Opening Day at the Hall of Fame
By Stephen Light
“It follows the seasons, beginning each year with the fond expectancy of springtime and ending with the hard facts of autumn.” Of all the quotes, monologues, and stories Ken Burns shared with us in his documentary Baseball, this one has always stuck with me.
And here we are — April. The fond expectancy of springtime. Hopes are high all across baseball. Will the Rays repeat their magical run to the World Series? Can the Phillies defend their crown?
Will a new-look Mets bullpen help wipe away memories of two consecutive late-season collapses? How will the Yankees rotation stand the pressure of the pinstripes? Is this the Cubs’ year?
Here in Cooperstown, spring is in the air as well. After an icy cold winter, the snow has disappeared, the ice on Otsego Lake has thawed and temperatures are reaching up into the 50s. The streets have become busier, too, as baseball fans head to the Hall in anticipation of the new season.
In the Education Department, we are preparing for a busy spring and summer, with April kicking off an exciting schedule of public programs and events. Opening Day of the baseball season will serve as an opening day of sorts for us as well. If you are in the area, stop by the Hall of Fame on Monday, April 6, as we bring visitors live coverage of the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds in the Bullpen Theater starting at 1 p.m.
In between innings, we’ll serve up some Opening Day trivia. I’ll even give our blog readers the chance to do some homework on the first question: Which president showed off his ambidextrous talent by throwing out two ceremonial first pitches on Opening Day, one left-handed and one right-handed?
Stephen Light is the manager of museum programs at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.