By most accounts, the Hall of Fame Classic was a big hit for Cooperstown visitors who found a unique way to celebrate Father’s Day.
Sunday’s inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame Classic ushered in a new tradition in Cooperstown, and the legends who came to Doubleday Field didn’t disappoint.
The leisurely event replaced the annual Hall exhibition game between two less than interested big league teams.
With 90-year-old Bob Feller (Hall of Fame Class of 1962) starting the game on the mound for Team Wagner, the 7,069 fans at Doubleday Field were treated to a Hall of Fame matchup right off the bat when Paul Molitor (Hall of Fame Class of 2004) came to the plate for Team Collins and singled to center.
"We made a deal — he said no bunting, and I told him I’d keep line drives out of the middle of the field," Molitor said after his hit.
Bobby Grich followed Molitor and promptly brought the house down by half-heartedly charging the mound after a Feller offering came a little too close for comfort. There were home runs and fastballs, but mostly laughs.
Feller left the game soon after facing Grich, signing autographs for fans, many of whom were not born when he threw his last Major League pitch in 1956. But more than 50 years later, Feller’s legend remains larger than life.
Watch the story courtesy of WKTV in Utica: