TD didn’t have gobs of coverage and discussion around last summer’s Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend for Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat. With the announcement coming on Wednesday for this year’s selections by the writers, I decided to share something that I put together.
I had attended Kirby Puckett’s induction week with a dear friend, but had generally assumed I wouldn’t attend another. Though I’ve been to the Hall several times since then, it was always at another time of year. If you’re wanting to visit the Hall itself, induction weekend itself isn’t a good time because of the crowds present.
So while I’d assumed I wouldn’t induction weekend again, I’d told my wife that the one possible exception was if Oliva was selected by a version of the veteran’s committee. After he lost votes in the last couple rounds of voting compared to the year when he’d come within one vote, I figured he’d not get picked, however.
Even knowing it was a possibility last winter, I largely resigned myself to not going even if he was picked, figuring that the hassle and cost wasn’t worth it in a post-COVID world.
However, when I realized the intense visceral reaction I had when the Golden Era Committee results were announced, letting out a huge roar that probably shook the neighbors, I decided to reconsider. Knowing that rooms can be tough to get, I reserved a couple nights in Albany just in case. In the coming months, the desire to go kept growing, so by March or April I was blocking out days on my work calendar and making plans.
I recently put together a YouTube video that some of you might enjoy. It’s here:
A few notes:
- Make a sandwich – it’s nearly 30 minutes long.
- But if you’re interested in a particular section, there’s this. The first third, from 0:00 to around 10:00, gives a bit of intro and shows some of the memorabilia on hand from Oliva and Kaat. From 10:00 to around 19:00 is about visiting the rest of the Hall. Things from the ceremony itself around from about 26:30 to the end.
- Though those parts were fun, the highlight of the weekend for me was probably the Parade of Legends. On Saturday evening, folks line up Main Street for a parade where each living attendee rides by on the back of a pickup truck as they make their way to a private reception held at the Museum. With the death of so many Hall of Famers in the last several years and with Covid perhaps lessening the desire for some to travel, nearly all the attendees were from my childhood and younger adult years. My son and I snagged a front row spot in the early afternoon, so we were able to see folks. Conveniently, a dude behind us yelled, “Thank you, ____(first name)_____,” for each person who rode by. Amidst the polite applause people were offering, his voice stood out, so nearly every person turned our way and waved, letting me get some pretty decent pictures of each. That’s a long way of saying that the Parade of Legends lasts from 19:00 to 26:30 in the video.
- I have a mediocre mic on the computer, so to answer your question, “No, I wasn’t recording from the locker room at my local high school.” It’s easily audible, just not professional level. It’s film production by PowerPoint, after all.
But at any rate, enjoy. I did, both being there and revisiting the weekend as I made it.