Monday, June 22, 2009

This Cooperstown baseball game is a classic

While I missed most of what was happening in Yankeeland this weekend, we did get to see some baseball Sunday. We went to the Hall of Fame Classic game in Cooperstown, featuring MLB Hall of Famers Bob Feller, Fergie Jenkins, Paul Molitor, Brooks Robinson, and Phil Niekro, and dozens of other former players.

This Old Timers' Day for Major League Baseball replaces the Hall of Fame game. What a great idea, and what great fun it was to see it in person. Bob Feller may be 90 years old, but he can still pitch. He started the game, and even threw inside to Bobby Grich!

Former Met George Foster was there (albeit in Reds gear.) Former Yankees in the game included Mike Pagliarulo, Kevin Maas, Jim Kaat, and Lee Smith.

Since there were a ton of pitchers participating, some of them played in the field instead of pitching. So Squawker Jon and I got to see retired Red Sox Bill Lee and Mike Timlin play right field, near where we were sitting.

One of the cooler things about seeing a game like this is watching the way players interact with the fans. And I have to say I was impressed with the players we saw up close.

We saw Bob Feller up close after he had just signed autographs for fans, and he has such an iconic presence I was in awe. Jeff Kent, believe it or not, was very friendly to fans.

Mike Timlin was totally into the whole experience - he had all the other players sign his shirt, and he also signed autographed baseballs for fans who tossed him balls during the game.

We saw Bill Lee - who was wearing such an old-school Red Sox uniform it didn't have a name or a number on the back! - after the game on Main Street. He was signing autographs on the street and talking animatedly to somebody he knew. I was going to ask him if there were going to be any more 70s Yankees-Red Sox reunion games - he participated in one in Scranton last year - but he had to leave before I got the chance to talk to him.

I'll have to go back to Cooperstown later this year - we didn't get the chance to tour the Hall of Fame itself - but the day was still a lot of fun.

After a relaxing weekend in upstate New York, we headed back to the city this afternoon. To get caught up on what's been going on with the Yankees while I was away this weekend, I put on sports radio. Big mistake. Was A-Rod out late with Kate Hudson Friday night? Did he beg out of the game? Was there friction between him and Joe Girardi? A little of this talk goes a long way; when I heard Steve Phillips opine on the situation, it was time to turn the radio off for the day!

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Jonmouk71 said...

Sounds like you had a great time - Cooperstown has always been one of my favorite places. On another note, on seeing the stories and the collision which injured former Met Endy Chavez, I couldn't help but think of former Yankee Tom Tresh. Tresh, a 1962 Rookie of the Year, and star leftfielder on the last Yankee championship teams of the 60's collided in a similar fashion with SS Reuben Amaro at the beginning of the 1966 season. Tresh was never the same and was out of the game by 1970. Hopefully, sports medicine has progressed so that Chavez won't suffer the same fate.

Gary said...

Wow, sounds like so much fun. I'm really sad I missed out this year! I really have been wanting to see Brooks Robinson play again, but hopefully I will get my chance to see him at the legends sports challenge. Maybe next year I will get to see those hall of famers!

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