07/24/10 4:47 PM ET
Hall Weekend connects generations
By Kyle Maistri / MLB.com
Parents bring their kids to teach them about the game of baseball and players they've come to love over the years in hopes of passing down that passion.
Saturday afternoon, the Hall of Fame put on its interactive Connecting Generations game, a Family Feud-style trivia game pitting a Hall of Fame team against various families who made the trip for the induction ceremony.
Former Mets pitcher Tom Seaver, former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda and current longtime umpire Jerry Crawford comprised the Hall of Fame team, and Harold Reynolds hosted the proceedings.
"It's not good when they call you Mr. Seaver," Seaver said after being addressed by Reynolds. "They call it, 'Connecting Generations,' and you get the feeling you're on the higher end of the generations."
Reynolds asked questions ranging from "What baseball event would fans most want to see live?" to "What are the most popular ballpark foods?" Four different teams took the stage to compete with the Hall of Famers in trying to come up with the most popular survey answers.
Ted Amirault from West Michigan brought his 10-year-old son, Mike, eight-year-old daughter, Ashley, and father, Dave, all decked out in Tigers gear, on to the stage after volunteering to compete -- a perfect showcase of Hall's intent to bring the generations together.
"It was awesome," Amirault said. "It will be something my kids remember for the rest of their lives."
Seaver, Lasorda and Crawford did their best to make it a memorable experience for all involved, opening up their personalities in front of a an audience of 100 or so people.
During the "What is your favorite current mascot?" question, Reynolds asked Lasorda if the Dodgers even have a mascot.
"Manny Mota," Lasorda quipped, referencing the former outfielder and longtime coach.
While trying to guess where fans prefer to watch a baseball game, Reynolds asked Crawford where his favorite spot is -- perhaps the lower level or a skybox?
"Right behind the catcher," Crawford said.
But Seaver truly stole the show, keeping the fans laughing from start to finish. While waiting for Crawford to give an answer, Seaver leaned over and deadpanned, "If you miss this, I'm going to boo."
For an hour and a half, Reynolds kept the group loose, and the fans came up on stage to compete and shake hands with some of the game's legends.
Amirault said it was just another great experience during his first weekend in Cooperstown, which already included a trip to the museum and browsing the many souvenir shops up and down Main Street.
"I'm glad we could get the kids to Cooperstown at a young age," he said. "Hopefully, they'll want to do it again later in life and take their families someday."
If they do, yet another generation with be connected to the great tradition of the city and Hall of Fame weekend.
Kyle Maistri is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.