Cooperstown, NY Cooperstown is best known as the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, opened in 1939. It serves as the central point for the study of the history of baseball in the United States and beyond, and displays baseball-related artifacts and exhibits. The population of the village was 1,852 as of the 2010 census. We wondered why The Hall of Fame was established in such a small town. The Hall was started by Stephen Clark, owner of a local hotel. Clark had sought to bring tourists to a city hurt by the Great Depression and Prohibition. The erroneous claim that U.S. Civil War hero Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown was instrumental in the early marketing of the Hall. We spent the day there and finally left around 4 pm. There were so many exhibits, it is hard to describe. We are now better educated about baseball: Pharaoh Thutmose III played a bat and ball game in 1468 BC; the first printed reference to base-ball was in 1744; Satchel Paige was the oldest player at 59 years, 2 months and 18 days; Jackie Robinson’s number 42 was retired by every major league team; the tallest player ever was 6’ 11” and the shortest was 3’ 7”; in 1875, a man invented a base (since abandoned) with a bell in it to help umpires know the runner was safe; and games are now limited to 9 innings rather than 21 runs. There are lots of short film clips. We watched a number of them but after a while, one home run kind of looks like another. One film clip showed a man and his son run out into right field and attempting to burn an American flag. Rick Monday, who was playing right field, came running in, scooped up the flag before it could be burned and took it to the dugout. The man and his son were escorted out and Rick Monday received a standing ovation. There was a clip of the pine tar incident with George Brett. He really lost his cool when he was called out for using a bat with too much pine tar on it. There were also exhibits playing tribute to women in baseball, Hispanics in baseball, and the introduction of blacks in baseball. It is quite a place.