Baseball History: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

While up in New York for baseball, you have to consider a weekend getaway to the village of Cooperstown. Nestled between the Adirondacks and Catskill mountains, Cooperstown is simply put where baseball lives.

If Yankee Stadium is “the Cathedral” to baseball, then Cooperstown is baseball heaven. Home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown is all about baseball. The entire village survives on baseball business. From the souvenir shops on Main Street to the restaurants, they all make a living based off the museum which sits at 25 Main Street.

Where all the greats are enshrined, the Hall of Fame plaque gallery (shown below) is stunning. The museum catalogs the history of the game from start to present day. If you want to really experience baseball ecstasy, consider visiting over the annual induction weekend, which usually takes place the last weekend in July. During the weekend-long celebration, the new inductees are enshrined in the Hall of Fame and give their induction speeches in front of thousands of die-hard fans. I had the pleasure of being in attendance to see Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa get inducted in July 2014. It’s an experience unlike any other.

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The plaque gallery at the Hall of Fame (image credit: Andrew Kivette)

 

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Baseball History: Kenesaw Mountain Landis

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Image credit: Andrew Kivette

If you find some downtime while in Atlanta, take a day trip up I-75 to Kennesaw, and the historic Kennesaw Mountain battlefield. Located about 30 miles north of Turner Field in downtown Atlanta, Kennesaw is the namesake of baseball’s first commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis. He got his name from the battle of Kennesaw Mountain in the Civil War, where his father was seriously injured while fighting for the North.

Landis is in the hall of fame, as he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum via a special election after his death in 1944.

During his reign as commissioner, Landis oversaw the scandal of the “Black Sox” and most notably banned Joe “Shoeless” Jackson from playing in the majors following the scandal. The photo to the left is a picture of his hall of fame plaque in Cooperstown, N.Y.

For more information on the first commissioner, check out his bios on Major League Baseball’s site or at the Hall of Fame.