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View Full Version : I plan on spending a day at the Hall of Fame next weekend. Help me plan my da


isaac2004
04-16-2017, 06:31 AM
My wife and son (too little to walk) are going up to Cooperstown Saturday and staying over and spending all day Sunday at the museum. We are going because we are running out of time for the Griffey exhibit and we are die hard Mariners fans. With that, I plan not spending the whole day there. I was hoping I could get some pointers on how to maximize my day there. I have looked at some other threads but most of them are filled with mildly trolling comments, hence the serious side tag. I am also a baseball autograph collector so maybe a good place to get some good stuff without a crazy markup would be great too.

Snapolit1
04-16-2017, 09:39 AM
This time of year it will still be light crowds. I don't think the Little League crowd is going up yet. It is not that huge of a museaum that you will need some complex strategy. Start on the second floor, go up to 3 and 4 and end on one with the plaques. The town is nice but I didn't see any card stores I wanted to buy vintage at. Overpriced tourist trade. Some nice places to eat near that Hall. You"ll have a great day. If you have extra time go to the farm museum down the road. I always get a laugh out of the Cardiff Giant.

kailes2872
04-16-2017, 09:53 AM
I have found that it can be a 2 hour trip through the museum or a 10 hour trip - depending on how much your read. The room with the baseball records is pretty cool - as you can spend an hour there just going through the different achievements on the digital screen.

I spent a lot of time looking at the world series rings. I get a kick out of the 2003 Marlins ring as it is supersized.

You can spend 3 hours in the hall if you'd like. I spent a lot of time reading plaques. My boys were cool with it at first and then about 1955, they told me they were hungry. By the time I got to the 2002 plaques, they were writhing on the ground having a temper tantrum. They were 16 and 13 at the time...

I have been there 3 times. The first time in college - which I barely remember. The second time in 2012. The Kendrick collection was there and that was awesome. There was also a separate baseball card room which had been converted to a room that showed the linear history of each team by wins, pennants, etc. The last time was 2015. It was still fun - but not a lot had changed and we got through it much quicker.

No value to be found anywhere on cards and memorabilia. During my 2012 trip, I bought an autographed Hank/Willie photo for $200. It was $300, so I was getting a deal. Turns, out, I probably still way overpaid. That trip, the Kendrick collection, and the baseball card room is what got me back into the hobby. My wife likes to remind me that although I claim to only have spend a few hundred on the weekend, it has cost us about a hundred grand as I got the collecting bug again and haven't looked back.

Have fun! it is baseball heaven. I can only imagine what it is like for a kid at Disney World for the first time - as I was super excited when I got there. The only thing that I can compare it to was my first National as far as sensory overload.

TobaccoKing4
04-16-2017, 10:07 AM
I have found that it can be a 2 hour trip through the museum or a 10 hour trip - depending on how much your read. The room with the baseball records is pretty cool - as you can spend an hour there just going through the different achievements on the digital screen.

I spent a lot of time looking at the world series rings. I get a kick out of the 2003 Marlins ring as it is supersized.

You can spend 3 hours in the hall if you'd like. I spent a lot of time reading plaques. My boys were cool with it at first and then about 1955, they told me they were hungry. By the time I got to the 2002 plaques, they were writhing on the ground having a temper tantrum. They were 16 and 13 at the time...

I have been there 3 times. The first time in college - which I barely remember. The second time in 2012. The Kendrick collection was there and that was awesome. There was also a separate baseball card room which had been converted to a room that showed the linear history of each team by wins, pennants, etc. The last time was 2015. It was still fun - but not a lot had changed and we got through it much quicker.

No value to be found anywhere on cards and memorabilia. During my 2012 trip, I bought an autographed Hank/Willie photo for $200. It was $300, so I was getting a deal. Turns, out, I probably still way overpaid. That trip, the Kendrick collection, and the baseball card room is what got me back into the hobby. My wife likes to remind me that although I claim to only have spend a few hundred on the weekend, it has cost us about a hundred grand as I got the collecting bug again and haven't looked back.

Have fun! it is baseball heaven. I can only imagine what it is like for a kid at Disney World for the first time - as I was super excited when I got there. The only thing that I can compare it to was my first National as far as sensory overload.

They got rid of the baseball card room? That's disappointing.

kailes2872
04-16-2017, 10:37 AM
I was bummed. They do have cards throughout the museum - but you have to look for them

Republicaninmass
04-16-2017, 11:32 AM
I love seeing the wagner. Other things to do were a bit sparse, even finding a place to eat, but enjoyed my day there as well as the ride through upstate NY

Hot Springs Bathers
04-16-2017, 11:47 AM
Issac- I spent five days there last September with my 23 year old daughter during the film festival. We had great time, very nice people up and down the street. As mentioned before no real bargains on baseball stuff.

