Saturday, February 16, 2008

Baseball Heaven

Last weekend my wife and I decided to go to Cooperstown, NY. It was to be our early Valentine getaway. She wanted to look for Chocolate shops, Antiques and Wool (she's into spinning wool). I just wanted to visit the HOF and the baseball shops. I bought the last Mets watch at the HOF and the last John Franco Cancelled Postcard at a pretty cool shop that has been in cooperstown for forty years, run by the same sweet lady. We braved the elements and we were happy we did. The snow and high winds and the white out conditions couldn't stop us from having a great weekend. It was probably as cool as my honeymoon. Except this time we had our kids with us. Which was in itself a learning experience for my 5 yr old girl.

When I stepped into the HOF I had a feeling that I was stepping into baseball heaven. It was the most calming yet exciting feeling. I could almost see a glow of light surrounding the HOF. It was truly amazin'.

Seeing the plaques of the inductees was my favorite part. I was afraid that someone was going to tell me that my time was up. I wanted to look at every single one. But the one I was really looking for, all along, was Tom Seaver's. A person who meant so much the the Mets organization. Someone who carried himself as a blue collar guy. In my eyes, this guy was everything my father said to be like. A solid individual all around.
Seaver will be the person I'll telling my son about when he grows up. His principles and hard work are exemplary.

Here's more on Tom Seaver, courtesy of wikipedia:

Seaver was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on January 7, 1992. He received the highest-ever percentage of votes with 425 of 430 ballots (98.84%), surpassing Ty Cobb's 98.23%, and falling just five votes short of an unanimous selection. Seaver is the only player enshrined in the Hall of Fame with a Mets cap on his plaque.
Seaver was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1992, the Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2006.
In 1999, Seaver ranked 16th on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, the only player to have spent a majority of his career with the Mets to make the list. That year, he was also a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Baseball purists often compare him to Christy Mathewson for his combination of raw power, pinpoint control, intelligence, and, perhaps most of all, an intense scrutiny of his own performance, as well as that of his opponents. An excellent hitting pitcher, Seaver hit 12 home runs during his career.
Hank Aaron stated that Seaver was the toughest pitcher he ever faced. Ironically, Seaver approached Aaron before his first All-Star Game in 1967 and asked Aaron for his autograph. Seaver felt the need to introduce himself to Aaron, as he was certain "Hammerin' Hank" would not know who he was. Aaron replied to Seaver, "Kid, I know who you are, and before your career is over, I guarantee you everyone in this stadium will, too."
In an ESPN poll among his peers, Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Jim Palmer, Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Bert Blyleven, and Don Sutton all agreed Seaver was "the best" of their generation of pitchers.
On September 28, 2006, Seaver was chosen as the "Hometown Hero" for the Mets franchise by ESPN. I can't wait until we get back to Cooperstown. The small town happens to be only 2 hours from my home, so it will be easy for us to go back. And if you ever stop in Cooperstown. On your way back make left on RT 7 west (off Rt28) and stay on it for about 10 mins and you will see Brooks BBQ. It's only the best BBQ on earth. It will be the perfect ending to a perfect trip! :-)

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