Today was the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. I watched it on TV and wished I had been there. In July of 2009, I visited the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. What a neat experience viewing the bronze plaques and at least peeking into the library. The Giamatti Research Center is a place where I really would like to spend time. Thank you to my friend and colleague Karen Mauer Jones for the hospitality and tours of Cooperstown that year.
Today’s ceremony was full of Minnesota connections. Hall of Famers Paul Molitor, Jack Morris, and Dave Winfield who grew up in Saint Paul (my hometown) were on the stage. All three of them played for the Minnesota Twins during their careers. Former Minnesota Twins players also in the Hall of Fame include Bert Blyleven, Rod Carew, Steve Carlton, Harmon Killebrew, David Ortiz (Big Papi), Kirby Puckett, and Jim Thome. Today, Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva (Tony-O) were added to that list.
That stage held many Hall of Famers today but I loved seeing Blyleven, Carew, Kaat, Molitor, Morris, Oliva, Ortiz, Thome, and Winfield there.
Then there was Dave Winfield speaking for one of the inductees, Bud Fowler. Fowler grew up in Cooperstown. He was born nearby as John W. Jackson and his pioneering as an African American player is legendary. Late last year, I learned he had a Minnesota connection! He played for one season on a Stillwater, Minnesota team. The Washington County, Minnesota Historical Society’s website and Facebook page share a lot about Fowler.
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