On the second day of our trip we made the five-hour drive to Cooperstown, NY--the site of the National Baseball Hall of Fame!
It was a shame we couldn't spend more time here. The few hours that we had were jam-packed with amazing things, and we still missed a lot! Next time (we've already started planning our "next time" even though it will be years from now) we're going to stay overnight so we can see the lake and not feel rushed through the museum.
James had a blast being passed around the family. Much to my surprise, everyone was clambering to hold him in his carrier! I hate carrying him in it--it hurts my shoulders! Despite my constant warnings, pretty much everyone in the family wanted their turn.
(Please forgive all the drool. James cut two more teeth during the trip. Now he's got four! Two on top and two on bottom!)
There were so many things to see in the museum--from paintings, to artifacts, to plaques, to the hall of records--it was all there! Everywhere you look in the museum there's some amazing tribute to America's Favorite Pastime. Here are some highlights of the things we saw:
The first exhibit we saw was a room full of baseball artwork. Everyone in our group moved through the room relatively quickly except for me. I couldn't believe it! They had paintings and drawings by Norman Rockwell himself!
Then, we made our way to the room with the famous plaques of each member of the Hall of Fame. Each person in the Hall of Fame is incredible, but we didn't have time to read every single plaque. Among them we saw the umpire that was responsible for adding hand signs to indicate strikes, safes, and outs, the team manager that decided to put names on the backs of jerseys, as well as every famous Hall of Famer you can imagine.
Here is Paul next to his favorite player, Cal Ripken, Jr.:
And here we are next to the first five players inducted into the Hall of Fame back in 1936 (including, of course, Babe Ruth himself):
And of course, here's our little future Hall of Famer ;) :
There was an exhibit about baseball movies where we saw costumes from A League of Their Own, The Natural, and of course, Paul's favorite movie, Field of Dreams:
There were all sorts of baseball artifacts such as bats, balls, gloves, cleats, uniforms, etc from famous events and people throughout the history of the game. Naturally, I was drawn toward anything having to do with the Atlanta Braves. This bat, for example, was used by my favorite player Javy Lopez while he was on the Atlanta Braves and he broke the record for most home runs hit in one season by a catcher (42).
Ok, so it's not all about the Braves... ;) Here is the ball that Roger Maris hit in 1961 to break Babe Ruth's record for home runs hit in a season.
Here are the hats worn by Nolan Ryan in each of the SEVEN no hitters he pitched in his career.
And--I know you're all dying to see it--we did in fact find the infamous asterisk ball hit by Barry Bonds when he broke the all-time home run record with his 756th home run.
In case you don't know the story of Barry Bonds and this infamous ball, here's a recap. The fan who caught the ball in the stands that night auctioned it off on eBay for around $500,000. Sometime during this process, Barry Bonds was named by Jose Canseco as a user of steroids. Even though this has never been officially proven, fans were outraged and some even said his name should be taken off the record books. The guy who bought the ball put a poll online asking fans what he should do with it: a) brand the ball with an asterisk so that it can never be removed before giving it to the Hall of Fame, b) leave the ball as is and give it to the Hall of Fame, or c) launch the ball into space. As you can see by the picture above, the majority voted for the asterisk.
Anyway, we had a great time in Cooperstown, and it was definitely worth the long drive and late night (we didn't get to our hotel in Rochester that night until 2:30am).
Oh! And Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Kristina gave James an awesome gift while we were in Cooperstown: his first Angels baseball cap, and it fits! The fact that it's not too big is amazing, since every baseball hat we've gotten for him so far has been way too big.
Isn't he cute?? Oh yes. I know.
We took tons of pictures in the museum, so here's another convenient link to our photo album with all the pictures in one place: Cooperstown. :)
Up Next: Antics at Niagara Falls!