Ciao, Cooperstown: Move the Hall of Fame to New York City

Cooperstown is nice, but the National Baseball Hall of Fame belongs in New York City. (via Christine Wagner)

Cooperstown is nice, but the National Baseball Hall of Fame belongs in New York City. (via Christine Wagner)

I have a confession to make. I’m a lifelong baseball fan. I write about the sport for a living. I have a tiny but cherished collection of baseball memorabilia. I’m an obsessively close watcher of Hall of Fame elections.

But I have never been to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. Why? Because it’s prohibitively difficult to get to.

Cooperstown, a tiny village in far Upstate New York, is 240 miles west of my hometown of Boston. It is a 200-mile, four-hour drive north of New York City (without traffic). It is not on an interstate highway. The nearest commercial airport—Albany International, not exactly a major hub—is itself 70 miles away. And few people find a reason to be in the area because, frankly, there isn’t a lot else there. In 2010, Cooperstown had only 1,852 residents. The population of its surrounding county is just 60,636 and, in keeping with upstate demographic trends, is getting smaller every year.

The Hall of Fame does a disservice to fans—and to itself—by housing the most important artifacts of our national sport in a place where so few people can go to see them. Instead, the museum ought to make its home in the capital of baseball, if not the capital of the world. The Hall of Fame needs to relocate to New York City.

The Big Apple needs no introduction. It is home to 8.5 million people, and over 50 million more visit each year. That’s a huge potential market for a Hall of Fame that has struggled to attract tourists in recent years. In 2013, the Hall received only about 260,000 visitors—its lowest attendance since the 1980s. By contrast, in New York City, even secondary museums like the Brooklyn Museum top 500,000. A Gotham-based Hall of Fame would become a must-see addition to the typical tourist circuit for the legions of baseball fans who already visit the city regardless.

Perhaps more importantly, the museum would be within easy reach of New York City natives. That gives the museum and its archives access to a much deeper pool of talent for hiring curators, librarians, marketer, and fundraisers. It makes the museum a plausible afternoon outing, rather than an overnight ordeal, for millions of New Yorkers. Currently, only diehard baseball fanatics make the trip to Cooperstown, but if the Hall were a quick subway ride away, even casual fans would visit. That, in turn, benefits Major League Baseball, as casual fans morph into more serious fans as they learn more about the game’s rich history. The league could even make it where they hold gala events. Few venues would be more impressive.

Relocation would also expose new faces to the past and present glory of the world’s greatest sport. Baseball is not dying, but it does need to do a better job reaching out to young and diverse demographics. New York City is where they live. The city’s median age is 35.5, and two-thirds of its residents are minorities. Cooperstown, on the other hand, has a median age of 47.1, a Latino population of 58 and an African-American population of six. Those are raw numbers, not percentages.

Cooperstown is what baseball once was. New York City represents what it has become: a global, diverse game. There is something regrettably appropriate about the Hall’s current neighbors given baseball’s obdurate old-boys network and tight embrace of its aging fan base. By moving its Hall of Fame to New York City, the sport would make a powerful statement about its vision for the future.

Of course, there is one strong counterargument: Baseball’s most sacred shrine and the repository of its past should be located in the city of its birth. I agree. Another point for New York City!

When the Hall of Fame was first established, people widely accepted the story that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown in 1839. Today we know it is a fabrication. Baseball is a composite sketch of several 1800s bat-and-ball games, devised and honed in cities like Boston and Philadelphia. But the version of the game that won out came from New York City.

The first proper baseball team was the New York Knickerbockers, which defined many of the first rules for the sport. The first-ever baseball game, and many subsequent Knickerbocker matches, was played at Elysian Fields in Hoboken, N.J., alongside the Hudson River and overlooking Midtown Manhattan. The sport’s first governing body, the National Association of Base Ball Players, was a federation of 16 club teams—all based inside the city limits of modern-day New York. Other sports’ halls of fame—notably, football’s and basketball’s—are located where those sports were invented. Baseball’s should be, too.

Despite its reputation, baseball was never a pastoral game as the Cooperstown myth implies. It originated and grew in the city, a game played on the streets and a noisy, crowded entertainment no different than nightclubs or the theater. As the sport professionalized, New York City was its hub, the original home of three of its most storied franchises. Today, Major League Baseball itself has its headquarters there. Last month, it donated $1 million to build a Jackie Robinson museum in the city. It easily could do the same for the Hall of Fame.

