A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, October 26, 2007

Baseball in Autumn

The World Series is finally upon us, and given the grit and determination of the Bosox and the Rockies in post season play so far, this series may very well go to seven games. That means that it will be early November when the Fall Classic ends and we know who will be World Champs. I say finally, because this season started for many teams in late March. Next year’s season also starts in late March. I only find this unusual because when I was growing up, the baseball season didn’t start until the first week of April.

Now we’re starting in March? Is it my imagination or is the baseball season getting longer? At this rate we may have to start spring training two weeks after the World Series ends.

All this fits in nicely with our vacation trip just ended: Anne Marie and I went to Cooperstown, NY to see the Baseball Hall of Fame. It was a nice drive up the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Interstate 81, skirted Binghamton to I-88, and then skirted Oneonta, to NY 80 and up to Cooperstown. Well, it was a nice drive for me since Anne Marie did all the driving.

Cooperstown itself is very small, with a population of around 2000 for 51 weeks of the year. The population can swell to 80,000 during the week when the Baseball Hall of Fame has its annual induction ceremonies in July. The town lives for this and the tourist trade because, quite frankly, they have nothing else nearby to sustain them in the way of industry or business.

Many of the houses in the town date from the Victorian era, and many of those houses have been converted to bed and breakfasts. One old timer who works at one of the dozen or so souvenir shops told us that some people rent their homes for $5,000 and up for the induction festivities. He also told us that you couldn’t find any room in a fifty-mile radius during this time. Some residents find it prudent to flee town and I can see why. It wouldn’t take much traffic to make the area highways a nightmare.

Our visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame itself was very nice. We viewed the members’ plaques first and I photographed as many as I could. I lingered a long while at a baseball movie exhibit that featured trailers and short films which Hollywood has made on the subject. “A League of Their Own”, “Field of Dreams”, and “Pride of the Yankees” were all featured, along with hundreds of other films made since the early 20th century. I was most fascinated with a very short subject starring Buster Keaton as a third baseman. I didn’t recognize the title — which I have now forgotten — from the various Keaton filmographies I have seen over the years.

The only fly in the ointment is the town’s two-hour parking restriction. Since a stroll through the museum can take up to six hours, this means that a patron has to move their car at least three times or face a stiff fine. The museum fortunately accommodates their visitors with a hand stamp so that people can come and go throughout the day to move cars, eat lunch, or browse the souvenir shops. This is not a problem in the tourist season (summer) when trolleys bring visitors in from three lots on the outskirts of the town. However, since we insist on vacationing in the off season, we have to accept some concessions.

Oh, we started off with the World Series and lingered a bit long in Cooperstown. I guess I should make a prediction as to the outcome. Therefore in true Oscar prediction style I will hedge my guess with a who will win and a who should win prediction. So far Boston is coming on strong, winning the first two games. The Bosox will take the series. Who should win: “Little Miss Sunshine.”


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