2020: July 24-26
2021: July 23-25
2022: July 21-23
Induction Ceremony - Sunday 1:30 PM Clark Sports Center
“Is There Something Going On This Weekend?”
Induction Weekend is a festive, energized extravaganza. You can feel the electricity in the air as passionate baseball fans, and innumerable baseball “fan-atics” bustle about our streets. Autograph sessions, Hall of Famer sightings, and memorabilia vendors abound. For some visitors, there can be no better time to visit Cooperstown; but for other visitors, this may be a weekend to avoid. We’ve had as many as 70,000 people descend upon our village of 2,200. Don’t be caught in the crowds unless you want to be. First and foremost, if you are coming to Cooperstown find out when Induction weekend is being held. It can change from year to year so if you just show up without knowing, it may take you by surprise. It is a good idea to contact the Hall of Fame as early as you can to confirm the dates. (607) 547-7200. Website: www.BaseballHallofFame.org
Make accommodations reservations early. Reservation policies vary. Some take reservations several years in advance, others don’t start taking reservations until the April prior. Be sure to find out the facility’s refund policy and its “bump policy.” Not to cause a panic, but I have known of people who have paid for their rooms a year in advance only to receive a refund check and a cancellation notice in the mail less than a month before the weekend.
If you can't find anything in Cooperstown, try looking for lodging in the Herkimer and Cobleskill areas. Oneonta hosts baseball tournaments throughout the summer and rooms are pretty hard to come by. Herkimer and Cobleskill are about a 45 min drive. When searching for a place online, don't always use Expedia or other travel sites. Many of the smaller motels can't afford to rent through them.
Induction 2020: Beaver Valley Cabins, Regular Campsites, Houses, Campers are rented by the week only: Friday check-in to Friday check-out
Beaver Valley always has overflow camping! It's close and it's cheap!
Parking is always an issue in the village. The trolleys will be running as usual. Although we lose parking spaces because the Doubleday Field parking lot is closed to vehicles, many village families offer parking on their lawns from $10 to $30 per day. There are yellow school buses that can transport you at no charge from outlying parking areas to the Clark Sports Center and from the Clark Sports Center to Doubleday Field. Check the Hall of Fame website or contact the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce for parking lot locations. Do your best to avoid driving through Main St. as the crowds spill from the sidewalks and into the street. Also, pay attention to temporary traffic signs as some streets may be designated one way. Surprisingly, the traffic clears out rapidly very soon after the ceremonies have ended.
It is approximately a one mile walk to the Clark Sports Center from the Village, so walking is a possibility. Young entrepreneurs set up lemonade stands along the way so be sure to bring a thirst and ample pocket change! If you bike, be particularly wary of the automobile traffic on the roads coming into the village. I would not advise biking in with children on this weekend; extreme caution should be used on State Route 28. There are limited bike racks on Main St. It may be easier to lock your bike at the High School bike rack and then walk into town.
While you are at the Ceremony, the Baseball Game, or milling around Doubleday Field Parking Lot, be sure to purchase refreshments. The Cooperstown High School takes advantage of the weekend as a fund-raiser and they are the sole vendor. The students wear t-shirts with “Concession Staff” printed on the back. If you are eyeing these shirts as a souvenir, please note that the kids may sell them to you but they are not allowed to do so until after the ceremonies!
When attending the Hall of Fame Induction ceremony at the Clark Sports Center, be aware that there really is no shade. Even if the day is somewhat overcast, you can bake out in the open. Bring water to drink so you don’t dehydrate and wear sunblock. Arrive as early in the morning as possible and “stake out your claim” on the lawn. Bring a blanket or chairs as none are provided. Animals are not allowed on the grounds. You may also want to bring something to read and some materials to keep the kids happy while you wait for the program to begin. Whatever you bring, though, you will be lugging with you onto those yellow buses.
The Inductees stay at the Otesaga Resort under tight security. Many golf at the Leatherstocking Golf Course which abuts the resort. Saturday night at 9 PM the Hall of Famers usually arrive at the Hall of Fame and can be seen entering.
Souvenirs are plentiful and can range in price from a couple of dollars to several hundreds. More affordable though still valuable souvenirs include: Hall of Fame Induction Day cancellations at the Cooperstown Post Office, commemorative pins, ticket stubs from the Hall of Fame, Concession Staff t-shirts.
Plan on lines, wall-to-wall people and more lines. If everyone brings a sense of humor, an ample supply of patience, courtesy and a smile, we’ll all have a glorious weekend.
Non-Baseball Special Events
Check Otsego County Tourism calendar of events and Sweet Home Productions calendar which is more comprehensive.
If you're staying at Beaver Valley and you don't want to attend the ceremony, you can always hang out by the pool or spend the day fishing.
Disclaimer: I am offering this information to help you maneuver through the weekend a little easier. Please check the accuracy of what I've written by contacting the Hall of Fame directly. Things can change quickly!