Looking at the two arguments side by side, there is no reason for the Hall of Fame to be in Cooperstown instead of New York City—except politics. The Hall has a long and deep relationship with Cooperstown and the surrounding community, and it would be very difficult for them to break it off. The good people of Cooperstown would be rightfully upset, and upstate New York may see the departure of the Hall of Fame as symbolic of the region’s overall decline.

I am sympathetic to that. Upstate has a proud past, and it’s sad that it has had to let go of it. I want as many people as possible to share in the joy of the Hall of Fame’s collection—to feel like it belongs to them. But that is also the reason why it belongs in New York City.

Three Generations of “Mr. Cub”
Cavarretta, Hack, and Banks were the faces of the franchise.

I picture a gleaming, modern museum ready to tell baseball’s story. It could be adjacent to the site of Ebbets Field or on the grounds of the old Yankee Stadium. It could sit on the Chelsea waterfront, with a spectacular view of baseball’s true birthplace, Elysian Fields. It could be anywhere with a New York City address and a nearby subway stop. But it can’t be in Cooperstown much longer.

References & Resources


Nathaniel Rakich writes about politics and baseball at Baseballot. He has also written for The New Yorker, Grantland, The New Republic, and Let's Go Travel Guides. Follow him on Twitter @baseballot.
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Jim S.
Guest
Jim S.

Never.

Herve B
Guest
Herve B

nope

Christine A Eggleston
Guest

I would say all of us up here near Coopertown would lament the travel to NYC to visit the Hall of Fame…the rip for us…would be the trip of Nathaniel Rakich’s trip.

Nanii
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Nanii

Keep your grubby hands off our treasures. You have enough to see in NYC. Should London move Big Ben to NY just so you’re not inconvenienced? Fuck off.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Well said. Hahaha

Mike
Guest
Mike

I’ve been to Cooperstown 3 times. Once with 10 friends. 6-7 hour drive from Toronto. Cooperstown is a wonderful little town. And the drive is fantastic through the Finger Lakes. Leave the HOF where it is. Where it is, is partially what makes it so special. Move it to NYC and my friends and I will never go again.

jill smith
Guest
jill smith

I love it!!

jill smith
Guest
jill smith

I LOVE Nanii’s comment, not this silly article!

Frank Firke
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Frank Firke

Based on some numbers from Google that I take with a certain amount of skepticism, the Bronx Museum’s 2006 renovation cost roughly the entire HOF endowment (+/- $35MM) for about half the square footage in terms of exhibition space as the current Hall (33K vs 60K), in a spot that is pretty cheap and easy to get to from Manhattan (i.e. a good comp for where we’d like the Hall) and a cheaper real estate market. There are reasons to move the Hall to a big city, and perhaps a small NYC outpost is feasible, but I don’t think the… Read more »

KH
Guest
KH

A billionaire already owns it. She can move it wherever she likes. With that said, history matters.

L.Salisbury
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L.Salisbury

She would NEVER do that to Cooperstown, she is Cooperstown, she loves Cooperstown!

L.Salisbury
Guest
L.Salisbury

And also there many other attractions just miles away, Farmers Museum, in Schoharie County, just 30 min drive, Howes Caverns, Secret Caverns just to name a few!

Carl
Guest
Carl

Heresy.

Rally
Guest
Rally

The HOF is not cheap ($23 for adults), and every time I’ve been there (10+ times, never on induction day) there seem to be plenty of people. Not sure if you have enough room to accomodate much increased attendance, especially to the extent you’d need to offset the much higher NYC real estate costs. “Currently, only diehard baseball fanatics make the trip to Cooperstown, but if the Hall were a quick subway ride away, even casual fans would visit.” Not a business argument, but on personal preference I love the filter that attracts the hardcore and not the casual fans.… Read more »

pleeeease
Guest
pleeeease

So how many folks are a “quick” subway ride away from any particular spot in NYC?

JSB
Guest
JSB

Who gives a rat’s patooty about baseball fans in NYC when there are fans in 8 bloody time zones in this country who travel to Cooperstown??? Get off your butts and see America – Cooperstown IS New York. Farmland, rolling hills, the birthplace of baseball. Sheesh, how myopic can you get.

Harvey
Guest

Well, whatever reasons one might give for keeping the Hall in Cooperstown, the long-debunked myth of that town being the “birthplace of baseball” (as noted in this post) is not a valid one.

Carmen
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Carmen

Well said!!!

