Recently I went to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY with my Father and my two sons. This drawing and story, were inspired by that trip, and they are both for my Pop.
As I walked around the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the town of Cooperstown NY., I could see that this place has a magical effect. I watched one young boy as he looked for his heroes, and looked for souvenirs from them. He knew his baseball history, and spoke of players and games he had seen. As he stood before the plaque of Willie Mays, he told the other boys that "Willie had made him a baseball fan." He told them about Willie and "The Catch", and he told them about Bobby Thomson of the New York Giants, and the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" in the 1951 National League pennant race against the Brooklyn Dodgers, "The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant" he said.
Later in one of the memorabilia shops, he found a Mays autographed baseball. Disappointed, he knew it was too much money, and handed it back to the man at the counter. In another shop however, he did find a Thomson signed ball that he would buy. For the first time ever, he possessed a baseball treasure that he had wanted for many years.
That little boy was my Pop, and the other little boys were me and my two sons. He is 76 now, I am 50, and the boys are 16 and 11. For just a couple days though, Cooperstown NY. had turned us all into little boys again. Discovering and loving the amazing game of baseball together.