September 25, 1997 |
Rube Oldring played in the major leagues from 1905 to 1918, almost entirely for the Philadelphia Athletics. An outfielder, he had a lifetime batting average of .270, with highs of .308 in 1910 and .301 in 1912. He played in three World Series for the A's. He died in 1961 at the age of 77 in the town where he spent most of his life, Bridgeton, N.J. For the last three decades, Rube Oldring Jr., now 70, has tried, without success, to get Bridgeton - long a semipro baseball hot spot in Cumberland County - to honor his father.
October 26, 1995 |
A self-imposed exile from Cooperstown, N.Y., ended on a recent fall weekend when I made the four-plus hour drive to baseball's hallowed Hall of Fame. When I left the quaint little New York hamlet, I did so with a renewed enthusiasm for baseball, but also with a few unanswered questions. Why the exile? Well, several years ago I was involved in a crusade to get Richie Ashburn inducted into the Hall of Fame and those efforts were, at the time, met by total indifference from the folks in Cooperstown.
January 11, 1995
Sometimes, nice guys finish fourth - and it's more than enough. Receiving 96.52 percent of the vote, the fourth-highest mark ever, Mike Schmidt was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday. The names of the only three players to top him - Ty Cobb, Tom Seaver and Hank Aaron - show what kind of legendary company the Phillies' great slugger now rightfully keeps. The man that Phils' announcer Harry Kalas loved to call Michael Jack was a thoughtful recipient of the honor.
March 9, 1995
He defined Whiz Kid - legging out hits, swiping bases, catching uncatchable flyballs. The Phils' Richie Ashburn always looked "runnerish," to use one of his favorite terms. Now, he'll look just fine frozen in bronze on a plaque in Cooperstown. "Hard to believe," is another of Mr. Ashburn's stock lines and it's hard to believe it took so long for him to be elected to baseball's Hall of Fame, an injustice rectified Tuesday. Younger fans know "Whitey" Ashburn as the Phils' genial and knowledgeable announcer (a job he assumed in 1963)
June 20, 1997 |
Pete Rose returned to Philadelphia last night and began a press conference by ranting against the tiny dimensions of some American League parks and boasting that he'd hit 600 homers if he was breaking into the game today. Then the filibuster ended. Rose looked out into the assembled media horde and issued a challenge: "If anyone here would vote against me going into the Hall of Fame, I want them to stand up and tell me why," he said. No one moved, possibly out of fear of catching one of Rose's gaudy cowboy boots - inscribed with the No. 14 - in the backside.
April 11, 1993 |
He has been baseball's most upstanding citizen, a back-to-back MVP and one of the most popular players of the last 15 years. But when the Phillies sent Dale Murphy packing off to Colorado last week, it made a lot of people ponder the momentous question: Is this man a Hall of Famer? Had Murphy just strung together a couple more years like his 18-homer, 81- RBI season with the Phillies in 1991, there wouldn't be any doubt. But now, as he winds down his great career as a 37-year-old pinch-hitter for the Rockies, it is a question with no easy answers.
August 29, 1993 |
Contrary to popular belief, and with apologies to the late, great Abner Doubleday, the national pastime did not begin in a cow pasture here. Nor did Mr. Doubleday invent the game. But this small, picturesque lakeside town has become its shrine nevertheless - the mecca for more than a quarter-million fans each year. Cooperstown, as any baseball fanatic knows, is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum - at once a most likely and unlikely location for a museum dedicated to such a popular and culturally ingrained sport.
August 21, 1987 |
If America has a Brigadoon, that perfect Scottish village that emerges out of the mist once every 100 years, then it is Cooperstown. Each spring, when the heavy blankets of snow that cover upstate New York melt, the tiny (pop. 2,500) village of Cooperstown blooms as a town passed over by time, a town wonderfully stuck somewhere in the 19th century. All of this happens, quite appropriately, when from one end of the land to another the first sounds of baseballs smacked loudly by bats is heard.
March 14, 2004 |
To a family that counts the days until pitchers and catchers report, nothing says spring like baseball, and nothing calls out spring break like Cooperstown, N.Y. Having three sons and one husband who are serious baseball fans, I knew it was inevitable that I would end up at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, but I was always banking on that being later rather than sooner. I was on a mission to find that "something for everyone" spring-break vacation when my husband looked up over his newspaper and pronounced, "It's time to take the boys to Cooperstown.
January 11, 2013 |
WHEN PAUL HAGEN was named the winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for "meritorious contributions to baseball writing" last month, he never gave it a thought that he just might be the only living person to be honored at the Baseball Hall of Fame during induction weekend, July 26-28 in Cooperstown, N.Y. But that will be the case. With steroid-linked stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa eligible for the first time, members of the Baseball Writers Association of America didn't vote in a single player.