Hall Monitors, Volume 1

OK, I’ve been back from the trip to Cooperstown for a couple of days now, but this is the first time the house has been quiet and empty, so now is the time to share the photos and stories.

As mentioned in a previous piece, Brian (OMDQ) and I (Extra P) had a long-standing plan to meet at the Hall of Fame at the end of this baseball season. We managed to make that a reality last Friday. As an added bonus, Brian, a former Hall intern, had arranged a tour of the Giamatti Research Center, where all of baseball’s important documents are stored.

The Hall opens at 9am, and we were to meet Brian’s former supervisor at 10, so we took advantage of the quiet morning hour to look at the plaque gallery. First, however, we posed with our hero Buck O’Neil, whose statue is one of the first things one sees upon entering the Hall hall.

Eric, Buck, Brian, and Joey

For the first hour we were there, I was under the misapprehension that I should not use my flash, based on the hardline stance taken by all of the historical sites in my area of central Virginia. This resulted in some of these darkish photos I’ll be sharing. Fortunately, Brian cleared that up for me later.

First, we walked through the exhibit on “The Art of Baseball”, meaning paintings, statues, etc. that depict the game.

The steely (bronzy?) gaze of Christy Matthewson

Cool Papa Bell started the pink hat trend. Who knew?

Casey Stengel. Rumors that his likeness will be used in the upcoming film of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit are greatly exaggerated.

This exhibit puzzled me. Perhaps it’s a piece of pop art dedicated to reliable relief pitchers?

Cool Papa with the pink cap, and Honus Wagner with the popped collar? These guys aren’t going into the fashion hall of fame, I can tell you that much.

The plaque gallery, with tons of beautiful morning sunlight streaming in.

George Brett. This is as good as it gets for a guy who grew up in the KC area in the late 80’s. Though I don’t remember him having such goofy-looking teeth. He looks like Han Solo frozen in carbonite.

I just loved the way the light was hitting this one. It looks like Waner is ready to open his mouth and say something.

Brian and I derived great amusement from the fact that Harry Caray went into the Hall shirtless and bellowing. Sadly, my photo of Peter Gammons’ epic 70s moustache didn’t come out so well.

That’s enough photos for one post. Check back for the second half in a day or two.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Looks like Brett got his teeth fixed at some point in the ’80s. Compare this ’82 Topps Card


    to this ’85 one:


    Or maybe all the tobacco juice simply served as a fixative that pulled his front teeth together.


  2. That picture with the Buck O’Neil statue is now the background on my laptop. Awesome.

    Funny thing, though – I was so distracted by the statue that I completely forgot to look at the rest of the exhibit. I know there wasn’t much to see, but I had eyes only for Buck at that particular moment.

    I am heartbroken that the Gammons picture didn’t come out. That photo needs to be shared with as many people as possible. I wish we could explain the awesomeness in words.


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