Arriving at Cooperstown

Continuing with my trip to the Hall of Fame.

On Saturday morning we got up early, had breakfast at a local Denny’s (do I get a fee or something for mentioning a national chain on this blog?), and drove from Herkimer to Cooperstown. It’s a pretty drive. Lots of hills, views of a lake whose name I can’t pronounce, and a bunch of trees. There’s one spot where you drive by this long row of lakefront homes that range from fancy to ramshackle, but eventually you arrive in Cooperstown.

a shot my wife took in town

a shot my wife took in town

It’s a pretty town, as the picture above shows. It’s too much to call it “quaint”, simply because it’s way to commercialized. The center of town runs about four blocks with a post office, a drug store, a general merchandise place, a bank, a lawyer’s office (you knew there would be one of those, didn’t you?), and a few restaurants.

the bank

the bank

The rest is all baseball related stuff. A couple of pictures to give you some sense of how much baseball dominates the town.

one of the baseball stores

one of the baseball stores

and another

and another


and yet one more

and yet one more

It’s all fine and good and also very commercial, almost too commercial. I know the town needs to make a profit on the tourists, but it’s overwhelming. Even the drugstore offers times for picking up autographs during induction week. I kept looking at the street and wondered where the locals shop for basic goods like food and TP. On the other hand, there wasn’t a Wal-Mart in sight (which is stunning if you come from around where I live).

We were able to walk down to the lakefront (the town is right on a big lake) and get some great views. There’s a nice little park with benches and a statue that overlooks the lake where we saw kids playing, people napping, boats on the water. In other words all the things people do in towns that are just like mine. Well, not exactly, because we have no lake and the town park has a pond that is so low it needs to be mowed. It was in many ways the highlight of the town itself.

Next time, the Hall of Fame itself. BTW all pictures on this post were taken by my wife.


6 Responses to “Arriving at Cooperstown”

  1. glenrussellslater Says:

    I was there in 2000, and I hadn’t been there for many years before that, and I was sort of nauseated by all the commercialism. I don’t remember the commercialism being so bad when I was a kid. It probably wasn’t that bad then. And it was too crowded. I’m sure a lot of people who live around there aren’t all that thrilled about the crowds. The last time I was there, I also got stopped for failing to signal.

    I think that it’s more fun to be there when you’re a kid, anyway. When I was a kid, I liked it a lot more.

    By the way, V, in the winter of 1981, I walked from Oneonta to Cooperstown, a twenty mile walk, through a cold, cold night and it snowed the whole way. I almost had frostbite by the time I was getting within reach of Cooperstown. I started out late at night and got there right before sunrise. It’s a long story as to why I was walking that distance! I’ll tell you about it some time, V. It’s kind of a strange story. I’m sure you’re curious as to why the heck I was walking from Oneonta to Cooperstown in the middle of the night in the freezing cold and in all that snow, V!


  2. Gary Trujillo Says:

    Hmmm… congrats…always been a dream of mine.

    • glenrussellslater Says:

      Well, thanks. It was a tough hike, but I made it without getting frostbite. But why would it always have been a dream for you to walk the entire 20 miles from Oneonta, New York to Cooperstown, New York during the nighttime hours of a snow-filled and freezing night in December of 1981?


  3. wkkortas Says:

    It’s commercial, but it’s a very quaint commercial, if that makes any sense–as you say, no strip malls, no Wal-Marts. It’s baseball-heavy, but the storefronts themselves are very old-fashioned, the architecture is classlc Upstate small-twon, what you’d find in dozens of villages between Albany and Buffalo. Once you get south of town, there’s a little more of what is kinda sorta suburban sprawl, but the village itself has fought that kind of development tooth and nail.

  4. William Miller Says:

    From the pictures, it looks what I’d call old-fashioned commercial, which I can take. Having seen much of strip-mall America, this looks very tame by comparison. Looks like the weather cooperated as well. Often, upstate N.Y. can be a cloudy and wet place to be.

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