commission as the inventor of baseball. The Baseball Hall of Fame was officially opened on June 12, 1939 and it covers over 150 years of baseball history.
We had to unhook the truck from the motorhome in order to find parking, the town is not very big and parking is at a premium, esp. for large vehicles.
It was a short 10 minute walk to the Hall of Fame, and the stores on the main street all sold something to do with baseball, from baseball cookies to bats, hats and shirts.
Once we entered the old brick building, the inside was beautiful. Large halls with high ceilings and hardwood floors, and very friendly staff. The museum starts on the second floor with a movie about the history of baseball and then the displays start at 1860 to the present. For kids there is a 'treasure hunt', where they had to read the displays for each section and answer the corresponding questions. This really helped them learn things about how some of the rules came about and the things some of the players have done for the game. At the end of the museum there is a bookstore on the main floor where you hand in your sheet and receive special Hall of Fame baseball cards!
It was unbelievable the amount of memorabilia there was on display in this museum. There are 3 floors and they are huge! They have broadcasts of game on radio, old newspaper clippings, old uniforms, gloves and bats. And this is about only 1% of the players that have ever played the game professionally. There was a large section for women in baseball, players as well as owners, and about the Negro league, which was a league formed before African Americans were allowed to play in the major leagues. There was a display of the old schoolbus they used to travel on to go to different towns. The Negro league played every day of the week and 3 games on weekends! It was very interesting to read all about that, and how different things are today.
On the third floor, there was a locker for each team with memorabilia for a Hall of Fame player for that team, records players on the team had broken or held for a period of time. There was a big display for Ichiro, for most hits in a season, 262, which was in his first year. This was a big hit with Connor & Evan; Seattle does not have a lot of records so they are not represented much in comparison to the Yankees, Red Sox and other East Coast teams.
This was a visit to remember; there was something there for everyone.
Afterwards, we walked back through town and stopped in at the bakery for a treat!
We continued on Hwy 28 to I-88; we had seen an ad in the Woodalls book about an RV park that was open until Nov 15, when we took the exit and found the place, they were closed for the season. We continued on I-88 to Hwy 8 which cut south to Hwy 17 (soon to be I-86) and followed that to Montecello, where we parked at Walmart for the night.