This weekend, I head to Cooperstown for my 10th consecutive Hall of Fame Weekend, highlighted by the 2010 Induction Ceremony, at which Andre Dawson, Doug Harvey and Whitey Herzog will be honored. The streak of 10 straight years is only my second longest, as I attended every year from 1987 to 1999 before my run was interrupted by the Kamloops, British Columbia wedding of my oldest and dearest friend. KJ returns for her second straight year, which itself is a major milestone of a different kind.
Harvey, the long-time National League umpire, may have to serve as arbiter between the Cubs fans there to see Dawson and Cardinals fans looking to celebrate the career of Herzog. On the other hand, the same probably could have been said about the last two years, with former Yankees—Rickey Henderson (2009), Joe Gordon (2009) and Goose Gossage (2008)—and former Red Sox—Jim Rice (2009) and Dick Williams (2008)—being inducted together. Still, I can't help but feel that our Midwestern brethren may behave a little differently. I know I plan to proudly wear my St. Louis Browns cap all weekend, just to confuse people.
Harvey will be the second person I've witnessed get inducted into the Hall of Fame whom I've also previously met, the first being Dave Winfield. Mariano Rivera will eventually become the third, six years after he retires, but let's not rush that. I met "God," as Harvey's often been referred to by players and fellow umpires, when I attended Brinkman/Froemming Umpire School in 1994. He visited one day and spoke to our class, and I'm also lucky to have an official National League baseball autographed in person by him.
So, I'm off to camp for three nights in rural Central New York and to spend time in a quaint village that loses a bit of its charm due to the throngs of baseball fans who descend upon it for this particular weekend. Expect a post early next week detailing my observations and impressions of the weekend in general, and the induction ceremony in particular.
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