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

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June 12, 2014

HOFers, big crowds came to Monday dedication in '39

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“This was like the old days – my arm got terribly tired writing so many autographs,” he said. “I didn’t know there were so many people who didn’t have my signature.”

Following the parade down a Main Street swollen with spectators, two reenactment games were held. The first featured boys from Cooperstown High School, clad in 1839-style outfits playing a baseball-like game known as town ball. The second involved soldiers from the U.S. Army infantry. They dressed in uniforms of the New York Knickerbockers and Brooklyn Excelsiors, who in 1848 became the first uniformed teams to play the modern-style game.

The third game of the triple-header was a seven-inning exhibition between current major leaguers. A team managed by Wagner defeated one skippered by Collins, 4-2. The ball park’s capacity was 10,000, but on this day roughly 12,000 showed up, so many the fans had to sit on the outfield grass just beneath the wall. 

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