Navigating Hall of Fame Induction Weekend like a Pro
Each year, thousands of baseball fanatics make the trip to Cooperstown, New York for the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Annual Induction Weekend. This is the weekend, each July that truly puts Cooperstown on the map. In 2018, 60 Hall-of-Famers are expected to return to Cooperstown to welcome this year’s inductees, followed by nearly 50 thousand of their biggest fans, and lovers of the game. Hold on to your caps, Cooperstown, it is sure to be a wild weekend!
Hall of Fame Weekend 2018 will be July 27th-30th with the annual Induction Ceremony being held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 29 at the Clark Sports Center. This induction ceremony is project to be the largest since 2007’s record-breaking year. Our little village, home to 1,800 residents welcomes visitors from all over the world.
I’m no expert and this blog doesn’t cover everything, but I do have some insider hints to help you navigate Induction weekend like a pro…
Hints for ALL!
- Plan ahead! Plan ahead! Plan ahead!
- Approach the weekend with a positive attitude! Have patience, wear a smile and be prepared to walk.
- Remember… there is no crying in baseball!
- Leave yourself plenty of time for navigation.
- Stay hydrated and pack snacks.
- Make sure to bring cash with you for parking, food, etc.
- Support local entrepreneurs, there will be plenty of people selling street food, drinks, art, parking spots, etc!
- Be kind to your servers and store clerks, they are working very hard!
- Actually…. Be kind to EVERYONE!
- Say a big thank you to the men and women keeping Cooperstown safe and healthy. This is a big weekend for local and state law enforcement as well as emergency medical services, so be sure to show your appreciation.
- Did I mention… Plan ahead?! Call the chamber offices at (607) 547-9983, we are happy to help!
- Check out baseballhall.org for more info.
Hints for the Visitor to Cooperstown
Where to stay
Planning in advance is key to navigating the National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend. If you are still considering coming for the weekend, but have no place to stay, call the chamber offices and let us help you! We keep a running list of accommodations who have had cancellations, so it is not too late!
What to do
Enjoy Main Street – It is not every day you get to hang out in the middle of Main Street, Cooperstown. Enjoy the street fair atmosphere with tasty street food, vendors and live music in Pioneer Park. My favorite Induction Weekend tradition is getting the homemade sausage sandwich from Nicoletta’s Italian Café, it is so tasty! On Saturday beginning at 3:00pm in Pioneer Park, enjoy the music of local favorite, Hanzolo, while you are waiting for the Parade of Legends to begin.
Visit the Baseball Hall of Fame – No trip to Cooperstown’s Induction weekend is complete without stepping foot in to the Hall of legends, the notorious plaque gallery at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Museum brings the history of our national pastime to life. Buy your tickets online to save time at the door!
Collect autographs– This weekend is also the perfect opportunity to get autographs from some of the greats! The main autograph event takes place at The Tunnicliff Inn, but there are other opportunities around town all weekend. For the complete schedule, make sure to pick up a copy of this week’s Freeman’s Journal which are sold at the Welcome Center at 31 Chestnut Street and at shops around town.
Enjoy the festivities – The Baseball Hall of Fame hosts events all weekend, don’t miss out! Friday you can Play Ball with Ozzie Smith, Jeff Bagwell, Johnny Bench and Tim Raines! Make sure to sign up in advance. Saturday at 4:30pm the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will be held at Doubleday Field followed by the Parade of Legends at 6:00pm. Watch as all of the returning Hall of Famers are paraded down Main Street; catch a glimpse of your baseball heroes! The main event, the Induction Ceremony, begins Sunday at 1:30pm. Then wrap up the weekend’s excitement at the Legends of the Game Roundtable on historic Doubleday Field, this is a ticketed event for Hall of Fame members, so be sure to contact the Hall of Fame in advance if you hope to attend.
Hall of Fame Induction – Did you know… you could stop by the induction site on Saturday before 4:00pm to reserve your spot? Bring your lawn chairs and leave them overnight (at your own risk) to reserve a section of the lawn closer to the stage. If this is an intriguing option to you, make sure to go early in the day, as Susquehanna Avenue will be closed to all traffic, vehicular and foot, from 4:00pm Saturday to 7:00am Sunday.
Support Cooperstown High School Students – Of course I have to give a little plug to my alma mater! It is a Cooperstown student’s rite of passage to serve hot dogs and Coca-Cola products for Induction Weekend. The money they raise during this weekend helps to fund their Senior Trip, so be sure to support these hard working students, parents and faculty. On Saturday from 9:00am-4:30(ish)pm, 10th graders will be serving hot dogs and drinks in Doubleday Field Parking Lot and on Sunday at the Induction Ceremony the entire school will be working together to serve hot dogs and drinks at the Induction site from 9:00am until the ceremony is over.
