Andre Dawson will finally be enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame. On Sunday afternoon, he will take his rightful place among the legends of the game. The lawn in Cooperstown, I’m sure, will be absolutely packed with Cubs (and possibly some Expos) fans for as far as the eye can see (or at least until the lawn runs out). I’ve never been to an induction ceremony and this was to be my first. If I had the opportunity, I would’ve attended Sandberg’s. With the announcement of Dawson going in back in January, I immediately looked around to make hotel reservations.
As you could imagine, hotel accomodations were extremely hard to come by. Many hotels were sold out when I called and I started calling only minutes after the announcement was made. I had my numbers ready to go and as soon as my blackberry sent through the note that Dawson was in, I kindly stepped out of the meeting I was in and started the hunt for my Cooperstown home for this upcoming weekend. Apparently, while I wanted to be sure of Dawson getting in, many fans made their reservations ahead of time ‘just in case’.
Motels nearby: sold out. Hotels: sold out. Quaint country side inns and Mom and Pop bed and breakfasts: sold out. One place was completely taken over by the media and Cooperstown employees which would make sense I suppose, at least for the media as they too would have to sleep somewhere, right? Well after widdling my way through sold out venues and those that require a 3 night stay (the induction is only on Sunday and the museum probably only really needs one day so 3 would be a little excessive….and expensive, like $1200) I finally found a place about a half hour/forty minutes away in beautiful, sunny, tropical Utica, NY. Ok, not ideally sitting on Main Street, Cooperstown with a view of the parade from my room window, but still, close enough to be a part of all the action and share in Dawson’s big day.
Then about a week or two later, my wife and I found out she was pregnant (perhaps the only new year’s resolution I’ve ever actually kept and accomplished so quickly by the way. TMI?) and we’d be having a baby come October and she’d be right in the thick of pregnancy in the hot, hot Summer days of July. A total trooper and excited about coming home with a new baseball cap, my wife was still game and hot or not, she was ready to go check out Cooperstown for the first time in her life and share in Dawson’s big day.
I wanted to head up there with her and take in all the sights and sounds the town and the museum has to offer. Show her some of the cooler baseball memorabilia they have on display. Interview a ton of Cubs fans and get their take on the event and what it means to them. Interview haters and find out perhaps why they don’t think Dawson belongs in the hall. Make some silly videos and archive our experience in Cooperstown that weekend to share with you all. And most importantly, just be around it and share in a historic afternoon that will bring Dawson’s baseball achievements to a close with perhaps his greatest honor yet (the highest you can obtain as a player so yes, his highest honor).
Unfortunately, although I’ve mentioned it here in a few times and in the vlog I shot on the day of Dawson’s Hall announcement, I will not be able to make it to Cooperstown this weekend. I do plan on finding some way of covering this event whether it is through an interview of some sort or what, I haven’t decided. However, due to important family matters I will not be able to attend. My father-in-law had a stroke about two weeks ago and it was very, very scary. Driving my wife up to see him in the hospital, not knowing what was happening or what could happen was one of the most intense car rides I’ve ever experienced. I know what her parents mean to her so I just tried to get her there as quickly as I could. A good 5 hour drive from NYC to NH and we did it in about 4 hrs and 20 mins (don’t tell the police though). : )
He is doing well and is able to talk although he has a lot of recovering to do and rehabbing coming up. A clot in his brain and some brain hemorraging was occuring and if his wife hadn’t had him to the hospital as quickly as she did, this weekend could be much different. I just wanted to let you all know that I won’t be able to go up to Cooperstown and share photos/videos with you of the big Andre Dawson gets into the Hall weekend as I said I would. As disappointing as that is, all things considered, I am happy to say that we will be spending the time with her father and mother at the rehab center in New Hampshire.
As I have my own son on his way, I’m starting to further understand how important family is. Back in January I couldn’t name you one place I’d rather be this coming weekend. However with recent events, there’s no way I’d be anywhere else than where I’m going to be.
If anyone has any photos, videos, etc after this weekend they’d like to share, or if you are attending and would be up for me interviewing you afterwards, please don’t hestitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thrilled for The Hawk and I look forward to hearing his speech and seeing all of the coverage on MLBN. It’ll be cool too to hear Sandberg’s speech or from anyone that is there to speak on behalf of Dawson as they knew him in his playing years and beyond.
This coming Sunday, Andre Dawson and I will having something in common. We will both be exactly where we should be and all things considered, for both of us it could be A LOT worse. (A more uplifting post about two Lou’s and the greatsest movie managers of all time is to follow this evening. Go Cubs Go!)