What a tremendous day it was for me. I boarded my flight late Friday night after it was originally canceled. I had to work with Expedia to get it all fixed up. The new flight had me go to Detroit then go to Albany. I picked up my rental car and drove an hour to Cooperstown. I got to Cooperstown and since this was not my first time, I didn’t spend a lot of time marveling. I grabbed a quick BLTA for lunch and then went to the stores along Main Street.
The street is filled with baseball memorabilia shops and a lot of things that I know I might buy. One of the first places I went to was Mickey’s Place. It’s a great store of throwback caps that I buy from online. I didn’t visit it the first time I went so I had to do it this time. I didn’t buy anything but look at their selection!
I saw Greg Maddux, Vlad Guererro, Lou Piniella. Lots of different old time baseball folks were around signing autographs for a price. I didn’t want ot pay for autographs, so I just walked around and then saw Bert Camapneris (while making small talk with George Foster). He signed a ball I had picked up from batting practice from an A’s game and he signed it. He even took a picture with me. What a very nice guy!
Not much has changed since the last time I visited — the only thing new was the Hank Aaron exhibit. I just did a quick walk, saving my discovering for tomorrow. I just walked around and then went out for the parade. The museum closed early and I just parked myself near the end of the route.
Lining up for the parade is an art form. Some people were there for hours. I wondered why they would be there so early. I would later find out that Hall of Famers would sign autographs and their locations were perfect. I didn’t try to get autographs when I got there even though I had chances to try to get one from Rickey Henderson and Ozzie Smith. Most of the autograph signings during the parade happened on the other side of the road. I am going to stay there next time — which likely is next year.
There were opposing cheers for Craig Biggio and Pedro Martinez before the parade. Biggio had a huge following so they won.
Cal Ripken spent the most time signing autographs. After the parade and ceremony indoors, he returned to sign autographs on my side. I tried so hard to get his attention, but he didn’t sign my ball. I really wanted it. But it wasn’t meant to be. Next year, I will get it. I have to.
This is just the first day. There is going to be so much more fun at the induction ceremony. I didn’t do too much. Most of my time was just getting some traveling done and making sure I was there for the parade. Tomorrow is when I pack in all the museum seeing and final things to buy. After that and the ceremony, it’s off to Boston.