Where to Park
*Please note: The following are just a few of the lots available around the village. Many village residents and businesses rent out their lawns during the weekend. Be prepared, most parking lots are cash only. Street parking is very limited during Hall of Fame Weekend to help with the flow of traffic throughout the village.
The Landmark Inn – (64 Chestnut Street) $30- $40 Park all weekend at The Landmark Inn on Chestnut Street. Make reservations with the owners of this historic Inn by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All reservations will have a guaranteed price of $30 per day.
NBT Bank– (62 Pioneer Street) All donations for parking in this lot will benefit the Susquehanna Animal Shelter
First Baptist Church of Cooperstown – (21 Elm St) $20 Monday & Friday, $30 Saturday & Sunday, All donations for parking in this lot will benefit Continuing Missions. *Note- this lot does not open until on Sunday until 11:00.
The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway – (1 Railroad Ave., entrance to parking is on Main St.) $20 On Saturday all donations benefit the Otsego County Voiture 944 and Sunday donations benefit Cooperstown Sons of the American Legion
Babe Ruth Parking Lot – (County Highway 33) $30 This lot, located at the Iroquois Farm on Route 33 just south of the village, will be open Sunday only for the Induction Ceremony. The cost will be $30 per car and shuttle transportation to and from the Induction site will be provided in partnership with Cherry Valley School District. Download a map of the Babe Ruth Parking Lot!
Trolley Lot Parking – (Red, Yellow and Blue Lots) FREE – On the outskirts of the village there are 3 trolley lots, Red Lot, Blue Lot and Yellow Lot, all of which can be easily found using Google Maps. Parking in these lots is FREE and it only costs $2 to ride the trolley, all day. The trolley will take you to all of the major points of interest within the village including the National Baseball Hall of Fame, The Farmers’ Museum, Fenimore Art Museum and The Otesaga Resort Hotel, along with many other stops along the way. The trolley is a great way to see the village without being on foot.
Lawns of Village Residents – All throughout the village of Cooperstown, residents rent out parking spots on their lawns for the entirety of the weekend. Most spots range from $20-$40 per day. Each story is different but when asking around, many families use the money raised this weekend as a college or travel funds for their children, or to off-set the annual village taxes. Many of the residents will reserve you a spot for Sunday if you park on their lawn Saturday.
Hints for the Locals
If you are not a huge fan of baseball, and do not work at a job that requires you to stick around for induction weekend, my suggestion to you would be…. take a road trip, see some sights, New York State is beautiful and there is so much to see and do! Take the weekend to check off something on your NYS bucket list.
If you are sticking around to work this weekend, first, let me say thank you! I have worked every induction weekend in Cooperstown for as long as I can remember. It all started in elementary school, selling bottled water to visitors on their way to the induction ceremony. As a Cooperstown high school student, I worked together with my classmates to sell drinks, hot dogs and ice cream at the induction ceremony. As a young adult, I worked in the gift shop of the Hall of Fame, as a barista at Stagecoach, and now I have the pleasure of helping visitors make the most of their time here. The point of this flash back being, I have learned a few things over the years….
- Your attitude will make or break you. Charge into this weekend with a positive attitude and the mindset that this is a very exciting time for so many people, you will be sure to have a great weekend! Yes, it is a lot of hard work and likely long hours, but you can do it! I believe in you!
- If you work in the village and don’t have a designated parking spot at your place of this is a great time to ask a friend for a favor. If you can find someone to drive you to work or if you can ride the bus into town, it will save you time and money, which is always great! If you have no option but to drive, show up early, way early!
- If you are sticking around and do not have to work, join in the festivities! See what the National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction weekend is all about; partake in the delicious street foods provided by your favorite Main Street Restaurants, watch the Parade of Legends.
- Go grocery shopping early in the week, and remember there will be no Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning. Stock up on all of your Farmers’ Market needs on Tuesday, July 31st from noon- 5:00pm.
- Check out the calendar of events to see what other fun things are going on!
Let us work together to make this an awesome weekend for everyone. That’s all for this week’s Hanna’s Hints. As always, I love to hear from you! Share your Cooperstown adventures with me by posting on Instagram with the hashtags #wearecooperstown and #hannashints or email me at email@example.com and don’t forget to check back each week for the Friday 5 and Hanna’s Hints!
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About the Author: Hanna Joy Bergene, Director of Marketing and Events, Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce
Hi, I’m Hanna!
I am a born and raised Cooperstownian who is deeply, madly in love with this AMAZING small town and the beauty of Upstate New York! I am currently serving as the Director of Marketing and Events at the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce where I have the pleasure of working with over 400 small local businesses.
It is my goal to share my knowledge and passion for Cooperstown and deliver to you some insider secrets. Cooperstown has been named America’s Most Perfect Village and I want to show you why. Whether you’re from across the country or just a few minutes down the road, I hope I can inspire you to come for a visit, or maybe even call this place home!