It’s Hall of Fame weekend, an event I’ve been to once and hope to get to again soon.
The first visit was in 1992, for Tom Seaver’s induction. I’m too young to remember all but a little of Seaver’s career. Though I should’ve been aware of his 300th win at Yankee Stadium, I wasn’t, and I only remember shots of him on TV sitting in the Boston dugout during the 1986 World Series, injured and unable to pitch. And then I remember the following spring when he attempted one final comeback with the Mets. But I’d done a book report in school on a biography of Seaver and my parents had been big fans, so we took a family trip to Cooperstown 18 years ago this weekend.
I have few pictures from that weekend, most of which are from the Hall of Fame game at Doubleday Field. Instead, my friend Matt (he and his sister, Christy, came along with us) and I spent the weekend using a friend’s borrowed video camera to record the events. I’m hoping to digitize that footage this weekend. The bulk of the Cooperstown photos I do have are from a previous visit, when my family stopped over for a day on the way to our usual August vacation in Maine. Unfortunately, those shots were taken with my cheap first camera, a Kodak disc contraption, and some low-quality scans are the best I could do from some low-quality prints.
I haven’t been back to Cooperstown since ’92, and I long to get back. I keep considering a return — ideally in the crisp, cool fall or during the quiet, cold winter — and may finally make a point of it before next season. I’d also like to take advantage of the research opportunities at the library, but first I’d have to narrow my focus or I’ll be overwhelmed. And in addition to any visits in the near future, I’ve also set aside induction weekend a few years into the future, when Mike Piazza’s Mets-cap-clad visage is unveiled.
Explanations out of the way, here is how I saw the Hall as a soon-to-be-12-year-old in 1988 and the Hall of Fame Game (which I’ve already recounted) in 1992.