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Local Sports

July 22, 2008

Fame Game crusader gets meeting

Kristian Connolly got his wish, at least partially.

As the head of the website savethefamegame.com, Cooperstown graduate Connolly sent three letters to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig asking for a meeting during the upcoming Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.

Connolly, 30, found out Friday that he'll get his meeting, but Selig won't be there. Instead, he'll meet in Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson's office at 10 a.m. Saturday with Idelson and Major League Baseball President Bob DuPuy. Connolly said Selig set up the meeting.

"I would prefer he would be there," Connolly said Monday of Selig, who annually attends the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. This year's event, headlined by Goose Gossage and Dick Williams, is set for 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Clark Sports Center. "Actually, this is the next best thing to meet with his top deputy. Obviously, Bob DuPuy works closely with the commissioner."

The obvious topic is the Hall of Fame Game, an annual exhibition at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown since 1940.

Major League Baseball sent a directive to the Hall of Fame on Jan. 29, saying 2008 would mark the final Hall of Fame Game. MLB cited scheduling as the major reason for discontinuing baseball's lone in-season exhibition.

The 2008 Fame Game between the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres was rained out June 16.

Hall of Fame spokesman Brad Horn confirmed the meeting between Connolly, Idelson and DuPuy on Monday. Horn added Idelson will not comment on the meeting.

"We have no further comment or explanation," Horn said.

Connolly, who works for a non-profit animal protection group on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., said he sees the meeting as a positive step for his group.

"That's why I'm doing this," said Connolly, who added that about 1,700 fans nationwide have joined him in his quest to get the game reinstated. "If they're willing to meet, there's still some hope possible for the future. This is a good sign."

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