Melanie
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Melanie

Well said, JSB! Cooperstown is a wonderful town with a gorgeous lake, excellent restaurants several fabulous Inns, B&Bs, THE Otesaga, breathtaking scenery, fresh air, need I say more?

Karen
Guest
Karen

Well said. Cooperstown and the surrounding area has more to offer than just baseball. It also provides a taste of the country, pays tribute to James Fenimore Cooper, and hosts other venues native to the area, something not available in the City. Perhaps Mr. Rakich should have visited Cooperstown before making judgements. It’s not a terrible drive from Boston, Mr. Rakich.

Herbert Hyde
Guest

I live in Albany, or as you NYC egoists, say, Smalbany…not a quick, “pleasant” peeuh subway ride away. Three hours of tortuous travel to Gotham City, fighting your way through crowds of people, quite a few talking to themselves…Nope, keep it where it belongs…It gives you city slickers a chance to view the rest of this great country in beautiful upstate New York. The real New York…

Derek
Guest
Derek

Awful, Awful idea. What I want to know is how the author is such a big baseball fan, but can’t drive a simple 4 hours. My in-laws live 6 hours away and I make that drive at least 20 times a year. As a resident of Illinois, I have been to the baseball Hall of Fame, and don’t see the problem with its location. Get out of your big city and go visit the hall in all of its charm. If you are the true baseball fan you claim to be, then prove it and go give the hall of… Read more »

Rainy Day Women 12x35
Guest
Rainy Day Women 12x35

EXACTLY. 4 hours drive is too much? LOL. Growing up in So Cal, I had a 4 hour drive to Las Vegas. Only managed to go around 30 times over the years. If I lived that close to the HOF, I’d have gone. Over and over.

Jamie
Guest
Jamie

As someone living in the UK, I’ve often looked at taking a trip to the Hall of Fame, but it’s neigh on impossible to do so and almost doubles the cost of any possible short vacation. If relocated to NYC, I could complete a lifelong dream. Selfish reasons I grant you, but if the finances were sorted out, the only reason for keeping it in Cooperstown is sentiment.

Carl
Guest
Carl

Jamie,

Hotel, motel and bed & breakfast in the Cooperstown and Oneonta area are approx. 1/8th the cost of Manhattan hotel rooms and 1/3rd the price of Bronx hotel rooms. Food prices in Cooperstown is 1/4 the price of food in Manhattan. The savings on those along are more than enough to offset the increased cost of renting a car + gas/tolls to make the extra trip from NYC to Cooperstown.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Hit the nail on the head Carl. NYC is beyond the pocketbooks of most. But asking NYC residents to drive more than an hour from the city? Heaven forbid. The world must come to them.

Molly
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Molly

I’m sure if you look on the couchsurfing website you can find a place to stay for free! We’re a pretty friendly bunch in that area.

Jay Black
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Jay Black

If you ever actually do go to the Hall of Fame, you will hate yourself for writing this article.

Dave
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Dave

I have been to the Hall of Fame, and I hate him for writing this article.

John Thorn
Guest

Bravo.

Rhett P
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Rhett P

Preach!

Cooperstown and the Hall are part of a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts

Danielle
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Danielle

You hit the nail on the head!!

FormerNYCnative
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FormerNYCnative

So true!

SprayHitter
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SprayHitter

Today, minutes after reading this article, I heard on NPR that Jamestown, NY (Lucille Ball’s hometown) will open a Comedy Hall-of-Fame next year with the first big exhibit/donation being George Carlin’s personal papers (his daughter reports that he kept all of his “stuff”). I will probably never visit it for the same reasons I will likely not see Cooperstown: My lack of interest in traveling to the sticks and/or snow solely to look at old stuff is stronger than my fandom. I travel yearly to New York City from my residence in Houston. While New York City (well put: “a… Read more »

Jack
Guest
Jack

You really need to travel to the “sticks” to see things you can’t see in Texas, I am sure you would retract your statement the minute you returned home. Dare you to try it in “UPSTATE” NY you won’t be sorry!
(I have seen Texans fall in love with upstate)

Mike
Guest
Mike

Go when the leaves are changing. Visit the Ommegang Brewery and the Fenimore Art Museum. Take a drive around the lake. Watch a bit of an amateur game at Doubleday Field. Walk around the quaint Victorian neighborhoods. Eat lunch overlooking the lake.

