Tomorrow’s Stars Connect with Today’s Legends
By TREVOR HAYES
A few members of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats – a Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays – made a stop in Cooperstown Monday as they finish their trip from New Britain to Binghamton. After winning the opener against the Rock Cats, the Fisher Cats lost two and were postponed due to rain Sunday. They now face a three game-set starting tonight against the B-Mets before returning to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, N.H.for a seven-game homestand.
Not happy with their start to the season, several of the players’ faces lit up when they peeked through the lobby and into the plaque gallery with the Class of 1936 – Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner – at the end of the long hallowed hall. A 6-and-10 day off to reconnect with the game they love, seemed to be just what the Fisher Cats ordered.
The club returns 14 players from their 2011 Eastern League Championship. But the dream for each of the 29 players who have suited up for the
Fisher Cats this season is success in the majors. Just five players have logged anytime in the majors – including Drew Hutchison who was 2-1 for New Hampshire before his major league debut last Friday, in which he started against Kansas City and earned a win after five and a third innings of work.
As the Fisher Cats got their tickets, they compared the artifacts printed on their souvenirs and started to wander the Hall, just like seven-year-old boys and not the professional athletes who will take the field an hour-and-a-half southeast of Cooperstown tonight.
The Hall of Fame is a popular stopover for minor league teams looking to escape from the grind of traveling the central New York bus circuit. It’s a chance to get perspective and dive into baseball history for a few hours, while traveling to and from places like Auburn, Batavia, Binghamton, Buffalo, Hudson Valley or Syracuse. Saturday’s perfect game author Phillip Humber visited the Hall of Fame during his two seasons with the International League’s Rochester Red Wings and now he’s made baseball history which will be preserved for future generations of fans and players to see.
‘‘I’ve seen the stuff that’s there,” the 29-year-old Humbersaid to media over the weekend. “And now, to think that something of mine is going to be there? It’s pretty awesome.’’
The Fisher Cats who visited the Museum Monday hope that with skill and a little luck, they can utter the same sentences someday.
Trevor Hayes is the editorial production manager at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.