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The people of Cooperstown are not happy with the shutout

Jan 10, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT

cooperstown

To be fair, it is decidedly not the job of the BBWAA, Major League Baseball or even the Hall of Fame to ensure that a bunch of tourists show up to Cooperstown, New York for induction weekend each summer, spending their money and helping the local citizens make ends meet.

That said, the fact that no one was elected yesterday means that it may be a pretty lean summer for the those dependent on the Induction Weekend dollars:

“I think it’s absolutely terrible,” said Jeff Foster, owner of the Legends are Forever memorabilia store … “Unless they come up with something truly unique, I don’t see that drawing many people,” said Vincent Russo, owner of Mickey’s Place, a memorabilia store on Main Street. “It’s going to be pretty quiet here.”

According to the article, many local businesses get 10-15 percent of their annual revenue from Induction Weekend. I’m figuring that a year with no living inductees will put a damper on that.

  1. chill1184 - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    The law of unintended consequences strikes again.

    • jwbiii - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      Not really unintended. The area around Cooperstown is agricultural and their primary products were hops and grapes. Both were hit hard by Prohibition and then just about everybody was hit hard again by the Great Depression. The Clark Foundation founded the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in part because of the mythic Abner Doubleday founding of baseball there and in part because Clark Foundation’s director really liked the place and wanted to see some more tourism money go there. Bringing money to Cooperstown is one of the reasons that the Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown. In a normal year, the Hall derives about half of its attendance, and the area derives a similar amount of its tourism revenue, during Hall of Fame week. This year, the mobs of fans celebrating the inductions of Deacon White, Hank O’Day, and Jacob Ruppert (Hey! At least they got one Yankee! It’s not that far from New York City!) are expected to be thinner than usual. The local merchants are unhappy.

      • braddavery - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        No kidding. But the lack of Cooperstown attendance due to the lack of a 2013 inductee or inductees was unintended.

      • jwbiii - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:49 PM

        Fair enough braddavery. I’m sure that Howard Bryant wasn’t thinking about the economic health of Cooperstown when he turned his blank ballot, thus decreasing the chances that there would be a living inductee that fans might want to see.

        For the thumbs downers for my quote above, except for barddavery, you have not responded. I expect some of you are offended by my Yankees comment. You should not be. If there is a place for owners in the Hall of Fame, the man who built the first Yankees dynasty and the original Yankee Stadium should have been there decades ago.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        If the BBWAA didn’t know that a decrease in attendance means no money for the folks of Cooperstown, then they have to be the stupidest people covering baseball.

        Which, I think, yesterday they proved they are.

      • dowhatifeellike - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        I’m sure the BBWAA knew, but I doubt they cared. Fostering the economy of Cooperstown, NY is not part of their job.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 10, 2013 at 6:00 PM

        My response was geared towards the “unintended consequences.” There is nothing unintended regarding Cooperstown when sending in blank ballots.

        So if the BBWAA doesn’t care about the people of Cooperstown and the fans of Major League Baseball, then wtf are they doing purporting to care so damn much about about Hall of Fame?

  2. umrguy42 - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    I can’t see going there on my birthday weekend when there’s no living players there to make a speech, that’s for sure.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      You go for the speechifying?

      • umrguy42 - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        Well, I’ve never been before, but being only a couple hours away, it coulda been an option to be there for the festivities on/around my birthday, I dunno. Definitely not now, though.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      Don’t sweat it 42. You get a birthday every year. Just go next year.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:00 PM

        Good answer.

  3. BigBeachBall - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    All the comments below this one are gay…

    • anotheryx - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      Congratulations for reaching puberty!

      • zzalapski - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        Physically, perhaps.

      • El Bravo - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        Oh what a glorious and wonderful day! I feel so jubilant and just so excited to be alive! What a great day this is indeed! I just feel so good, so gleeful, so happy, so gay today!

        There, now you know what a gay comment looks like.

    • uwsptke - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      Wait – does this make me a “bottom” then?

    • slappymcknucklepunch - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      Hi Hallidays Bicepts.Long time no care.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      How can someone with the handle “BigBeachBall” call anything gay?
      It just doesn’t add up.

      • cur68 - Jan 10, 2013 at 6:15 PM

        Your point, sir, is well made. Kudos.

  4. klownboy - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    They all know that Bonds and Clemens got screwed, that’s why.

    • foreverchipper10 - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      Yep. And think of the tourism for the years controversial players like those do (if they do) get elected.

  5. thebadguyswon - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Oh well.

  6. AJ - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Tomorrow on HOFT we take this dead horse of a story to the glue factory only to find that it’s been pulverised beyond use. Never thought I’d be so happy to hear the name Kelvin Escobar again, thank you Gleeman for providing some topic differentiation. No wonder you’re the top twitter personality to follow on this blog.

    • Sign Ahead - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      That is some Hall of Fame-worthy passive-aggressive posting there, AJ.

  7. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    In other news, hotel owners and ball park concession workers in St. Louis were upset the Cardinals did not make the World Series

    • kirkvanhouten - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      Which was equally bullshit. I mean, come on, the Giants had to have cheated cause that’s what helps me sleep at night.

      I mean, how often does a first-year Cardinals manager win 88 games, be up 3-1 in the NLCS only to get destroyed the last three games scoring a combined total of 1 run?