GO! before you decide it needs to be moved. It’s a beautiful place to spend a weekend. I’m all for city living (Philly), but it doesn’t hurt to get out sometimes.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Absolutely beautiful on a crisp fall day as sycamore leaves fall onto left field.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I see your argument here, but don’t agree with it. Go see the museum first and then re-write this piece.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Saying “go see the museum” does the town a disservice. Go see the whole town first and then re-write it.

CRB
Guest
CRB

The admission that the author has never been to Cooperstown undercuts the entire argument against it. There is something unbelievable about Cooperstown that just makes it the perfect host for the Hall… The quiet bustle of Main Street (turned into a frenzy on Hall of Fame Weekend), the sheer beauty of Otsego Lake and its surrounding hills and the stunning Otesaga on its shores, Ms. Clark’s quiet, eccentric matriarchal presence (and her herd of foreign deer). Brewery Ommegang is a nice bonus. Go on a weekend where Ommegang is hosting a concert, and you get a heck of a weekend… Read more »

Highpointer
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Highpointer

How could “a 200-mile, four-hour drive north of New York City (without traffic)” be a difficult journey? That is a fairly short drive for most people. I live in Washington and takes a lot longer than four hours just to fly to New York. Upstate New York is very scenic and offer many outdoor recreational opportunities. Travel on a warm summer weekend or during the fall to observe the changing of the leaves. If you live in NYC and don’t have a car, recruit a group of baseball fans to rent a car, share the cost and go. If the… Read more »

Kit Kat
Guest
Kit Kat

Maybe if you have been to the museum, you would know that it is perfect where it is. How can you judge a location when you have never been? I have been several times, including an induction ceremony, and it drew a huge turn out. There is so much to do in the area besides the museum. NYC has so much that the HOF museum would get lost in the mix of other museums and attractions. I never understand why people feel the need to judge a place when they have never been. Such arrogance.

Marc Schneider
Guest
Marc Schneider

I believe locating the HOF in NY is a bad idea. I love NYC and I love visiting, but it is very expensive and often difficult to get around. Because of this, no one in their right mind would make the HOF a destination stop if it were in NY. As it is now, people go to Cooperstown just to see the HOF; in NYC, it would be just another in a long line of tourist attractions that people would include in their trip to NY. It would, IMO, sort of melt into the scenery and make the HOF less… Read more »

CTOWN
Guest
CTOWN

Complete and utter garbage of an article

Frank Jackson
Guest
Frank Jackson

I have often wondered why Topps doesn’t have a baseball card museum or factory tour in Brooklyn. I would think that would be a big draw, not to mention an additional source of revenue for the company. As for Cooperstown, why not stay in nearby Oneonta and see the local collegiate league team, the Outlaws, play at historic (1939) Damaschke Field? Up till a few years ago, Oneonta was also the home of the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. Upstate New York isn’t Gotham but it isn’t the other side of the world. Actually, one of the attractions of Cooperstown… Read more »

Kthxrg7
Guest
Kthxrg7

I lived in the Cooperstown area, 30 miles from there, and it is so simple to get there. A major interstate is only about 15 miles from the HOF and once you get off the interstate you travel on one road and you are there. Easier to get to than driving in the city.

MarylandBill
Guest
MarylandBill

“The original home of three of its most storied franchises”… the Giants, the Dodgers and the Mets? I hardly think you could call the Mets one of the most storied franchises… oh you mean the Yankees? But New York is not the original home of the Yankees; Baltimore is. If you are going make an historical argument for relocating the Hall to New York City, at least get your facts straight. Yes its true that the modern game was invented by New Yorkers playing in New Jersey (so why not locate it in Hoboken?), but it is equally true that… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

You mean people actually LIVE outside of NYC?

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

“Baseball is as much about myth as it is reality.”

Bingo. For better or worse, NOTHING holds onto its time-honored traditions like baseball. I think hell would freeze over before this happened.

Cindy
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Cindy

A four hour drive, I don’t think so. No wonder you never went there, your dazed and confused and have no sense of direction.

Mion
Guest
Mion

I agree. I grew up a 30min train ride into Penn Station. Literally had the world at my fingertips but only went to the Twin Towers, Statue of Liberty and Empire State building once. The attitude is,”Well, it’s right there, I can go anytime.” If the Eiffel tower was moved to NYC, I may see it, once.

Allie
Guest

Cooperstown is one of my favorite places on the planet…I’ve been there three times…once just passing thru for a few hours…I cherish each visit and can’t wait to take my children. There are millions of things to do in NYC…dont need to add HOF to my list of to do things.

