Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame


November 20, 2008

Hall plan a good start

The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s plan to replace the Hall of Fame Game is a good step in the right direction, but officials should be careful the new format does not grow stale in a couple of years.

Hall officials announced Monday that a Hall of Fame Classic Weekend during Father’s Day weekend this June would replace the Fame Game, a Cooperstown tradition for nearly 70 years.

In addition to a variety of events on Friday and Saturday, the plan is to play a seven inning game on Sunday, June 21, which would feature at least four Hall of Famers and 20 other retired major leaguers.

We’re sure that this format will intrigue baseball fans enough for them to make the trek to Cooperstown to see the former players in action. Although all the details haven’t been released, it seems for the players involved the game will be more about fun and interacting with fans than winning or losing.

But would fans want to see that format more than once? It will be important to showcase different players every year, and we think the outcome of the game should mean something to both the participants and fans.

Maybe invite ex-Yankees and Red Sox players to play an exhibition, that’s a game neither side would want to lose. Or maybe give away free tickets to the Hall of Fame or a major league game to the fans based on the outcome. Despite the protestations of those who valued the game, like founder Kristian Connolly, we think the time is right for a change in the format of the Cooperstown tradition.

The Hall of Fame Game itself had grown stale in recent years, with players not wanting to make the trip to Cooperstown and not participating in the game very much at all. To have players who want to be here, and want to put on a great show, will already be a big improvement.

It will be the Hall of Fame’s job to make that appealing to fans for the long run.

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