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1996_NLCS.shtml

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/2012_NLCS.shtml

    • cur68 - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      Because the Cards LOST in the playoffs, right? Lost on a level playing field. Lost in a FAIR and REASONABLE manner and according to observation of the stated rules with the rules customarily unenforced being unenforced, right (and the beneficiary of one WHOPPER of an In Field Fly call)? This is equivalent to HoF voting results how? It may be just my opinion, but your analogy falls flat. What was done to HoF candidates was UNfair and the fallout on Cooperstown is thus also unfair.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:21 PM

        You see, these are what are known as “jokes” – i.e. why wouldn’t someone be upset about losing money.

      • cur68 - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:33 AM

        Given the nature of the responses to your “joke” I suggest you use “Sarcasm Font” next time.

      • louhudson23 - Jan 11, 2013 at 4:02 AM

        Quite amusing to see the phrase “level playing field”,all things considered. Maybe next time you can fit in “swollen heads”….

    • Jeremy Fox - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      That’s a terrible analogy. The Cardinals haven’t gone to the World Series every year for many, many years, and there’s no good reason to think they would. Whereas the BBWAA has elected someone to the HOF every year for many years, and there are plenty of good reasons to think they would keep doing so. So yeah, local business owners in Cooperstown absolutely are entitled to be upset; they’re not crappy businesspeople or lazy whiners. It was perfectly reasonable for them to plan on having a bunch of tourists show up for the HOF induction ceremony. Whereas it is not reasonable for St. Louis hotel owners to assume before the season even starts that the Cardinals will make the World Series.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:23 PM

        Analogy? I was making fun of Craig for stating the obvious….that of course losing money sucks.

  8. klownboy - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Yeah, nothing says come to our town than to not admit two of the greatest players of all time at their positions (hitter and pitcher). Way to get that one right, baseball writers…

    http://theklowntimes.net/2013/01/09/baseball-hof-voting-missed-the-boat/

  9. raysfan1 - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    This is one of the points I brought up yesterday–that local merchants would not be smiling and saying everything’s fine. 10-15% less income for some could even mean the difference between staying in business or not.

    @DelawarePhilliesFan–
    You would have a point if the reason there were no inductees was because there was nobody worthy of entry. The Cards weren’t in the WS based on merit. There were 12-14 players with solid HoF credentials, several even if you then cull out known/presumed steroid users. Even if it weren’t such a strong class, your point would be weak, however, because induction week is an annual event that Cooperstown counts on but nobody truly banks on having the World Series in their city every year.

  10. soxfan1966 - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Yes. The Law of Unintended Consequences. Still a nice little town, though — great place to visit even without a big induction ceremony.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      Wouldn’t it be nice if people went to visit anyway?

      • louhudson23 - Jan 11, 2013 at 4:08 AM

        That was my thought as I read the comments. If everyone is so concerned about the merchants in Cooperstown,then this year would be a most excellent time to go.Otherwise,I assume this year’s excuse for not going will be remarkably similar to all the previous years excuses. And for those who have visited,congratulations. I have never been ,but still hope to do so. However,I do not blame the lack of inductees this year for the fact that I have never been in my life.

  11. mybrunoblog - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Obviously with already dwindling attendance numbers, it is a great time to visit Cooperstown. Avoid the crowds.

  12. dowhatifeellike - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Inducting a bunch of cheaters isn’t exactly going to get the masses to turn out either.

    • johngaltx - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:14 PM

      Cheaters break rules. There were no rules against steroids in the era in question. Bonds, Clemens and the others did not take drug tests, therefore did not fail drug test. Therefore they did not “cheat.” All that there is to denigrate these players is hear-say, innuendo and accusations after the fact.

      Some enterprising scribe should sit down over the summer and investigate all the saints currently enshrined in the hall and make a list of those that truly belong and those that do not add up to our present day Victorian attitudes towards moral and ethical behaviour. Those that do not make the cut should be thrown out.

      Another avenue to discuss is setting up another HOF, who is to say there is not room on the planet for a HOF that enshrines players based on their careers and not their morality?

      • bigsuede - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:36 PM

        Steroids were prohibited in baseball by faye vincent back in 1991. There is a reason the steroid cheats hid the fact that they used steriods.

        Players knew they were cheating and didn’t care- they wanted to get paid.

      • kicksave1980 - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:27 PM

        @Bigsuede – Maybe so, but do you really think MLB cared in 1998 when Sosa and McGwire were chasing the record? Highly doubtful. It was pretty obvious what was going on, and no one said peep until the moralists became holier-than-thou. Bonds’ juicing was the most painfully obvious example in history, but did MLB start sniffing around before he broke the record (and made them a ton of money)?

        I’m not saying that what they did was right, but it definitely wasn’t a secret. People like us never left baseball after the strike, but a lot of casual fans did. Not only did the players that juiced see an increase in money, but MLB and everyone involved did so as well. And after these guys broke the records, made a boatload of money for everyone involved, and left the game, they were outed by many of the same people who quietly condoned their actions in the first place.

    • raysfan1 - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:31 PM

      You’re wrong, lots of people would show up for Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, and McGwire. Probably more than a few in order to boo. That’s beside the point,though.

      Biggio, Bagwell, Raines, Trammell, Martinez, Schilling and Piazza got hosed, and they are not “known cheaters.” All 7 should absolutely been in. Along with them, Cooperstown gets hosed too.

  13. mlenenski - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    If they wanted to salvage the weekend, they’d figure out how to get Pete Rose an honorary mention or something like that and let him and several other former on the outs players to sign autographs for free.

    Or Bonds, McGuire, Rafi, and Sosa together again would be fun…….

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