AaronB
Guest
AaronB

No, no, no…. As mentioned, if you’ve actually been there, you’d realize just how perfect Cooperstown is for the HOF. Cooperstown represents baseball to a T. The town and baseball go hand in hand as they reflect each other flawlessly. My parents, who are not baseball fans, allowed me to talk them into going there while we were on a family trip out east. As mentioned, it was about a 4 hour side trip from where we were going, but everyone had a tremendous time and thoroughly enjoyed the HOF. Someday I will take my family there. Putting the HOF… Read more »

Bruce Markusen
Guest
Bruce Markusen

This is such a myth about the Hall of Fame being difficult to get to. If you have a car–or if you rent a car–you can get here. In fact, with GPS systems being used today, it is probably easier to get to Cooperstown than it was 20 or 30 years ago. It’s not like roads stop 15 miles outside of town, and then you have to walk through woods to get here. There are main roads that come into town, like Route 20 and Route 80. It’s really not that difficult. And once you get here, you not only… Read more »

Ffej
Guest
Ffej

Foo Kin John’s Chinese Restaurant is a must visit!

Erin
Guest
Erin

It shut down :'(

hopbitters
Guest
hopbitters

Canastota and their highly underrated HoF is about an hour and some change away as well.

Carl
Guest
Carl

The Farmer’s museum is fascinating. Never knew that most of the country’s hops were grown there in the 19th and into the early 20th Century. Frankly, given the state of the upstate economy, perhaps hops growing should sprout up again. Encourage everyone to go there when visiting Cooperstown.

Barbara
Guest
Barbara

Hops growing IS sprouting up in New York!

Mark Armour
Guest

I live in Oregon and have two teenage children — EVERYTHING is difficult to get to. But Cooperstown no more than anywhere else. The author wants to make it easier for him, which is understandable. But if he isn’t willing to drive a few hours in his entire life, perhaps we don’t need his help with this one?

Paul Swydan
Member

If renting a car and making a four hour drive was the cakewalk many commenters are making it out to be, then surely a larger portion of the millions of tourists who visit New York City and Toronto each year would show up at the Hall. They don’t because it isn’t.

Rational pragmatist
Guest
Rational pragmatist

Other things we should move to NYC so it’d be more convenient to get there:

– The Louvre
– The top of Mt. Everest
– The moon
– Football, basketball, hockey, golf, and bowling halls of fame

free-range turducken
Guest
free-range turducken

I’ve always wanted to go to Crater Lake, but it’s too damn inaccessible, especially for us on the East Coast.

Someone with American ingenuity and know-how surely can figure out how to move Crater Lake to the top of some NYC skyscraper. Attendance would go through the roof!

YABooble
Guest
YABooble

More things we should move to NYC so it’d be more convenient to get there:

– Sydney Opera House
– Laverne & Shirley’s final season
– Tim Tebow
– Open, no-neighbor urinals in the men’s room

Joe
Guest
Joe

Disney World

vrndian23
Guest
vrndian23

– First place in the AL East

Lariat
Guest
Lariat

– SXSW

Joe
Guest
Joe

Old Faithful

Not Al Weis
Guest
Not Al Weis

The Iditarod.

Terry F.
Guest
Terry F.

How about the Finger Lakes, Howe Caverns, and the state Capitol while we’re at it?

Sacramento
Guest
Sacramento

Fenway Park. It takes at least four hours in my dad’s artisan Peugeot to drive from Williamsburg up to Boston.

The Other Joe
Guest
The Other Joe

The Little League World Series

Joe
Guest
Joe

Harvard.

twinsfankevinj
Guest
twinsfankevinj

– The Kennedy Space Center
– Old Route 66
– Pikes Peak
– Mt. Rushmore
– The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
– Hawaii
– Walmart’s national headquarters
– The Space Needle…..

pleeeease
Guest
pleeeease

Lake Placid

Joe
Guest
Joe

Canada

Pablo Sandoval's Sprained Left Fat
Guest
Pablo Sandoval's Sprained Left Fat

Australia. Such a cool place, but that’s a real long drive. We need it to be a quick subway ride from Brooklyn.

Bill Simmons
Guest
Bill Simmons

ESPN headquarters.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scooter
Guest
Scooter

Las Vegas. Atlantic City can stay where it is, too scummy.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Fangraphs headquarters.

Randy Probenthaler
Guest
Randy Probenthaler

Jacoby Ellsbury’s power.

