“It would be great if we could have honored him on the actual anniversary of his death, but it was just too soon to make it all come together,” Katz said. “Then when we learned that the SABR people would be here in April, it made perfect sense to honor him then. In addition to being statisticians, SABR-metrics and so forth, they are historians. So they are the perfect people to help us present this baseball history in a new light.”
Katz credits Katz Baseball Hall of Fame senior curator Tom Schieber with the idea to honor Fowler in Cooperstown.
“He came up with the idea of renaming a street in Fowler’s honor, but I thought it would be a tough sled to say, rename Beaver Street to Fowler Way. Then we were talking about the idea with trustee Cindy Falk, and she found out that the entrance to Doubleday Field, which we had all just assumed was a driveway, was actually an official street on the map.
“So now we had, not only an unnamed street, but one that was in a perfect location to honor him,” he said. “From there, everything fell into place nicely.”
Katz said he hopes the event will get national attention from sports outlets such as ESPN and the Major League Baseball Network.
“The possibility exists that we can make this a big deal,” he said. “I believe the story will galvanize national attention. From our perspective, there is nothing better than shining a light on a forgotten hero who is also a native of our village.”