"From Moshe till Moshe, there arose none like Moshe." (famous Jewish folk saying)

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Hall of Fame is not about winning

I have returned from another whirlwind trip to the US. 7 days 13 cities. It snowed for the 1st 4 days but anticipating the inclement weather, I rented an SUV from Hertz and had no problems getting around.

I did something on this trip I normally do not have time for. I took a little detour. When I travel, I usually look at the map and see if there is something in the area that I would normally not get to see. When I was in Dayton Ohio, I went to the United States Air Force Museum(its free); when I was traveling from Moncton to Fredericton New Brunswick I went to the Bay of Fundy. The Bay of Fundy is a must see for anyone who happens to be in this area. It does not compare to the beauty of the Holy Land, but it is a sight to behold.

So, I looked at the map and between Syracuse, Utica and Schenectady is Cooperstown, the birthplace of baseball and the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I had never been there before and I thought, OK, this is worth the 150 miles (75 each way) that it will take me to get there. I had heard that Curt Shillings bloody sock, cleats and lots of Red Sox World Champion paraphernalia would be there. I had to go! What I did not realize is that Cooperstown is really in the middle of nowhere. During the long and boring drive, that included such sights as farms, cornfields and more farms and cornfields, you realize that when there is not much else to do and when you have extra time on your hands, great things can be invented. The roads were barley plowed. But I had a Mountaineer and had no problems.

This time of year Cooperstown is deserted. Most of the shops were closed and there were very few people on the streets. Except for a few other people, I had the Hall pretty much to myself.

I spent a lot of time at the Babe Ruth exhibit. They have his bat, his glove, his uniform and the cursed contract from when he was sold by the Red Sox to the Yankees. They have Lou Gehrig’s locker, Jackie Robinson’s hat, and the bat Carlton Fisk used to win game 6 of the 75 series against the Reds. I saw the uniform and golden Glove of my childhood idol Yaz #8, Carl Yastrzemski. There was stuff there from Johnny Bench (my dad got me a Johnny Bench batter up when I was a kid) Pete Rose and Oh, the memories go on an on.

And then there was the bloody sock and all the Red Sox stuff. Just a sight to behold. It was a great feeling to stand there. As the replays of the greatest comeback in sports history was played on the huge TV screens, the rush of emotion was amazing. I remember the painful losses in 75, 78, 86 and last year. Older fans have known the greater trauma of Red Sox history. Just think of Pesky in 1946. But no more! The Sox are World Champions and in the Hall of Fame.

As I was standing there marveling at the sight, a reporter from NBC came over to me and asked if I would agree to be interviewed. They were doing a story on the new Red Sox exhibit. It’s been a while but I agreed. I told him how we lived in Israel, how we watched the game on MLB.com from 2-6am, about all my childhood memories, the losses, the misery, the pain, OY the pain and now how that is all over. The reporter then asked me what I thought Ted Williams, the splendid splinter would think about the Sox victory. And this question made me think. And I responded. “There are many great players in this Hall who never got that coveted ring, never got to hoist a World Series trophy on their shoulders. They never won the big game.

I realized at that moment that the Hall of Fame is not about winning. The Hall of fame is about trying your best, being your best. It’s about good sportsmanship, honesty and being a mentch! Ted Williams would have been thrilled with a sox victory. But as sacrilegious as it may sound, if the Sox had lost, every kid in Boston would have been heartbroken, but the lesson they would have learned from the effort of these 25 guys would have made history.

As we count down the 24 days to opening day, I'll approach this new season with this perspective. What ever happens, it has been and will always be great to be a sox fan and a proud member of Red Sox “international” Nation.

That's so cool you got to go see the Red Sox stuff at the Hall of Fame! Hubby and I are big fans, and we're so glad we lived to see the most amazing event in sports history, as far as we're concerned anyway. I posted about it on my blog a few weeks ago. I felt inspired and decided I needed to get my feelings expressed on paper, well, on the screen anyway!
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