Joe
Guest
Joe

The log cabin that Lincoln was born in.

Said
Guest
Said

Roman Coliseum. People say Ciao a lot there too.

Dave Randolph
Guest
Dave Randolph

Great comment……well played!

Emily
Guest
Emily

They don’t because they don’t care. Seems we have a bunch of urban centric folks who don’t know how to have fun anywhere else. We drove all the way from Chicago a couple of summers ago with an 8 year old. We made it fun. We stopped at the NFL Hall of Fame in Ohio and made it to Pittsburgh in time for dinner. We went to a Pirates game and then headed up to Cooperstown the next day. In Cooperstown we went to the museum and the next day rented a boat and spent the day tubing on the… Read more »

Marc Schneider
Guest
Marc Schneider

It might not be a cakewalk, but it’s hardly the trip from hell that the author makes it out to be.

Nina Karina
Guest
Nina Karina

Many of my NYC friends do not make the drive not because it isn’t easy but because many NYC people get scared driving longer distances. Many of us who do not live in big cities have no problem making very long drives. That is one reason right now I’d rather make a cross country drive avoiding large cities than just a short drive TO NYC! I hate driving there, although I’ll do it. But my friends are genuinely scared, and they don’t want to take buses because to them it’s just too far based more on perception than reality. Whatever.… Read more »

Tom Bradley
Guest
Tom Bradley

I live approximately 125 miles from Cooperstown. Yes, getting there is not direct, no super interstate to speed the way. But I go every year, in the October-November timeframe to avoid any crowds. Not unusual for me to be very alone inside the Museum, which is perfect to see and do what I want without bumping heads. And Cooperstown itself is a joy, wonderful to walk around town, the lake and visit the Otesaga Hotel, which is very accommodating to guests. NYC, you can keep it, no thanks. This person, who has never been to the HOF, apparently too lazy… Read more »

Paul G.
Guest
Paul G.

If you really want to do something and there are no health issues involved, a 4 hour drive is nothing. Trust me. I know. I’ve been to Cooperstown once. They do have other attractions there which they are very proud of indeed, but I only had time for the Hall of Fame. The fact that it is in the middle of nowhere does have its charms, especially for someone who has not been out in the country much. Driving on the rural local roads past farms and small towns is a bit of an adventure in itself, and scenery is… Read more »

Dirtbag
Guest
Dirtbag

Mr. Rakich, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent column were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this website is now dumber for having read to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

One more vote against any move. Love visiting Cooperstown and especially the way the anticipation builds over the last 45 minutes or so when you leave the freeway and begin the final leg of the journey.

Springfield MA (Basketball Hall of Fame), Newport RI (Tennis Hall of Fame), Canton OH (Football Hall of Fame), Holyoke MA (Volleyball Hall of Fame) all do just fine in smaller locations. Those that visit have made the effort and the reward is even better because of it

Steve Pindar
Guest

I’m certainly far from unbiased (I was born in Cooperstown), but the author definitely owes it to himself to make a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s something he will remember for the rest of his life, and as so many folks have found out through the years, Cooperstown has a lot more to offer than simply the HOF.

Mandy P
Guest
Mandy P

What a sad, sheltered point of view – While you may feel like you have the world at your door in NYC, if you were ever to leave, you’d learn there is an actual world outside your metropolis that is quite worthy of visiting. Not only the Hall of Fame, but thousands of other attractions, towns, cities and countries that are worth visiting too – Believe it or not, New York is not the only worthy location on this very large planet.

pleeeease
Guest
pleeeease

“…the capital of baseball, if not the capital of the world. The Hall of Fame needs to relocate to New York City.”

Right there, that’s the mindset. Copernicus was wrong, the sun, earth, and entirety of the cosmos revolves around New York City.

Alex
Guest
Alex

sad.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Sounds like the HOF should stay in Cooperstown not because it’s the best solution but because of the ‘human element’

hopbitters
Guest
hopbitters

There are many things wrong here, but this statement inexorably pushes the article from ill-advised to simply offensive: “That gives the museum and its archives access to a much deeper pool of talent for hiring curators, librarians, marketer, and fundraisers.”

