The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


November 19, 2008

Game plan good for us and legends

Here’s what we think about the announcement Monday that the defunct Baseball Hall of Fame Game will be replaced by an annual “Legends” game involving former major league players.

It won’t be the same.

Nope, it won’t be the same at all.

It will be better.

Let’s face it, despite the protestations of an obstreperous group of local fans who could not get over Cooperstown losing the 68-year-old event involving major league teams, it had long since lost its luster.

It had evolved into a noisome mid-season interruption for players and club owners. Few actual members of each team would play, and those for only a few innings at best before low-level minor leaguers would take to the Doubleday Field diamond.

But a Legends game, now you’re talking.

The first Hall of Fame Classic will feature at least four Hall of Famers among the 30 former players who will comprise two teams representing the American League and National League.

The seven-inning game will highlight a weekend of events that Hall officials said they hope will become an annual tradition. What a wonderful idea. Hall President Jeff Idelson, Chairwoman Jane Forbes Clark, the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and community leaders are all to be congratulated.

Baseball, perhaps more than any other sport, is a game of mental images _ of mighty swings and miraculous catches, of heroes and villains.

The mention of a Duke Snider or a Reggie Jackson or a Brooks Robinson brings back memories decades old, of playing stickball in the street and pretending you were them or just having a catch with Dad.

As it turns out, the day of the inaugural game is Father’s Day and the first day of summer.

Likely as not, when some of the old-timers come out to play on June 21, their bellies will hang over their belts, and the fastballs they used to throw will take a lot longer to get to the plate.

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