Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thousands of Fans, Six Inductees and the Tomahawk Chop: The National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

One hot Sunday in July, thousands of baseball fans converged on someplace akin to Paradise for lovers of America’s National Pastime. That place goes by one name: Cooperstown.
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on Induction Ceremony morning
The village of Cooperstown, New York is home to more than the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, but for the last weekend of July, there is nothing else. That weekend is Hall of Fame Weekend, and this year, six new members were inducted into the Hall.
Inside the Hall of Fame
D&F Travel offered a day trip to the hallowed grounds of baseball on Sunday, July 27th for the Induction Ceremony, with six inductees who were a who’s who of my era of baseball fandom: Tony LaRussa, Frank Thomas, Bobby Cox, Greg Maddox, Tom Glavine and Joe Torre. To say that Atlanta as a baseball city (LaRussa, Cox, Maddox, Glavine and Torre) and Georgia as a state (Thomas, who was born in Georgia and went to Auburn) were well represented is an understatement.
Atlanta fans doing the Chop
Tomahawk chops began well before the ceremony started, and continued through the first three inductees presented: Maddox, Cox and Glavine. Glavine, who was also drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, made reference to his two-sport past with tongue-in-cheek humor: having been drafted ahead of Hockey Hall of Famers Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull, he imagined that he would’ve been inducted into that Hall of Fame if he hadn’t chosen the baseball path.
Tom Glavine
LaRussa and an emotional Thomas came next, followed by the man I, as a Yankees fan, went there to see: Torre, the Yankees skipper for six AL pennants and four World Series titles; Torre was also a nine-time All-Star as a player for the Braves. Torre was cheered loudest when he told us we’d be back in a few years to see a couple more Yankees inductions, referring to future Hall of Famers Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter.
Joe Torre's plaque presentation
I also spent some time in the Hall of Fame Museum, but in all honesty, it’s not the place to visit on Induction Ceremony morning – it’s a huge monument to the game, but seemed sooooo small with thousands of people trying to make their way through it in a short time. I definitely need to go back!

all photos:

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