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Visiting Cooperstown [Part 2]

Posted by Steve Lombardi on September 22, 2010

This is the next installment of the photograph collection from my recent trip to Cooperstown, New York.

For "Part 1" of this series, click here.

On the first day of our Cooperstown visit, we ran into a gentlemen outside the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum who was dressed as a nineteenth century baseball ballplayer. We had a nice chat with him - in which he shared that he had played a "nineteenth century" style game at Doubleday Field that day, and, that another such game was scheduled for the next day at 12:30 pm.


We thought that it would be interesting to see a game like that played at Doubleday Field. So, we made it part of our plan for Sunday to be there. (We once saw a few innings of such a game at a local county fair. But, that was being played in an open grass field and not on a baseball diamond.)

However, when we got to Doubleday Field at 12:30 pm on Sunday, there was no sign of any nineteenth century ball players. Perhaps the good fellow had his schedule mixed up?

Nonetheless, once inside the park, we noticed that there was a game in progress - and it was the 8th inning of a 10-8 contest. So, we decided to watch it for a bit before grabbing some lunch.

Both of the teams in the game were eclectic groups - with the players wearing several different uniforms. And, the players seemed to range in age - from young adults to guys well into their forties. The players also ranged in terms of their conditioning - with a few of them playing somewhat overweight. Oh, and, one team had a young woman playing left field. (I didn't see her make any plays or come to bat, while we were there. But, she looked like a ballplayer in terms of how she wore her uniform and trotted to the dugout at the end of the inning.)

There were two umpires working the game and the contest seemed somewhat competitive. Although, I would estimate that the speed of the pitches was around 65 MPH and the teams (at times) allowed pinch runners for some guys who had obvious issues running. There were probably at least 30 people in the stands watching the game being played.

It was fun to watch these teams play - even if it was just for a couple of innings - in the intimate and vintage setting of Doubleday Field.

Listening to their chatter. Hearing the umpires make calls their calls. And, above all, it was wonderful to experience the serenade of their popping mitts in the field and the cracks of their bats when they made contact at the plate. (Yeah, wooden bats.)

Albeit a brief stay, it was as close to a "Field of Dreams" experience that you could have sans the corn field and the ghosts of past baseball greats.

Here are some of the sights that we saw that afternoon at Doubleday Field.
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photos.

Doubleday Field, Cooperstown NY, from a distance, early on the morning of September 19, 2010.

A somewhat closer look at the outside of Doubleday Field, Cooperstown NY.

The main entrance to Doubleday Field, Cooperstown NY - September 19, 2010.

A view of the grandstand and seating beyond that, on the first base side, of Doubleday Field, Cooperstown NY, during a game played on September 19, 2010.

A peek into the first base dugout, while remaining players watch their teammates manning the field, during a game at Doubleday Field, Cooperstown NY, on Sept. 19, 2010.

A look at the underside of the roof over the grandstand at Doubleday Field, Cooperstown, NY, on September 19th 2010.

Action during the 8th inning of a game being played at Doubleday Field, Cooperstown NY, on September 19, 2010.

More action from the game at Doubleday Field, Cooperstown NY, on September 19, 2010 - Note the sidearm pitcher on the mound.

A third peek at the game action at Doubleday Field, Cooperstown NY, on September 19, 2010 at a few minutes before 1 pm ET.

The umpires who worked the late morning game played at Doubleday Field, Cooperstown NY, on September 19, 2010.

7 Responses to “Visiting Cooperstown [Part 2]”

  1. Jeff Wise Says:

    Thanks again for sharing these photos and your experience. Scratch what I said yesterday about visiting only after a Mariner was inducted. I want to play in one of those games at Doubleday Field. Thanks again Steve.

  2. Steve Lombardi Says:

    Again, my pleasure to share Jeff. And, agreed, it would be cool to play on that field. Heck, I'm even thinking, the next time I'm there, if there's no game, I might just sneak on the field and run around the bases for some fun!

  3. Tmckelv Says:

    I went to Cooperstown in the fall of 1977 (8 years old) and I remember wanting so badly to just run around the bases of Doubleday Field. Sadly it was locked to visitors (or so my parents told me). They probably didn't want me to get my Toughskins dirty sliding into 3rd. 🙂

    Thanks again, for the pictures.

  4. Steve Lombardi Says:

    Tmckelv - great story. Funny, in 2003, 2005 and 2008, when I was there, no games were played when I went to Doubleday - and the thought to go on the field never entered my mind. I guess having my kids run the bases after games in the minors and indy leagues, the last couple of years, has now planted a seed with me.

  5. MikeD Says:

    Jeff Wise @1, if you wait for a Mariner, you may have another five or six years. Edgar could make it in, but I'm thinking even if he is elected it'll take a number of votes, meaning The Big Unit or The Kid are the most likely first candidates. You can go now and then again when a Mariner is elected.

  6. Frank Clingenpeel Says: around the bases at Doubleday Field. I thought how cool it would be to do that back in '50 {and yet, I mean 1950, not when Abner was still there laying out the diamond}. Ah, the memories! Keep 'em coming, I say!

  7. John Autin Says:

    I went to a SABR convention in Cooperstown some year in the '80s/'90s and got to play in a game of Town Ball -- but alas, not in Doubleday Field.

    P.S. Look at all the foul territory in Doubleday Field! It must be murder on batting averages. 🙂