Phillies Nation invaded Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum over the weekend. Wasn’t quite the sea of red when Ashburn and Schmitty were inducted in 1995. But, Phillies gear was dominant in the village and Hall’s museum.
The Hall of Fame saluted the Phillies, the first time they have ever dedicated a weekend to a World Champion.
The World Series trophy was on display Saturday and Sunday, bringing down the curtain on a six-month journey. It was fitting that the final public tour would take place in Cooperstown.
In addition to the trophy, special tours were held for Phillies fans. Noah Becker, one of the Hall’s interns, was one of the tour guides. He grew up a Phillies fan in Wayne, PA, and did a terrific job during the 45-minute tour that included Phillies history and history of baseball in Philadelphia. His enthusiasm matched that of the Phillies faithful.
On Saturday afternoon, my wife and I were privileged to represent the Phillies and present a World Series ring to the Hall, a long-time tradition. The presentation took place in front of the Autumn Glory exhibit (2008 World Series). The ceremony came at the end of Becker’s 10 a.m. tour.
Bill Hasse, Sr. VP, received the ring. During and after the ceremony, Phillies faithful couldn’t take enough close-up photos of the ring. Glad my fingernails were clean. My wife was wearing a WS pendant and she became the subject of more photos than the winner of Top Model.
Fans with their cameras, cell phone cameras and video cameras swarmed around the trophy the entire weekend.
Fans were so enthused to see the trophy and the ring. You could feel their sincerely, excitement and pride in being a Phillies fan.
MLB Production’s World Series video was shown several times in the Bullpen Theater. It was cool knowing the ending.
Phillies Trivia sessions were scheduled in the same Theater twice each day. I chose to pass. Didn’t want to flunk and be embarrassed. Games for kids were held there once each day. I wanted to sneak in but couldn’t pass for being a kid.
While wondering through the Plaque Gallery, I noticed a man who looked like Paul Byrd, former Phillies pitcher (1998-2000). I wasn’t sure but decided to ask. Yep, it was Paul.
He, his wife Kym and sons Grayson and Colby were in Cooperstown for the weekend. Youth baseball programs are held at the Cooperstown Sports Dream complex east of the village. Grayson was playing baseball there in a 12-year-old tournament. The complex includes 30 baseball fields.