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March 7, 2013

Museum's attendance 'mirrors' economy


Looking forward to this year, the president said focus will be put on celebrating New York baseball. 

“There are so many New York-centric stories related to baseball this year,” he said. “Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert is being inducted this year, we will be honoring Lou Gehrig, the movie ‘42’ is coming out about Jackie Robinson — there are a lot of different elements related to New York baseball, which will allow us to market in state.”

Outside of New York, the Hall is looking at doing a number of team celebrations during the summer. 

According to Idelson, programming will tailor to fans of those teams. For instance, he said since the Giants won the World Series last year, the trophy will be on display during the summer and during a month that will be dedicated to programming featuring the team.   

“It will give fans of those teams another reason to come to Cooperstown,” Idelson said. 

Scouts will be honored in Cooperstown with a two-year temporary exhibit called Diamond Mines. The museum will unveil the interactive exhibit on May 4. 

The exhibit will be featured on the museum’s second floor and have a searchable database of thousands of scouting reports donated to the Hall of Fame throughout the years by hundreds of scouts. Through Diamond Mines, museum visitors will be able to enter the name of a big league player and search for scouting reports filed on them throughout the years. Reports from more than 200 scouts have already been added to the database.

Not having a living inductee this year will mean thinking outside of the box for the Hall of Fame staff.  

“It is part of the process, and it becomes incumbent on us to structure our Hall of Fame Weekend to augment that loss,” Idelson said. 

Idelson added that many baseball fans come to Cooperstown that weekend to see the returning Hall of Famers and he firmly believes there will be the usual 40 to 50 in town this year. 

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