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May 30, 2013

Rained out Classic brings Hall to life


Bob Fernsler, of Lebanon, Pa., agreed as he posed for a picture with former major leaguers Bob Boone, Benito Santiago and Jim Leyritz.

“I am a Phillies fan, but really I am a fan of baseball in general,” he said. “I have been to the Hall of Fame half-a-dozen times, but I have never had an experience here like this. This is a very different opportunity. Being able to interact with the players is great.”

With an unusual induction weekend looming in July — the Baseball Writers’ Association of America declined to vote in anyone and no one in the Class of 2013 is alive — perhaps this past weekend illustrated what this year is all about in Cooperstown: The show must go on.

“Hey this is upstate New York,” joked Jim Gates, the Hall’s head librarian. “If you don’t have a backup plan for rainy and snowy weather, then you aren’t paying attention.”

The last time weather affected a major exhibition game in Cooperstown was June 16, 2008, when the Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres were rained out in the final Hall of Fame Game. That marked the ninth cancellation of the Fame Game, with six of those related to poor weather.

The Hall of Fame Classic replaced the Hall of Fame Game, which had been the only in-season exhibition game between two major league ballclubs, the following year.

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