- Cooperstown - Getting There
- The Baseball Hall of Fame
- Awards Ceremony/The Parade of Legends
- Induction Ceremony
Saturday's schedule of events during the Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown usually looks like this:
Hall of Fame Awards Presentation - 4:30 p.m., Doubleday Field (Gates open at 3 p.m.)
The awards ceremony includes the presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for baseball broadcasting excellence and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.
Parade of Legends - 6:00 p.m., Main Street, Cooperstown
Hall of Fame members ride down Main Street in trucks provided by Ford Motor Company, concluding with a red carpet arrival on the Museum steps as Hall of Fame members make their way to the Museum for a private reception.
Again, my tip for you is to arrive EARLY! We made our way into Cooperstown around 8:45 a.m., found a place to park (in one of the trolley lots), then headed for Main Street. Our goal for the day to was to re-visit the Hall of Fame, explore the town, grab lunch, then find a spot for the Parade of Legends.
Even at 9 a.m., the crowds were already forming for the 6 p.m. parade. Most people purchased folding lawn chairs ahead of time and scoped out their spot for the parade.
Throughout the day on Saturday, baseball legends were located all along Main Street for autographs. I overheard someone say that although they were charging for autographs, the proceeds went to charity.
A little off topic, but I have to share this really awesome story that happened to us on Saturday during lunch....
For lunch, we found a spot at a local cafe at an outside table. Before long, we knew something was up because a caravan arrived on the curb. Several Navy personnel walked out, followed by Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy!
We soon discovered that he was there to greet two Wounded Warriors who just happened to be at the table right next to us! We also heard that the Wounded Warriors were in Cooperstown as Randy Johnson's personal guests. Randy, a 2015 Hall of Fame inductee, spends a good bit of his time on USO tours and volunteering with Wounded Warrior! Not long after that, Randy's mom, sister, and brother walked up and BOY could you ever see the family resemblance! Talk about being in the right place at the right time!! It was awesome!
Ok...back on topic...
Although we didn't plan to attend the Awards presentation at Doubleday Field, we did walk over there after lunch to check it all out!
An afternoon treat of ice cream was in order as we sat and waited on the parade. We didn't have folding chairs and although we staked out our spots around 2 p.m. (for the 6 p.m. parade), we still were no where near the front of the line! This is serious business, people!
Many Houston favorites were spotted along the road such as Adam Everett, a former Astros player...
Bill Brown, Astros current television announcer...
and Larry Dierker, former Astros player and manager!
Even Jeff Foxworthy was spotted along Main Street!
Lots of fans filled the Main Street of Cooperstown...it was estimated around 20,000 fans were in attendance to catch a glimpse of their favorite baseball legend!
The wait for the parade didn't seem terribly long as we mingled with fellow Astros fans around us!
Thankfully, we were somewhat near the announcer, so we could hear what was going on during the parade! My best tips for the parade are to arrive early, stake out your seats early, and stand somewhere near the flag pole on Main Street so you can hear the announcer!
Tom Gage (JG Spink Award Winner) and Dick Engberg (Ford C Frick Award Winner) were there - each of them were honored at the awards ceremony that afternoon!
"Casey at the Bat" even managed to mosey his way into Cooperstown!
This is where my baseball fan heart completely geeked out....
Hank. Aaron. Y'all...we were literally steps away from Hank Aaron. I die.
Texans fans were happy to see Nolan Ryan!
Cal Ripken Jr
The highlight of the entire parade for me...B-G-O! Craig Biggio
The sea of orange and navy was exciting to see!
In total, I read that 44 baseball legends rode in the parade that afternoon. As we said goodbye to Cooperstown for another day, I felt like a kid all over again.
This place just has a way of doing that to you.
Stay tuned for the 4th and final installment of my Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend recap!