Cooperstown offers more than HOF weekend
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- The second-best weekend of the year here just happened. No inductions, no news, little ceremony, nothing recognized as a real speech aside from the extended and casual orations of Carlton Fisk that routinely are as entertaining and insightful as they are lengthy. In place of all the carefully staged and formal proceedings this charming burg will present late next month was the Hall of Fame Classic, a series of mostly informal events that are pleasant, spontaneous, entertaining and instructional. The second-best weekend for sure, but pretty good anyway.
It unquestionably falls under the heading of "time well spent."
Only a handful of fellas from my business attended, so the crush of media that regularly interferes with good story telling wasn't an issue. The weekend was personal interaction among professionals who have one common component, an abiding appreciation for the game and the folks involved in it. These, then, are personal observations, subjective analyses and opinions based on feelings as much as fact.
Now he serves as president of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni association. No surprise there. He was/is a likeable sort with a personality well suited for someone who deals with so many. He lives outside Dallas and runs into Pat Summerall from time to time. Lazorko dated Summerall's daughter back when he was scoring touchdowns.
Reporters don't forget such comments.
Desi works as a nutritionist now. He was quite impressed by the new look of Dmitri Young, who has lost 80 pounds to counter his status as a diabetic. Young won the home run derby for the Classic Game on Saturday, he won it last year, too, when he was the Most Valuable Player in the game.
Desi was the MVP Saturday.
He hit the final-inning, two-run single, which was decisive in the Knucksies' 5-4 victory against the Wizards (The teams were managed by Phil Niekro and Ozzie Smith). The game was approaching its two-hour limit when Relaford ended it. It was either an out or a two-run hit, because, as he said, "No one wanted a tie for Father's Day."
More than a few folks are uncomfortable with the change in that record -- Gehrig and A-Rod have 23 each. And that discomfort has little to do with A-Rod and much more to do with Gehrig. His two primary records, slams and consecutive games, have been taken from him. He still can bat fourth in any all-time order. His nickname, cool for its time and now, lives on. And his rank, first Yankees captain, and serial number, first No. 4 retired, are forever unique. The Iron Horse is second to none at first.
There's a message in that.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.