A trip worth the wait

Aldrich_90.jpgBy Matt Aldrich

Every visitor who enters the Baseball Hall of Fame has a special story of how they arrived in Cooperstown. Some visits, however, are about more than just baseball.

Last month, Hall of Fame member Doug Plunkett and his daughter Amy and son Erik arrived in Cooperstown a year after they had originally planned. But for Doug Plunkett, just the chance to make the trip was itself a miracle.

10-6-09-Aldrich_Plunkett.jpgIn June 2007, Doug was diagnosed with cancer in multiple organs. He went through a serious surgery after which he spent months recovering and regaining strength at home. His family thought they were in the clear and believed the cancers were caught early enough before they had a chance to spread to yet another location.

Despite Doug’s hardships, he continued to follow baseball – and at one point made mention to Amy that he wanted to go visit Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. Amy thought this would be a perfect way for him to celebrate his recovery. On Christmas 2008, Amy gave Doug a Hall of Fame membership so he could visit the Museum and enjoy Memories and Dreams – the official publication of the Hall of Fame – all year long.

But soon after Christmas, Doug learned that the cancer had indeed metastasized. His battle against the cancer continued with another surgery in March 2008 and then chemotherapy from April to October 2008.

But with time, Doug had been able to recover again, and the results from his diagnostic scans have all been clear. Finally – with Doug feeling better – the family traveled from Las Vegas and arrived in Cooperstown in September 2009. Doug’s favorite part of his visit was the large photograph of Carl Yastrzemski and he enjoyed seeing memorabilia from the team he loved growing up, the Boston Red Sox.

But most of all, Doug cherished the time with his family in Cooperstown. It was a trip that included a detour, but one that was worth the wait. To learn more about Hall of Fame Membership, visit www.baseballhall.org/membership.

Matt Aldrich is the manager of membership at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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