Marco Kretschmer
Guest
Marco Kretschmer

My wife and i took a plane to NYC, rented a car & drove all the way to Cooperstown.
It was one of our most inspiring journeys and we’re so glad we made the trip! To get there was no big deal. We live in Germany 🙂

Poor Man's Rick Reed
Guest
Poor Man's Rick Reed

Perhaps it makes sense on a grander economic scale or for general accessibility, but I agree with the majority here that Cooperstown should be the place of the HOF forever. Personally, I like that it takes a road trip to get to. I like being *away* from the city. I like the small town charms, and the surrounding area, and I LOVE Ommegang.

Michael
Guest
Michael

This piece reveals a surprising level of provincialism and intellectual laziness. Visiting Cooperstown is an uplifting experience. It is a beautiful spot with the Hall of Fame, the Farmers’ Museum, the Fenimore Cooper House, and Glimmerglass Opera Company, the Otesaga Hotel, and a beautiful lakefront. Frankly, it is no big deal to take I-90 into I-88 and then drive half an hour up SR 28 from Oneonta to Cooperstown. It’s a relaxing and bucolic . . . two words rarely found in the same sentence as “New York City.” There is something uniquely American and historic about Cooperstown. It’s too… Read more »

Skip Nipper
Guest

No. I’ve been to the Baseball Hall of Fame numerous times BECAUSE it’s in Cooperstown. I would never visit it in NYC. Never…

Matt
Guest
Matt

Having a Baseball Hall of Fame museum would make sense in NYC/Brooklyn/Hoboken/etc… But I’d still keep THE Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

So rent a space, have a rotating tour of exhibits from Cooperstown, have replicas of all the plaques, but keep the original in Cooperstown for tradition’s sake. Yeah, it would cut into Cooperstown’s visitors a little bit, but would still accomplish the stated goal of bringing baseball history more to the masses.

Mike
Guest
Mike

good idea

if this happened don’t restrict to NYC – travelling exhibits can go to all MLB cities

Chief Sockalexis
Guest
Chief Sockalexis

I’ve been to the Hall of Fame. Cooperstown and the surrounding areas are beautiful, bu we all know the story of Abner Doubleday is a myth. We perpetuate the myth by denying Bonds, Clemens, Rose, Shoeless Joe, et al. Baseball at its peak is an urban game. No city has more baseball history than New York City. Arguments for other locations could be Cincinnati. Baltimore, Chicago, Boston, even Tampa Bay. (Just kidding.) My broader argument is that the location of the Hall of Fame, a scenic and pastoral setting sitting at a far remove, clouds the judgment of what the… Read more »

Scooter
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Scooter

A better choice would be London, right?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origins_of_baseball

Musky
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Musky

Another idiot.?⚾️

birtelcom
Guest
birtelcom

My preference would be to create a fresh Circle of Baseball Greats museum in NYC, with a better selection process for induction than the Hall. Cooperstown could keep the baseball museum, which I enjoyed greatly (along with the Glimmerglass Opera). New York City could have a separate center celebrating the greatest players in baseball, with video, photos, portraits and commentary. A fresh selection process would generate enormous interest.

Thomas Barthel
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Thomas Barthel

The Hall of Fame dishonors Abner Doubleday whose life as a soldier and as a civilian makes him a Victorian ideal.

Jeff Girgenti
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Jeff Girgenti

Location isn’t the issue. The Hall of Fame could be in my backyard and I wouldn’t go. The BBWAA is the problem. They have turned it into a joke by not voting in Bonds, Clemens, etc. What they have in Cooperstown is so far away from representing my Hall of Fame that I have been boycotting it. I honestly don’t care what they do up there anymore…I’m not going to let it impact my enjoyment of the actual games.

Marc Schneider
Guest
Marc Schneider

Jeff, you are confusing the plaques with the museum. The museum is FAR more interesting than the plaque room. If you aren’t going to the Hall simply because you don’t like the way the writers vote for players, you are making, IMO, a huge mistake.

Clay
Guest

This is insane. New York’s a great city, but it’s one the most expensive cities in the world. It shouldn’t cost thousands of dollars to take your family to the Baseball Hall Of Fame.

The Baseball Hall Of Fame is a museum and tourist attraction, but it’s also a warehouse for literally hundreds of thousands of baseball artifacts. It’s absurd to pay Manhattan rent for storage space.

Mike-RI
Guest
Mike-RI

I’ve been able to visit the Hall a dozen times. The 1989 induction started it for me. 3 Hall of Fame Classics as well. For a baseball writer to write this article is a shame. I’m 235 miles from Cooperstown and it’s an easy and nice drive. Why don’t you go there and then re-read your article. At least it’s one article with out inane statistics skewed to fit what is needed for the moment. Move the Hall? What is your next article, I’m not a doctor but when I do your surgery……

Gary W
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Gary W

You having chosen to never go doesn’t make your argument; instead, it devalues it as you don’t have the actual experience to draw upon in making your comparison. Make the trip, consider how it would compare to the stoic and mundane reality of a subway ride and then rewrite this.

