COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Businesses near the National Baseball Hall of Fame are gearing up for this weekend.
So is former New York Yankees skipper Joe Torre.
Cooperstown is expected to be packed with tens of thousands of people for Sunday’s induction ceremony featuring Torre, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa.
On WFAN radio last week, Torre said being inducted with fellow managers Cox and La Russa “couldn’t be any sweeter.”
“Even though you know it may be coming, it still catches you, and it just knocks your socks off,” Torre said, referring to when he got the Hall call. “It was amazing. The frustrating part for me: I said, ‘Who else got in?’ And they wouldn’t tell me.”
The Hall of Fame is celebrating its 75th anniversary, and this weekend’s festivities will likely be one of the largest crowds ever for an induction weekend. Two weekends in the 1990s drew more than 40,000, but the 2007 induction weekend brought in more than 75,000. Hall of Fame officials say the average crowd for an induction ceremony is about 15,000.
“We’re not a ballpark experience,” Hall of Fame vice president of communications Brad Horn told MLB.com. “Fans may pull into Cooperstown thinking they’re pulling into a lot at Citi Field, where they’ll be directed to park for the day and walk to a gate where they’ll be serviced for a ballgame, and have every modern convenience at their fingertips.
“Cooperstown is quite a bit different. It’s a step back in time.”
Last year’s numbers were way down because no living person was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The magic is back this year with some of baseball’s most revered names preparing their speeches.
“It’s an individual honor, but like I feel in baseball, you can’t get through this stuff by yourself,” said Torre, who won four World Series titles as manager of the Yankees. “There are so many people that contributed. … And you certainly want to acknowledge all those people that have been supportive and taught you a lot during your time.”
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