1805 Phinney House
14 Elm Street, formerly Angelholm Bed & Breakfast, Cooperstown, New York, 13326, United States
More about Cooperstown
Theatre screen in the Hall
The little wooden Indian at the front door.
Travel Tips for Cooperstown
Pack Everything! Not a store in Site!
I forgot my bathing suit and our hotel had a great pool. We choose to drive an hour to the only real town around. They had a teeny tiny mall and a Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, as it was late summer, the Wal-Mart had no suits in my size.
There was a supermarket, chinese place, dollar store and a chain fast food place in our hotel "comples". If you couldn't find what you needed there, you were out of luck!
So my advice is bring whatever you think you might need. Don't think you can pick something up there because it's small town and hicksville all the way.
Special events at the Hall of Fame
There are a lot of special events and programs at the Hall so you should consult their calendar when planning. It is available on their website. We just happened to be there the day of the All-Star Baseball Game between the National and American League. They were showing the game on a big screen in the 200-seat theater so we went. They provided complimentary hot dogs, soft drinks, chips and peanuts and at the end of every half-inning would turn off the commercials and select members of the audience for a game or quiz, with every participant receiving a small prize. Our grandson go to go up for a trivia quiz on the all-star games, answered every question before they finished asking it, and won a Baseball Hall of Fame pennant. He was delighted. It was an excellent evening. I don’t know about all the other events, but they seem to do everything well, so it is worth checking.
To support the museum and also to allow for multiple visits, consider a membership. I must confess that what prompted me to do this was seeing the All-Star Game at the Museum and you had to be a member to purchase tickets to this evening (the tickets were quite reasonable at $10 for adults and $5 for kids). We purchased a family membership for $70 which got us into the museum both days. That would have cost us $54 (2 seniors and one child for 2 days) so the membership was pretty cheap. For a younger family the membership would be the same and one day’s admission for 2 adults and 2 children would be $45, so I think it is worth at least considering. We will not likely go back within the next year, but if we do, our admission will be free.
National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum
Cooperstown is probably best-known for being the home of 'America's sport' - baseball. Located in a prominant position on Main Street is the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, established here in 1939 by the influential Clark family (whose fortune derived from the success of the Singer Sewing Machine Company).
The Clark's had a long association with Cooperstown and were seeking to establish new tourist attractions to overcome the effects that both the Great Depression and Prohibition had had on the local economy.
The Museum is quite a building, and was undergoing further renovations when I was there. Each of it's three floors has different tributes to the game and you can also watch a movie that outlines various aspects of the game.
I had some free time when I arrived in Cooperstown, so I decided that now would be a great chance to finally see this place! Entry for a single adult was US$8.55 and you are free to wander around at your leisure.
I ended up taking a photo of the back-side of the building because the front was cluttered with temporary wooden structures as a result of the renovations.
It was interesting to walk through the many exhibit halls of the Hall of Fame & Museum. The walls are adorned with the photos of many players who, over the years, have been elected to join the select company displayed here.
In my younger days, I followed baseball (and hockey) much more than I now do. Because of the relative isolated position of the Maritimes Provinces of Canada from the remainder of the country, Boston has been the major league city of choice for many Maritimers, me included. I religiously followed the fortunes of the Bruins (hockey) and Red Sox (baseball). As far as baseball is concerned, my favourite player was Carl Yastrzemski (an evenutal Hall of Famer) who replaced Ted Williams on the team.
Ted (before my time!) was the last player in the major leagues to bat over .400 for the season, in 1941. He was a standout in many aspects of the game, and further endeared himself to Maritimers by enjoying his Atlantic Salmon fishing trips to New Brunswick. This life-sized statue of Ted was carved from laminated Balsa wood by Armand LaMontagne. I was amazed by it's details, even showing the veins on his hands and the ripples in his baseball clothing!
These days, I have lost interest in professional sports due to the outrageous salaries that are paid to the players and the high cost of tickets for the average fan. The only sporting events that I now truely enjoy are international affairs such as the Olympics or the World Cups of Football (Soccer), Rugby or Hockey!
Doubleday Field is said to be the birthplace of Baseball in the USA. It is nestled in the middle of the village and beyond the outfield fences are Cooperstown backyards. The neighbors get a free treat and watch the game from the rooftops or back porches. Doubleday Field hosts an average of 325 games per playing season. It seats approximately 9,000 and is home to the annual Hall of Fame game. The two major league Baseball Teams that are honored each year to play on the Doubleday Field, usually put on a pre-game home run derby, that showers the local houses with souvenirs.
There are no concession stands in the park, nor lights.
Doubleday Field's history starts with the Mills Commission, which was appointed in 1905 to determine the origins of baseball. Though the committee considered much evidence, the testimony of Abner Graves in support of Abner Doubleday, figured prominently. Both Graves and Doubleday had attended school together in Cooperstown. In letters to the committee, Graves claimed to have been present when Doubleday made changes to a local version of "town ball."
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