By ERIC AHLQVIST
Major League baseball commissioner Bud Selig has responded to lawmakers who support recent efforts to save the Hall of Fame Game, which will be played for the final time in June.
Major League Baseball announced in January that scheduling the Game, which has been a nearly 70-year tradition in Cooperstown, had become too difficult and would be discontinued after this year.
In response, Cooperstown native Kristian Connolly started the website savethefamegame.com, encouraging baseball fans to send e-mails to Selig, the Hall of Fame and other baseball officials to voice their displeasure with the decision. Among those who supported Connolly’s mission were Representatives Michael Arcuri, Maurice Hinchey and Senator Hillary Clinton. Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig recently responded to requests made by those and other politicians to reverse the decision to end the annual Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown after 2008.
Selig sent a form letter of response to those politicians, explaining the reasons behind the decision.
``While I appreciate the sentiments expressed in your letter, allow me to elaborate on some of the reasons that went into the decision to eliminate the annual Hall of Fame Game in its current format after this year,’’ Selif wrote. ``As you know, our teams play 162 games in 180 days. With interleague play and interdivision matchups, finding two teams that could be scheduled into Cooperstown during an off-day has become exceedingly difficult. As you know, for several years the game has not been played in conjunction with the Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, making the logistics of presenting the game that much more complicated.’’
But Connolly said Selig’s, and baseball’s, reasoning, is flawed. “To say that the Hall of Fame Game creates a scheduling problem is completely ludicrous,’’ Connolly wrote in an e-mail to the Town Crier.
By ERIC AHLQVIST
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