Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June 12 - Baseball Hall of Fame

The National Baseball Hall of Fame was dedicated on June 12, 1939, at Cooperstown, overlooking Lake Otesaga, in central Upstate New York. The museum honors players, managers and others connected with baseball. Its founding was driven by Stephen Carlton Clark, heir to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, who was born in Cooperstown and built Hotel Otesaga there. To reverse the decline of the town (and the hotel) during Prohibition and the Depression, Clark leveraged the unlikely legend that Cooperstown (named for James Fennimore Cooper’s family) was the hallowed place where Abner Doubleday, a Civil War veteran, “invented” the game of baseball in 1839. Never mind the fact that Doubleday was at West Point in 1839, and references to baseball games in America date back to the 18th century. History now accepts that Alexander Cartwright developed baseball’s first rules in the 1840s for New York City’s Knickerbocker Base Ball Club. Abner Doubleday has never been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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