The Dugout Cafe is a friendly lunch or dinner stop, several other nice places too, all very close. The best deal parking is down at Doubleday Field, it is $10 a day. Street parking is limited to two hours with no re-feeding the meter, you need to move. Doubleday parking is only two short city blocks from the Hall.

For dinner everything is right there on the street, also the Hawkeye Grill at the Otesaga Hotel is very good. If you like beer or actually if you don't the Ommegang Brewery just south of town is a really neat place with great pub food. You would probably need to go online to check their hours.

isaac2004
04-16-2017, 12:01 PM
Great stuff so far, thanks everyone. I am pretty excited and after being in awe just by going to the Los Angeles Sports Hall of Fame and all the baseball stuff, I can only imagine how stoked I will be there.

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bigtrain
04-16-2017, 12:39 PM
I have a house in Cooperstown and am there all the time renovating it. In fact, I am in Cooperstown as I type this. Parking is no worry as paid parking doesn't begin until Memorial Day. Prices at the local shops are high but you might find a few autographs for a reasonable price at Baseball Nostalgia. It is one of the oldest baseball shops in town. Right in the Doubleday Field parking lot. They usually have a pretty good selection of signed photos and HOF induction cards.

TCMA
04-16-2017, 12:52 PM
I have a house in Cooperstown and am there all the time renovating it. In fact, I am in Cooperstown as I type this. Parking is no worry as paid parking doesn't begin until Memorial Day. Prices at the local shops are high but you might find a few autographs for a reasonable price at Baseball Nostalgia. It is one of the oldest baseball shops in town. Right in the Doubleday Field parking lot. They usually have a pretty good selection of signed photos and HOF induction cards.

This is good advice :cool: .

Beastmode
04-16-2017, 01:12 PM
My wife and son (too little to walk) are going up to Cooperstown Saturday and staying over and spending all day Sunday at the museum. We are going because we are running out of time for the Griffey exhibit and we are die hard Mariners fans. With that, I plan not spending the whole day there. I was hoping I could get some pointers on how to maximize my day there. I have looked at some other threads but most of them are filled with mildly trolling comments, hence the serious side tag. I am also a baseball autograph collector so maybe a good place to get some good stuff without a crazy markup would be great too.

This is very accurate. I was there about 19 months ago with my family. Had a blast at the HOF, but the baseball card room was being "remodeled" I think, because I couldn't get in.

Save your time looking for vintage and/or deals at the towns nearby. Everything is catered to the dumb tourist who is willing to pay 3x for an autograph. I went to all the shops, think I saw one graded card and it was modern.

rjackson44
04-16-2017, 01:18 PM
But in the winter you have the whole place to yourself eerie...

Northviewcats
04-16-2017, 02:05 PM
My wife and I go to Cooperstown every year on Induction Weekend. The crowds are huge and you have to pace yourself to see everything. This time of year you should have a great time at the Hall without feeling like you are being pushed along in an assembly line.

Some of the best restaurants are twenty minutes away in Oneonta, NY. Brooks House of Barbeque is a must stop. The Farmhouse, Stella Luna, and Toscana Northern Italian Grill are great for dinner. I like Morey's Family Restaurant for breakfast.

In Cooperstown The Pit under the Tunnicliff Inn and the Hardball Cafe serve decent sandwiches and are within a couple of blocks of the hall. The Lake Front Restaurant for dinner has a nice view and is a short walk from the Hall.

If you are looking for a bargain in autographs or baseball cards stick to eBay, but if you are looking for a particular autograph of a hard to get HOFer you can find it on one of the shops on main street. I have found a few deals on cards, (1960s high number or error cards in dollar boxes) but I had to look through everything to find them.

Baseball T-shirts and Cooperstown themed clothes are plentiful and can be found at discounted prices. My wife loves to shop for unusual baseball items, purses that look like baseballs, etc. We often split up for a couple of hours and I will spend more time at the museum while she hits the shops.

I'm sure that you will enjoy yourself. Cooperstown is just a great place to stroll around, take pictures, and go back in time.

Best regards,

Joe

Kawika
04-16-2017, 02:12 PM
My wife and I spent one of the happiest weeks of our lives in Cooperstown in 2007. Stayed at the Otesaga, visited the HOF on three different days, visited the Farmers Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum and went for a few idyllic country drives. It was in late September so the foliage was strutting its stuff and we had C'town to ourselves. Walking knee-high in leaves by all the old homes on the way to the Hall from the hotel is one of those "happy places" I go to in my head when my day ain't going right. The HOF is not one of those places you want to blitzkrieg in 90 minutes. If you've ever been to the Vatican it's kind of like that, only crammed to the rafters with baseball relics that you'll want to savor. I realize that with a toddler in tow your parameters are going to be different so maybe treat your visit like a recon patrol then bring Junior Boy back in seven or eight years and rip the place apart.

