Results tagged ‘ Otsego Lake ’

Old friends, different ball

Muder_90.jpgBy Craig Muder

They were teammates on the baseball diamond, working toward a common goal and sharing good times in the clubhouse.

Today, they are friends in retirement – enjoying a history that only they share.

It all comes together in Cooperstown.

07-24-10-Muder-Dawson.jpgThe annual Hall of Fame Invitational golf outing was played at Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown on Saturday morning, with more than 20 Hall of Famers and dozens more distinguished guests launching drives and dropping putts on the picturesque course next to Otsego Lake. Andre Dawson and Whitey Herzog, who are set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday with Doug Harvey as the Class of 2010, got their first taste of Hall of Fame Weekend golf and loved every minute of it.

Dawson invited former Montreal Expos teammate Tim Raines to play with him, and Raines wowed his fellow golfers with some prodigious tee shots. But for Raines, the real excitement was just being in Cooperstown with his friend.

“He was a quiet leader, who led by example and I was one of the guys who jumped on his shirttails,” Raines said. “You think about how to play the game right, and you think about Andre Dawson.

“I am so happy his day has come.”

Herzog played the round with family members, while other power foursomes included a group with Frank Robinson, George Brett and Brett’s former teammate John Wathan and another with Gary Carter, Paul Molitor and former umpire Bruce Froemming.

“Whitey was a pain in the butt,” Carter joked when asked about Herzog. “We had some good battles. When you played Whitey’s teams, they were always tough.”

Their time on the diamond may be passed, but the camaraderie they created appears to be everlasting – especially at the home of baseball in Cooperstown.

Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

No place like home for The Wizard

Muder_90.jpgBy Craig Muder

Ozzie Smith leaned back in his chair and gazed out upon idyllic Otesgo Lake on Thursday. After arriving at his hotel in advance of Hall of Fame Weekend 2010, The Wizard seemed to have a permanent smile on his face.

07-22-10-Muder-Smith.jpgOzzie may live in St. Louis, but Cooperstown remains his home.

“This place is very special,” said the 2002 Hall of Fame inductee upon returning to Central New York. “I’m fortunate enough to come back three or four times a year, and I love every minute of it.”

Smith joined more than 40 other Hall of Famers in Cooperstown on Thursday in preparation for Sunday’s 1:30 p.m. Induction Ceremony for the Class of 2010. Andre Dawson, Doug Harvey and Whitey Herzog will be enshrined then, and the returning Hall of Famers will help thousands of baseball fans celebrate the moment.

Many of those Hall of Famers will also ensure that Dawson, Harvey and Herzog appreciate the experience.

“(Hall of Famer) Johnny Bench always sits the new class down at the hotel and has them just look out on the lake for a while,” Smith said. “He tells them to take time to understand what this all means.

“Coming back year after year, enjoying all the laughter… I always look forward to it.”

Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Opening Day at the Hall of Fame

Light_90.jpgBy 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?
4-1-09-Light_RedsMets.jpgWill 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.

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