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Local News

June 12, 2014

Baseball HOF kicks off anniversary events

COOPERSTOWN — The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is celebrating its 75th anniversary today and Friday.

Today’s weather forecast moved the Hall’s Celebration Ceremony indoors to the Hall of Fame Gallery, featuring Hall of Famers Phil Niekro and Cal Ripken, at 11 a.m. The event, which will be open to those purchasing a Museum admission, had previously been scheduled to be held on the front steps.

Main Street, which had previously been scheduled to be closed from Fair to Pioneer Streets from 7 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., will remain open to vehicle traffic.

The museum was founded on Jun. 12, 1939, and a Cooperstown resident, Homer Osterhoudt, was there for its opening day.

Osterhoudt is well-known in the Cooperstown community for attending 66 of 69 inductions. He is an avid baseball fan and can be seen at many of the HOF events.

He will be at the Bullpen Theater in the HOF today at 1 p.m. with Howard Talbot and Catherine Walker for the Memories of Opening Day Roundtable to answer questions about the historical aspect of Cooperstown.

He said Cooperstown is a tourist destination that people seek out, and a big reason is the Hall of Fame.

“It’s made a big difference in terms of tourism and it has just grown and grown since 1939,” Osterhoudt said.

Nancy Morningstar, of Massachusetts, who was visiting Cooperstown for the week, said it is important to preserve baseball’s traditions.

“It’s America’s game and if we don’t have someplace that’s dedicated to it we might lose that history,” Morningstar said.

She also said that it sets an example for young people who live in an “electronic world” that they too can safeguard things for the future.

“We show the next generation that someone has preserved this, making future generations consider what they can preserve,” she said.

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