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March 7, 2013

Museum's attendance 'mirrors' economy


Umpire Hank O’Day, Ruppert and 19th century catcher and third baseman Deacon White were elected to the Hall of Fame in the Pre-Integration Era Committee in voting announced in December. No player cleared the 75 percent threshold necessary for enshrinement as a member of the Class of 2013 once ballots from the Baseball Writers’ Association of American election were tabulated. There were 569 ballots cast. 

This year’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 28, at the Clark Sports Center, will pay tribute to 12 individuals previously counted among the Hall’s roster of members but who never had a formal induction because of wartime travel restrictions. 

Idelson said there have been talks of honoring those men for a while. 

“We have been looking for the right time to do it, and this seems to be the right time to do it,” he said. 

The Hall of Fame Classic has been moved from Father’s Day Weekend to Memorial Day Weekend in part of gaining better attendance, according to Idelson. 

“Father’s Day Weekend was what we thought a good time to have the Classic with baseball being a family sport. But you know in hindsight perhaps being amidst graduations, not necessarily only locally but everywhere in the state, it may have limited our potential on ticket sales,” he said. 

Idelson said baseball has had a long relationship with the military and by hosting the seven-inning game that features legends of the diamond, it will allow the Hall to develop programs to show that relationship.   

“It is also a great travel weekend so we may be apt to sell more tickets,” Idelson continued. 

Having the Cooperstown Dreams Park nearby is also an added bonus when attracting tourists to the museum.

“The kids who participate in Dreams Park certainly come to the museum once,” Idelson said. “The importance of that is that you hope those kids will one day come back as parents to show their children where they once played summer baseball. We tend to look at it as potentially a future benefit for the community.”

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