Hey baseball fans!
June 12th marks a very important anniversary for a specific event in baseball history, an event that happened 80 years ago yesterday: the opening of the Baseball Hall of Fame!
Yes, you read that correctly. On June 12, 1939, Cooperstown, New York got a lot more popular, as along with the opening of the physical Hall of Fame museum, was the inaugural Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The ceremony featured some of the greatest names in baseball history, like Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Cy Young. But what's more interesting about the opening of the Hall of Fame is why and how it opened.
1939 was towards the end of the Great Depression in the United States and two years before the US entered World War II, even though Europe would be engulfed by war just a couple of months after the Hall's dedication. The Great Depression had hit the upstate town of Cooperstown hard and many businesses lost a lot of money due to this financial crisis. That's when local hotel owner Stephen Carlton Clark, a former World War I Lieutenant-Colonel, had the great idea to found (and pay for) what ended up becoming the Baseball Hall of Fame. How did he attract customers to this new New York State landmark, you ask? By relying on the findings of the 1907 Mills Commission report on the history of baseball.
While the origins of baseball continue to be debated today and while their may be many people who had a hand in it, the person who received the credit from Mr. Clark was Abner Doubleday, a Civil War general and former resident of Cooperstown, based on the Mills Commission report's statement that the "first scheme for playing baseball, according to the best evidence obtainable to date, was devised by Abner Doubleday at Cooperstown, NY in 1839."
The Hall of Fame is a wonderful place that has inspired some of my best blogging. So thank you Mr. Clark for founding it. And a very happy birthday, HoF! Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."