Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Darth Marc's Pilgrimmage To Baseball Mecca

Before I start...I just wanted this on the record. I hate those Fox News promos on YES. I really, really hate them.

My baseball emperor called me into his office for a pow-wow. He said that it was time.

Time for what, I said.

"To show the baseball gods that you are a worthy servant. It's time for you to visit the place where it all started."

That's when he told me that it was time to head to Cooperstown. To Baseball's version of Mecca. The Hall Of Fame Museum.

I've been asked by some folks as to why I've never made the pilgrimmage or Hajj upstate. Good question. I've been asking myself that same thing. Both of my parents are big sports fan but not huge baseball fans. My mother was a huge Brooklyn Dodgers fan as a child but once they left for the left coast, she ceased to care about a specific team. My father took me my first Yankee games as child, but he was more of basketball fan having played against Curly Neal of Harlem Globetrotters fame in college. So while I was introduced to the game as a child by my Sith Lord parents, it was up to me to continue the interest on my own.

So I decided that I had run out of excuses as to why I've never made the Diamond Hajj. I've been to Fenway, Wrigley(twice), Jacobs Field, Camden Yards and Dodger Stadium....but I've never visited the birthplace of my first love? Pathetic. I have no excuses.

I started my trek to Mecca on Thursday afternoon. I would have left earlier, but I lost my battle with 10 White Castle cheeseburgers the night before. After paying my penance, I was on my way. I had the Yankees-Rangers game on the radio until about the seventh inning just as I crossed the Tappan Zee. That's when Wright started to unravel and eventually got the hook. I decided to turn the game off. I didn't want any negative feelings to poison my trip to paradise. I eventually got to the hotel around 6:30. It took a little more than five hours because I got lost, but you can do it four from the city, traffic allowing. I got some grub and crashed in the hotel so I was fresh for Friday.

As you can glimpse from the pictures here, the museum lived up expectations. Through the displays and exhibitions, you get a clear visual history of the game from it's beginnings in the the 1830's to today. They don't gloss over anything. If you have a sense of history for the game, it definitely expands on that. If you don't, then you realize how nothing happens in a vaccumn. You realize this team's style of play begat that one and this pitcher begat that one and so on. You realize that while there isn't one way to play the game, some ways work better than others.

I love the fact that they take head-on the problem the game had with the issue of race. It also ties in what was going on in the country at the time to give the customer a fuller view of what was going at the time. People tend to forget that ballplayers are people too. Subject to the same prejudices that affect everyone else. You realize why the progressives in the game went the route they went to integrate the game. You also realize that it wasn't done out of pure altruism, but it shows what happens when good business sense has a sense of justice. We all benefit.

This is a trip that every baseball fan should make in their lifetime. I can't think of a better way to spend your entertainment dollar than the trip to this Upstate New York Village. If for no other reason than the ride up is a beautiful one. You want a perfect drivetime soundtrack moment? Driving in the Catskills at Dusk....with Led Zeppelin's Rain Song on the stereo. Don't think I need to say much else.


Blogger kigogal said...

I'm really jealous. Great pics! Thanks for sharing.

On a side note. I SWEAR I didn't make my Yankee cake last night.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Been to the Hall three times. I loved it every single time. There's no place like it on earth. Husband and I were thinking of going again this summer (its about a 2-3 hour ride from our digs). I never get sick of it.

8:44 AM  

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