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

July 26, 2012

Your Opinion: July 26, 2012

Flash mob was a treat

On behalf of everyone who witnessed the flash mob at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, we would like to thank all the Glimmerglass Festival orchestra musicians that volunteered to perform along with guest singer, Jeff  Gwaltney. Unaccustomedas market shoppers are to finding orchestra musicians playing among meat coolers and freshly picked produce, shoppers had a magical experience.

The volume of the truly joyous whoop that came from the crowd when the performance finished said it all! It was an unexpected treat that delighted everyone. Thank you for sharing your passion for music with the community. We are pleased that members of the orchestra often shop at the farmers’ market.

This dedicated group of summer residents comes year after year from as far away as Italy, Hawaii, Texas, Florida, Arizona and Canada to play for the opera season. When asked why orchestra members travel such great distances, musician Dee Dee Fancher answered, “because we love working together and we love this community which we are part of for at least 10 weeks every summer… I have been coming to Glimmerglass for 18 years, some have come even longer.” For whatever the reasons, we are pleased this dedicated group of folks is part of our community.

For those that missed this spontaneous musical event – stay tuned, a video montage will be released soon.

Look for us on Facebook or at or sign up for the markets weekly email news by sending a request to

And finally, a request of all the videographers and photographers that were in the crowd: if you happen to have images of the flash mob performance you would like to contribute to the video montage, please send your files or links to We will be sure the images get to the right person.

Lyn Weir

Cooperstown Farmers’ Market

Not going to fight this battle

As Chief of the Cooperstown Fire Department, I would like to address the loss of the noon whistle. I have received many inquiries asking me what the fire department was going to do about the loss of the noon whistle. My answer is nothing, because this is not a fire department battle. As I was growing up, I was always told to pick my battles, and as I said, this is not a fire department battle.

The fire department will still have the siren blown for firematic emergencies.

The noon whistle for many years has had its purpose. Obviously, it was to let everyone know when it was noon. The other purpose of the noon whistle was to test our emergency siren.

I can say that of all the inquiries that I have received, all of them were for bringing back the noon whistle. To that I personally agree. I like the noon whistle. I have told the residents who have contacted me, that if they feel strong enough about this they should attend the village board meeting and let them know their feelings. Or they should at least send the village board a letter advising them where they stand on this issue.

As far as the OSHA standard that Dr. Frank spoke of, OSHA only deals with employees and the levels of which they are exposed to during their working hours. The levels of the noon whistle are within the acceptable levels for some standards and just above the standards for OSHA standards.

Once again, if you want to be heard on the issue of the noon whistle, let the village board know your feelings not the fire chief. Thank you.

James Tallman

Cooperstown Fire Chief

Autographs should not be about profit

The Induction Weekend is clearly the busiest weekend for the Baseball Hall of Fame and the village. Every year people from all over the country flock to this here to celebrate their baseball hero getting inducted into the HOF. My son and I have enjoyed this weekend over the years as it is a fun opportunity to get close to legendary players such as Yogi Berra or perhaps Willie Mays. But it is disturbing at the same time.

My son concurs: After walking around for an hour (and this is nothing new really) you see the legends hocking their signatures on balls and pictures of themselves for a fee. Get a picture with Lou Pinella ($40), Yogi Berra ($60), Willie Mays ($200+), Pete Rose  and Joe Morgan ($65) andthe price-list goes on and on. I’m always amazed at how many people will pay ... they line up by the dozens. Clearly it’s profitable.

My son and I adopted a policy long ago to never pay for a signature. We think it’s sort of “un-American” and disgraceful to our American pastime. It’s simply tacky and greedy to watch these legends make their fans pay. Why does the Hall of Fame tolerate this?

My son has been pretty successful at tracking some of these superheros down and getting them to sign the old fashioned way ... for free ... and with gratitude for the fans. His persistence has paid off. Cal Riken, Bob Feller, Brooks Robinson, etc., these guys contributed to long-lasting and fond memories for my boy.

These guys were class acts!

Last Friday we went to Cooperstown to walk around...and maybe get lucky with a ball signing. Soon enough a legend passed us on the sidewalk.

Fergie Jenkins. My son has tried unsuccessfully to get Fergie in the past, so he decided to try again. Fergie was walking back to his hotel with his manager.

There were a few other kids following as well. One of the kids eventually got him to stop after he kept asking for a signature ... .directly in front of the Cooper Inn.

Then it happened, Fergie fired back saying “How can I sign your ball? Can’t you see there’s like eight people behind you? If I sign for you I have to sign for everybody!” Then the poor kid offered to pay. The boy pulled out a $20 bill and suddenly Fergie was willing.

Three other kids also pulled out $20 bills...and Mr. Jenkins kept signing. His manager just threw the money in his gym bag like it was a drug deal.

I have a picture of this transaction taking place. All I could do is shake my head. Such greed. This should stop now.

Scott Alexander