It's a shame to hear that the baseball card exhibit has disappeared. Whose bright idea was that? Here are some snaps I took of the vintage cabinet. (They had a modern display too but I was disdainful of "shiny crap" back then and ignored it).
http://photos.imageevent.com/kawika_o_ka_pakipika/sportscardsetc/baseballtravels/museumexhibits/DSC05224.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/kawika_o_ka_pakipika/sportscardsetc/baseballtravels/museumexhibits/DSC05227.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/kawika_o_ka_pakipika/sportscardsetc/baseballtravels/museumexhibits/DSC05225.JPG

isaac2004
04-16-2017, 02:57 PM
I have a house in Cooperstown and am there all the time renovating it. In fact, I am in Cooperstown as I type this. Parking is no worry as paid parking doesn't begin until Memorial Day. Prices at the local shops are high but you might find a few autographs for a reasonable price at Baseball Nostalgia. It is one of the oldest baseball shops in town. Right in the Doubleday Field parking lot. They usually have a pretty good selection of signed photos and HOF induction cards.
Does that mean you can park in the lot for free?

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spaidly
04-16-2017, 03:30 PM
The first thing I do when I get there is eat breakfast at the Cooperstown Diner. I highly recommend it.

bigtrain
04-16-2017, 06:09 PM
Does that mean you can park in the lot for free?

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Free parking until Memorial Day. The pay stations are still covered. They operate from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.

bigtrain
04-16-2017, 06:11 PM
The first thing I do when I get there is eat breakfast at the Cooperstown Diner. I highly recommend it.

Agreed. It is a tiny place and fills up quickly but worth the wait. Mels Restaurant (at the light) is also great for lunch or dinner.

bigtrain
04-16-2017, 06:15 PM
If you have the time, it is worth a 30 minute drive south to Colliersville Antiques. Don Flewelling runs it with his wife. Don organizes the card show across from the HOF on induction weekend. He has a few cards in the showcase but start talking cards with him and he will show you some great stuff. I have upgraded a lot of T206s with Don over the years,

MVSNYC
04-16-2017, 10:52 PM
Fond memories of Cooperstown...my dad & I used to go almost every year from the early 90's to the mid-00's. Walking around the Hall/Museum is magical. Time stands still...you don't know if you spent 2 hours in there, or 5 hours. Just poke around and soak it all in.

We always loved Doubleday Cafe (on Main St) for lunch, then we would just wander around the town, and peruse the memorabilia shops.

Also...long story, short- my dad (who passed away in 2015) has a beautiful pen & ink sketch (of the facade of the Hall) as part of the permanent art collection at the Hall. He was an amazing artist, and I donated it after he passed away. The acquisitions committee voted unanimously to accept the donation (yes, they vote on whether or not to accept a donation). Not sure if it's on display or not, but is part of their rotating art collection.

Image below...LMK if you see it!

Regards,
Michael

PS- Hi David! Your pics of the BB Card display at the Hall, brings back some great memories.

Leon
04-18-2017, 07:51 PM
Thanks for posting those pics, David. It is indeed too bad when great items aren't shared with the public at certain venues..

My wife and I spent one of the happiest weeks of our lives in Cooperstown in 2007. Stayed at the Otesaga, visited the HOF on three different days, visited the Farmers Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum and went for a few idyllic country drives. It was in late September so the foliage was strutting its stuff and we had C'town to ourselves. Walking knee-high in leaves by all the old homes on the way to the Hall from the hotel is one of those "happy places" I go to in my head when my day ain't going right. The HOF is not one of those places you want to blitzkrieg in 90 minutes. If you've ever been to the Vatican it's kind of like that, only crammed to the rafters with baseball relics that you'll want to savor. I realize that with a toddler in tow your parameters are going to be different so maybe treat your visit like a recon patrol then bring Junior Boy back in seven or eight years and rip the place apart.

It's a shame to hear that the baseball card exhibit has disappeared. Whose bright idea was that? Here are some snaps I took of the vintage cabinet. (They had a modern display too but I was disdainful of "shiny crap" back then and ignored it).
http://photos.imageevent.com/kawika_o_ka_pakipika/sportscardsetc/baseballtravels/museumexhibits/DSC05224.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/kawika_o_ka_pakipika/sportscardsetc/baseballtravels/museumexhibits/DSC05227.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/kawika_o_ka_pakipika/sportscardsetc/baseballtravels/museumexhibits/DSC05225.JPG