This weekend we fulfilled one of Data’s big goals for the trip - a visit to Cooperstown, NY and the Baseball Hall of Fame.
We handled this a bit differently than most families probably do - as Data is the only real Boyink sports fan. I gave him the option - saying if he wanted us there as a family we’d go as a family, but he saw the lack of excitement in my eyes and admitted it was probably a waste to pay 4 admissions for the day.
So we decided to split up, MsBoyink (the more sympathetic ear) would accompany Data to the Museum and related activities while Storybird and I went in a different direction.
Boyink & Storybird’s Day (by Boyink)
Storybird and I reviewed some options (I ruled out a Dollhouse museum visit) and decided to visit the Fly Creek Cider Mill. The Mill advertised a number of tastings and other attractions. We also found that the Cooperstown library offered wi-fi, and we had not done any geocaching yet so that was another option. After dropping off MsBoyink and Data we drove over to the Cider Mill and spent a while sampling the various tasty dressings, sauces, rubs, bar-b-ques, cheese and apples. We watched cider being made, saw some interesting ducks that looked like they were wearing wigs, and then departed as the Mill was getting really busy (I guess the normal fall weekend wait for the tastings is 45 mins, so we must have timed it right as we walked right in).
We consulted Ferguson (our GPS) about other museums around and selected one with Petrified Creatures in it’s name. After a 20 minute drive through the beautiful NY countryside we arrived at the destination and found…nothing. No museum in sight. A quick web-search found it being discussed as cheesy/overpriced & in financial dire straights a couple of years ago, so we gave up on it. It was close to lunchtime so we walked to the closest restaurant - a little local diner complete with counter. After soup and a sandwich we drove back to Cooperstown and looked for parking. And looked. And looked. Finally we found a sidestreet with some space, parked and walked the 6-7 blocks to the library. Storybird had some computer time then settled in with a book while I used the wifi to load some geocaches on the GPS.
As we finished up MsBoyink rang and said they were done at the museum, but Data had yet to be able to throw a ball around on a ball field in Cooperstown - something he really wanted to be able to say he had done. We consulted with the lady at the information booth and she first recommended a park a few streets over. Just a park. Silly lady - this is baseball in Cooperstown. It has to happen on a ball diamond. You could sense the disappointment in Data, then she mentioned maybe the town High School would have an open field. We found it via the GPS and had a session of catch - before noticing the “no trespassing” sign posted. Yes - that’s Cooperstown. A town that exists and thrives mostly due to baseball and you can’t even get on a field for a pickup game or have a catch. I never will understand the sports industry.
At any rate - after fulfilling that dream we chose one geocache I had loaded, and I had Storybird man the device to navigate me back to the cache. The cache was downtown at the Doubleday ballfield - and I was the lucky finder this day. At this point it was late afternoon and time to drive back to the camp site.
MsBoyink and Data (by MsBoyink)
After purchasing our tickets, Data and I walked up to the 2nd floor (as recommended by the map) and headed in to watch a 13 minute movie. The theater felt like sitting in bleacher seats at a baseball game. The crowd watching the movie with us cheered for their favorite teams - of course we cheered for the Tigers. The movie ended with the crowd signing “Take me out to the ballgame.”
Following the movie, I let Data lead. We made our way to the 3rd floor, focusing on the Records Room. We then found the no-hitter ball pitched by Verlander in 2007. Since Data is an anti-Yankees’ fan, we made our way quickly through the Autumn Glory: A Postseason Celebration (highlighting the Yankees’ win last year) before stopping to check out the large collection of baseball cards.
We sat down for a 30 minute presentation on the life of Jackie Robinson, as portrayed by an actor. It was fabulous!
Lunchtime: We walked downtown Cooperstown before Data decided we’d eat at the Triple-Play Diner. He, of course, ordered hotdogs (it’s the baseball food, ya know). After eating, we retraced our steps to check out the Doubleday Field. There was a game going on, so we sat to watch a bit. A small bit, actually - the game was in the 9th inning. When the game ended, we heard talk that the winning team would be playing another game that afternoon. We planned to return after finishing up in the Museum.
Data had hoped to catch the 13 minute movie, again, when we returned to the Hall of Fame; but, the line was really long. So, we moved through the other 2nd floor exhibits. We found the bat Magglio used during his 2006 walk-off home-run and checked out the Tigers “locker” (as well as all of the other teams’).
One thing Data really wanted to do was look at a few things stored in the Research Center. Unfortunately, the Center is only open weekdays. Bummer. We decided to make our way back up to the 3rd floor for another portrayal of a great baseball player: Roberto Clemente. Again, I was mesmerized by the courage and character exhibited by this ballplayer.
Following this second presentation, Data figured he ought to go through the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery. He took several pictures of his favorite players (and those of some of his friends back home).
After a quick stop in the gift shop for a magnet, we walked back to the Doubleday Field. Again, we caught the game in the ninth inning. Our timing was bad, but it was fun to watch a real game being played.