Results tagged ‘ Cooperstown ’

Broadcast history

By Samantha Carr

Curt Smith was 11 years old the first time he visited the Baseball Hall of Fame, and he’s been back more than 75 times since.

“And the novelty hasn’t faded,” he said.

But for visitors in Cooperstown for Hall of Fame Weekend, Smith’s Authors’ Series program made it a visit to remember. Smith, a columnist, University of Rochester lecturer and former presidential speechwriter, has written a new book entitled A Talk in the Park: Nine Decades of Tales from the Broadcast Booth.

“This book features 116 announcers – the largest collection of any sports book ever – sharing stories from baseball history,” said Smith. “Some are very poignant and touching and others – it is like the book Joe Garagiola wrote called Baseball is a Funny Game. It’s true.”

And Smith delighted Hall of Fame visitors on Friday by sharing stories from a number of chapters in the book.

Like Ken Harrelson, broadcaster for the Chicago White Sox and former major leaguer who defended his one handed catch by saying, ” with hands as bad as mine, one hand is better than two.”

Or Steve Blass, who was one of the only players in baseball history who was traded in Little League. He was moved from the Yankees to the Giants because the Yankees didn’t have a uniform small enough to fit him. Each big league team and network is represented in the book – so every baseball fan can find something that touches their baseball experience. The voice of the Toronto Blue Jays, Jerry Howarth, in town for the induction of Roberto Alomar and Pat Gillick, attended the program and shared some laughs at stories of his broadcast colleagues.

Garagiola once said to Yogi Berra that he was amazed that Berra was such a world figure, he drew more applause than a president or prime minister. When he asked Berra how he explained it, Berra responded, “Easy, I’m a better hitter.”

The book is available in the Museum Bookstore and a portion of the proceeds from the book benefit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

One final story told by Smith was a quote from 2008 Ford C. Frick Award winner Dave Niehaus, broadcaster for the Seattle Mariners who passed away last year at the young age of 75. Niehaus described his impressions of Cooperstown.

“When you come here you know there is no place like it in the world. It’s like going to Disney World, but you don’t have to pay for rides.”

Samantha Carr is the manager of web and digital media for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Books and baseball

By Samantha Carr

Literary works Jane Eyre, The Outsiders and Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief are not the usual topics discussed at the Baseball Hall of Fame. But on Tuesday, these titles served as answers in a Battle of the Books competition at the Museum.

Students in grades 6-12 from Cooperstown Central School, Dolgeville Central School and Fort Plain Central School – all located near the Hall of Fame – gathered in the Museum’s Grandstand Theater to buzz in and try to take home a trophy for their school. More than 60 kids participated in the field trip and took part in the program, which encourages reading and tests their knowledge.

“Mary Van Patten, the librarian at Fort Plain, and I both heard about this type of competition at a conference for librarians and decided to try it,” said Michelle Hitchcock, librarian at Cooperstown Middle and High School. “We started it with middle schools, but we had a strong group that entered ninth grade and didn’t want it to end. So we brought it to the high school.”

About three years ago, Cindy Staley, librarian at Dolgeville, brought the program to her school and joined them in the battle. High school participants read 16 books to prepare for the competition and middle school kids read 20.

The students began the day playing an ice-breaker game about the books they read to get to know each other and share their love for reading. The field trip is fun and friendly and is more about education than it is about winning.

“Students at Cooperstown have done local battles before today and I am sure the other schools have too,” said Hitchcock. “There is even a national competition.”

Each school competed in groups of four at each level. Questions can be about characters or the plot of the story, or simply a quote from the book. Students must not only answer the question, but also correctly name the title and author of the work to receive points.

After a close competition, students from Cooperstown took home both the middle school and high school prizes. The group then ate lunch and got ready for a guided tour of the Museum before heading back to their respective schools.

The Education Department at the Baseball Hall of Fame hosts field trips, participates in videoconferences and offers curriculum for teachers to use at their school for students in grades K-12. For more information, visit

Samantha Carr is the manager of web and digital media at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Girl Scouts make history in Cooperstown

Wilson_90.jpgBy Julie Wilson

A Girl Scout is Honest: Girl Scouts never steal… unless they are on base during a baseball game. Lou Brock made a career out of stolen bases. How many bases did Brock steak in his career?


After a tour through the Baseball Hall of Fame, a girl scout should be able to tell you the answer to this question, and other questions that connect baseball to the most fundamental tenets of scouting.


08-23-10-Wilson_GScouts.jpgThanks to the efforts of the local scouting officials, the Girl Scout Discovery Tour now joins the Hall of Fame’s Boy Scout Discovery Tour as a permanent fixture for visiting troops, as well as individual scouts that travel to
Cooperstown with their family. Originally conceptualized by Gail Sacchi, a Cooperstown troop leader, and her daughter Lisa Maticic, a lifelong scout, the patch is now available through the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways.


Troop 286 from Cooperstown, N.Y., worked with the Hall of Fame’s Education team to design the tour, and became the first troop to earn the patch during a trip to the Museum this past May. The Cooperstown Scouts traveled around the Museum searching for answers to questions about courage, loyalty, kindness and other virtues exemplified by those involved in Scouting.


Sacchi spoke highly of her troop’s experience saying that “all of the girls had a great time at the Hall of Fame” and expressed her feelings of pride that the girls (then 4th graders) were “the first troop to earn the award.”


Although many of the Cooperstown Girl Scouts were repeat visitors to the Hall of Fame, they had to work hard to find the answers to each question. The Girl Scout Discovery Tour is designed to help a scout look at an exhibit or an artifact in a different way and discover something that they may not have otherwise learned if they had just breezed through the exhibit space.


This is such an important opportunity to provide to young girls who are passionate about scouting, baseball and American history, and is another great way for young fans to connect to the game. We look forward to seeing many scouts follow in the footsteps of Cooperstown Troop 286.


Julie Wilson is the manager of school programming for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.



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