Wednesday, May 02, 2007

J. and I took off a couple of weeks ago for a trip to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. We left around 3:30 after R. and I had spent the afternoon together, eating lunch at D'Angelo's, searching for Webkinz and going off to a local playground. R. is quite a nice dining companion and makes better conversation than a lot of adults I know.

With my new TomTom One GPS to guide us, we headed west on the Mass Pike. Our first stop was Great Barrington, MA. We had two pieces of business there; dinner and tracking down a case of Pop Soda.

Pop Soda is a Vermont-based microbrewed soda A. and I fell in love with when we were there last summer. We ordered a case directly from the company, but given that the shipping cost roughly as much as the soda, we were looking for a more economical alternative. After some searching and emails, A. determined that Guido's in Great Barrington carried the soda.

We pulled into Guido's parking lot and tracked down the Pop Soda. Unfortunately, all they had was four packs of the mint lime flavor we were looking for, so we asked one of the staff there if they had a case. A few minutes later we had our soda (along with an extra four-pack for J. and I to drink on the ride).

Our next stop was dinner at the Barrington Brewery. This was a brewpub recommended to me by my friend Chip as fun for both kids and dads, so it sounded like our kind of place. Dinner was fairly simple, but very good. J. had a burger and fries and he chowed down the whole burger, which was a good sign. I had a turkey Rubin sandwich that was quite good, along with a very smooth brown ale. If I didn't have a long drive in front of me, I could have happily drank another.

Leaving the Berkshires behind, we continued on our way to the Cooperstown Holiday Inn, located about four miles from the Hall. It's a nice, clean place; nothing special but nice enough for our purposes. They did have a pool, which was nice, so we took a quick dip before returning to our room to watch the Sox come from behind win over the Yankees, followed by an episode of Pokeman on the Cartoon Network.

We got up early the next morning and headed to the Hall of Fame. The renovation that was underway the last time I went has been completed. The place looks great. We parked in the Doubleday Field parking lot and walked over to the Hall. We picked up the Discovery Tour quiz for J. This is kind of a scavenger hunt in the Hall; you have to answer questions based on the exhibits. If you fill in the entire quiz, you get a pack of Hall of Fame baseball cards at the end of the tour.

Our first stop was the Grandstand Theater, where they have a great multi-media show about the history of the game and the current day. A HOF staff member even comes in at the end of the show and leads the crowd in Take me out to the Ballgame. We then made our way through the history of the game timeline, stopping off in the Babe Ruth room and the Negro Leagues exhibit. J. has been very interested in Jackie Robinson, so we spent a fair bit of time checking out the Negro Leagues section. One thing that made for an interesting discussion was some hate letters received by Robinson and by Hank Aaron during his home run chase that were displayed in the exhibit.

See the ticket stub in that picture? That was to Yaz's last game. I was at that game!

We moved on to the Today's Game exhibit, where they have artifacts from current players and some very cool video highlights. After that it was up to the third floor and the Sacred Grounds room. This is the ballparks exhibit, my favorite part of the Hall, other than the actual HOF Gallery. Lots of cool stuff to see about ballparks, old and new, from the cornerstone of Ebbets Field to some seats from Veterans Stadium. The records room has listings of Gold Glove winners, MVPs, Cy Young award winners and other awards. They also have displays of various records and all-time leaders in various categories. Our favorite was the "Ichi-Meter", which was posted by a fan at Safeco Field when Ichiro was chasing George Sisler's all-time hits record.

The next stop was the World Series room, where we checked out artifacts from the Cardinal's win last year and other historical items. There were several items from the Sox 2004 win including the bloody sock.

If that's not dried blood, I don't know what is. Check it out, Gary Thorne.

To be continued...


At 10:27 PM, Blogger Kyle said...

I know this is a bit late...but...Those signs look very familiar. Why you ask? Because they are our signs!

My mother created the Ichimeter back when Ichiro was chasing Sisler's record. The original copy of it is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, in Ichiro's exhibit.


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