Also should be pointed out that your plan would effectively kill a town that’s been a shrine to the shrine, effectively breaking a covenant by doing so. I’d see that as a supremely negative statement about the game and its relationship with those who love it.

Ezra
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Ezra

I’m a lifelong and proud New Yorker who loves baseball. Yet this is the worst idea- OK, the third worst, after the abominations of Interleague Play and the DH- that I’ve ever heard. The Hall in Cooperstown is awesome precisely because it’s a commitment to get there. Sure, it makes no sense that it’s there- but neither did having the Cubs in the old NL East while the White Sox were in the AL West: it’s baseball, it’s not supposed to make sense! As other commenters have noted- go there, even once, and you won’t be talking about moving it.… Read more »

Gary W
Guest
Gary W

Want to add that I have two kids, aged four and one. They’re not old enough to visit or appreciate the hall yet, but when they are, I want to take them to the place my father took me and share it the way he did. The pilgrimage is more than just a trip; Cooperstown is a slice of another time and has a unique feel to it, and I want my kids to experience that too…it was as much a part of the experience for me as seeing the hall itself. I don’t want their trip to the hall… Read more »

Steve Troy
Guest

Excellent point. I don’t want to pile on the author here, all too much, as I think I know where he’s coming from, but one of the reasons the trip to Cooperstown is so unique and so much fun is that it is IN Cooperstown. If the Baseball Hall of Fame were ever to move to NYC—perish the thought—visiting families would no longer be taking a trip to the Hall of Fame; they’d then be taking a vacation to New York City, where there are literally 1000 other things competing for your time and attention. The special memories would inevitably… Read more »

B Smith
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B Smith

Open mouth, insert foot.

Mr Baseball Fan, go to the Hall before you speak. It is a great place, in a quaint little town, with tons of things to do there and in the surrounding area.

Your 4 hour drive would be quickly consumed if you tuned into a ball game for the ride.

NYC is not the end all be all of the world. It would be a disservice for it to be moved there.

Mark Armour
Guest

If the Hall was in NYC far fewer people would go. This article falls apart after thinking about it for a few minutes. I am fairly confident that the author himself would not go.

Freddy B
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Freddy B

This is one of the most asinine things I have ever read…

Lou
Guest
Lou

God Forbid the author goes someplace where there isn’t a Starbucks nearby!

Scooter
Guest
Scooter

And possibly have to wade through the kind of flyover-state rabble that would plop their unwashed selves into some gas-guzzler and not be freaked out by the clean air and annoying calm that surrounds such outdated locales. Sheesh.

NYY Chick
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NYY Chick

This “author” is obviously an ignorant, spoiled, self-absorbed child who has no sense of history or tradition.
Do us all a favor, little boy. Go away somewhere and blog to your millennial peers. The adults are talking. The HOF does not need to move anywhere. Get back to us when your beard grows in.

Alec Long
Guest
Alec Long

Hey Nathaniel, I think any discussion of whether to move the Hall of Fame should be done around a dinner table sitting across from some of the many citizens of Cooperstown, so you can see the color drain from their faces as you try to explain how your inconvenience means more than their livelihood. Try explaining to them how you don’t like having to drive a few hours to Cooperstown, and listen to them plead with you for their very lives because now their town will all but cease to exist when tourism drops by 80% or more. Cooperstown IS… Read more »

Scooter
Guest
Scooter

“…. Upstate has a proud past, and it’s sad that it has had to let go of it. I want as many people as possible to share in the joy of the Hall of Fame’s collection—to feel like it belongs to them. But that is also the reason why it belongs in New York City*. ”

*Lagos, Nigeria. Fixed

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_proper_by_population

Patrick Lethert
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Patrick Lethert

Moving the hall from Cooperstown to NYC would essentially begin its transformation from a museum to a glorified gift shop. Hundreds of thousands of visitors who are there because it’s convenient would see it become another “multi media experience” among many. I am all in favor of having satellite exhibit space in a place like New York, but the Hall itself would be greatly changed if moved – and not for the better.

Also, an archivist or curator that isn’t willing to move there to run the place probably isn’t the right person for the job.