I really enjoyed this experience. It's interesting how history really has paralleled America's pastime.
- March 23-24
- April 20-21
- Oct. 19-20
- Nov. 16-17
Schedule of Events
5:15-5:45 - Welcome / The Baseball Experience 5:45-7:00 - Private After Hours Access to the Museum
10:45-12:00 - Archives Presentation 12:00-1:15 - Lunch / Free Time 1:15-2:30 - Museum Collections Artifact Spotlight 2:30-3:00 - Reception
Book your complete getaway – accommodations, experience package and more - via these accommodation options: Cooperstown KOA Journey Campground The Inn at Cooperstown Landmark Inn The Otesaga Quality Inn Oneonta The White House Inn Secure your spot - experience package ONLY - directly through the Hall of Fame by calling 607-547-0249 or via email. Pricing: • Individual ($180) • Couple/Pair ($300) A limited number of spots are available for this experience program. Book via our accommodation partners or directly through the Hall of Fame today.
During a mid-October VIP Experience this fall, a group of approximately 60 guests, sporting special credentials around their necks and oftentimes wearing caps and shirts of their favorite team, could be seen awestruck and wide-eyed as they tried to soak in as much as possible.
“It’s been exciting,” said John King, a Stafford, Va., resident who received his VIP Experience as a 65th birthday gift from his wife. “Being almost 65 I don’t get out and play baseball anymore but I love the game so much. When I come here, I take the time to go back to the earlier periods when you start filling in all the pieces of how it came to be.
King, a retired civil servant from the Pentagon who survived the terrorist acts of 9/11, recalled that horrendous day and its Hall of Fame connection: “After watching on television from my boss’ office the second plane hit the building, I told the staff at the time that the Pentagon was going to go on high alert and we were probably the next target. And about 20 minutes later, the plane hit the building, went right underneath us. At the time I had my picture of Mickey Mantle and me shaking hands on my desk. Mickey was always my favorite baseball player.”
Seeing the Artifacts
I’m just blown away. I certainly got more out of it than just doing the typical tourist thing and just walking through the Museum.
Takaki, a Bay Area baseball fan of both the A’s and Giants, was visiting Cooperstown in the midst of San Francisco’s improbable run to the World Series title.
“I wanted to take a trip up here so I was just looking for a time to fit it on the calendar. I’ve been a baseball fan my whole life and I’ve wanted to come here my whole life, so it only took, as far as I can remember, probably 45 years to get here,” Takaki added. “I’m just blown away. I certainly got more out of it than just doing the typical tourist thing and just walking through the Museum. I think you get quite a bit more background and different angles of baseball in general and the history. A lot of time I really didn’t think about the history so much, and this has certainly puts a lot of things in context.”
The Museum collections artifact presentation, led by Manager of Digital and Outreach Learning Bruce Markusen in the Bullpen Theater, told the stories of a cowbell belonging to longtime Brooklyn Dodgers fan Hilda Chester, a jersey worn by Braves pitcher Warren Spahn for his 305th career victory, Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Waddell’s shillelagh, a cowboy hat given to Oakland outfielder Joe Rudi by A’s manager Charlie Finley in 1972, and a bat used by Lou Gehrig in the 1937 All-Star Game.
“This has been fantastic,” said Ron Klingsick, who, along with wife Shirley, made the trip to Cooperstown from Arp, Texas. “I’m a longtime baseball fan, more knowledgeable than most anybody I know about baseball, and I did not know some of the things I learned about during this trip.”
“The artifact visit and the library were very interesting,” added Shirley Klingsick.