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Local Sports

July 28, 2008

Fame Game 'savior' hits another snag

COOPERSTOWN _ As Hall of Famer Yogi Berra once said, it ain't over until it's over.

Cooperstown native Kristian Connolly and his Save the Fame Game campaign appear to be facing a large deficit with two out and none on in the bottom of the ninth, though.

"There wasn't much new by the way of news," Connolly, 30, said after his 25-minute meeting Saturday with National Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson and Major League Baseball President Bob DuPuy.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig set up the meeting to address Connolly's concerns about baseball's decision to end the Hall of Fame Game at Doubleday Field, an exhibition that attracts thousands of fans to the area on an annual basis. Selig appeared on stage at the Clark Sports Center on Sunday to help honor 2008 Hall of Fame inductees Goose Gossage and Dick Williams, but he did not participate in Saturday's meeting in Idelson's office.

"They just wanted to be able to sit down and talk face-to-face about the issue," said Connolly, the founder of the website who sent three letters to Selig asking MLB to reverse its Jan. 29 decision to scrap the 70-year tradition. After the third letter, Connolly said, he received a call about a face-to-face meeting from Richard Levin, MLB's senior vice president of public relations.

"They said what they've written and said before," Connolly said. "We just have differing views on the best way to promote Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame. They don't think the Hall of Fame Game fits in that plan and I do. We're just at a mutual understanding that I'll continue to move forward and so will they."

Connolly said he drove to Cooperstown from his residence in Washington, D.C., on Friday night, specifically to meet with baseball's big-wigs. Connolly added that Idelson primarily served as a facilitator to help DuPuy understand that the group is not acting out of anger.

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