MLB Meeting Yields Little New

Following the half-hour meeting with Major League Baseball president Bob Dupuy and Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson over Induction Weekend, SaveTheFameGame.com founder Kristian Connolly released the following statement:

"This morning's meeting was productive in that it gave both sides an opportunity to sit down face to face to discuss the Hall of Fame Game issue. While the sentiments expressed by Major League Baseball president Bob Dupuy yielded nothing new as far as their position on the matter, it was important to share with him the feelings and desires of many baseball fans all over the country with regard to keeping the Hall of Fame Game tradition alive.

"In a very frank and open discussion, Mr. Dupuy made it clear that MLB does not think its time and resources are best utilized on the Hall of Fame Game, and that they feel that they can better promote Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame in other ways. While I agree that their ideas for promotion of the Hall and Cooperstown are positive, I feel that they should be done in concert with the Hall of Fame Game. I do not agree that they can replace what the Hall of Fame Game has been able to accomplish for nearly 70 years, namely providing passionate baseball fans an opportunity to connect with big leaguers and the national pastime in baseball's hometown in an environment unlike any other that exists.

"Experiences like the Hall of Fame Game are what helps to develop the deep connections to the game of baseball which MLB is trying cultivate, and I hope that they will one day recognize that and return the Hall of Fame Game to the Major League calendar.

"Mr. Dupuy also made it clear that he and Major League Baseball feel that the Hall of Fame Game is a local attraction only, and that only locals participate and benefit. To that, I had two responses: Firstly, I reminded him that baseball fans from all over the country were sharing their desire to have the Hall of Fame Game continue, and it has always been the case the people have traveled far and wide to attend the Hall of Fame Game and visit Cooperstown. Secondly, I questioned Mr. Dupuy as to why it matters where the people come from. What matters is that for almost 70 years, baseball fans have packed Doubleday Field every year to celebrate the national pastime, and if most of those people are in fact local, then that's all the more reason to keep the Hall of Fame Game alive since these are people who help support baseball 365 days a year and deserve a chance to see Major League players without having to travel hundreds of miles or spend hundreds of dollars."

"Lastly, I want to express my thanks to Jeff Idelson for hosting the meeting, to Mr. Dupuy for attending and having an open discussion about the Hall of Fame Game, and to commissioner Bud Selig for arranging the get together. While we differ on the methods to achieve the means that we'd all like to see in order to best serve the long-term interests of the national pastime, there is now a mutual recognition of what we are both trying to accomplish and a mutual understanding that we will both continue to move forward in our own way."

SaveTheFameGame.com had sent Commissioner Selig three separate letters asking for "the opportunity to discuss with you the passion that exists for keeping a great American and baseball tradition alive ... and have an open discussion about options for retaining Major League Baseball's participation in the Hall of Fame Game, as it has been since 1940."

Use these links to read the original two-page letter, the second letter and the third letter.

Mr. Selig responded briefly to the first letter and to the second letter, and did not address the request to meet in any way before finally responding to the third letter by arranging the meeting in Cooperstown.

Moving Forward After Great Day

Following 2008 Hall of Fame Game festivities in Cooperstown, NY, the savethefamegame.com campaign announced that it will definitely continue its campaign to urge MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, MLB president Bob Dupuy, MLB Players Association chief Donald Fehr and Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson to reverse the decision to end the annual baseball tradition in Cooperstown after this year.

This 2008 Hall of Fame Game between the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres was canceled due to inclement weather.

"I've always thought that Mother Nature should be the only thing to cancel a Hall of Fame Game, and today that proved to be true," said savethefamegame.com creator Kristian Connolly. "The savethefamegame.com campaign had a tremendous experience in Cooperstown today, and the parade alone was an amazing event. I can't say enough about the thousands of people who showed their support for savethefamegame.com today, and we look forward to building upon that support in the future.

"Even if the game had been played today, the campaign to save the Hall of Fame Game was not ending on June 16, 2008. This was an important day and we were able to accomplish a great deal, but this campaign moves forward and will remain being about ensuring that Major League teams and/or Major League players continue to play a game on Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, as they have since 1940."

We Love a Parade!

The savethefamegame.com campaign had a tremendous experience in the 2008 Cooperstown Game Day Parade on Monday, June 16, and thanks everyone in attendance -- participants and parade watchers alike -- for making it a truly memorable experience.

Click here to view the full 2008 Hall of Fame Game photo album.

Players, Owners Urged to Help

On May 27, the savethefamegame.com campaign sent letters to a select group of current Major League players from all 30 clubs, as well as to the owners and front office leaders at those clubs, asking them to please join the effort to save the annual Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown, a baseball and American tradition since 1940.

An excerpt of the players letter:

"It is clear that many people feel that this decision came about from the players and the Players Association, despite Major League Baseball's public role in the cancellation. For many people, the idea that players wouldn't want to go to Cooperstown -– a place that most, if not all, players aspire to one day be immortalized –- is unfathomable and makes absolutely no sense. And it angers them to think that it's true. ... I'm reaching out to you and to other players in leadership positions because your word carries tremendous weight in this area, and you have the real capacity to stand up for the sport and for the sport's fans." Read the full letter

Read the letter to owners and front office leaders: Click here

A letter was sent to Ken Griffey Jr., who has played in two Hall of Fame Games (friv jogos), one with Seattle and one with Cincinnati. Griffey is pictured here in one of the dugouts at Doubleday Field. (Credit: Milo Stewart Jr.)

You can also read the letter that savethefamegame.com sent to all of the living Hall of Famers: Read it here

Join the growing movement to save the Hall of Fame Game. Send your own email to MLB, the MLBPA and the Hall of Fame!

And don't forget to tell everyone you know!

(Please note that voting in the poll does NOT register an official action. You must send the email!)

Also recently, MLB commissioner Bud Selig responded to requests made by various members of Congress to reverse the decision to end the annual Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown after 2008.

savethefamegame.com obtained copies of three of those letters, and responded to them:

"Commissioner Selig's identical, form-letter response to members of Congress is stunning in its refusal to directly address the lawmakers' concerns, and in the way it sweeps the central issue under the rug in favor of self-congratulating or hollow statements. It's insulting to the senators and representatives that have expressed their desire to see the tradition continue, and insulting to baseball fans across the globe. ... " Read more and see copies of Selig's letter

18 Reasons to Save the Hall of Fame Game

On January 29, 2008, Major League Baseball announced that the Hall of Fame Game -- an annual tradition celebrating the national pastime since 1940 -- would be ended following the 2008 contest between the San Diego Padres and the Chicago Cubs in Cooperstown. This site is intended to help reverse that decision, and keep tradition alive in the Home of Baseball, and here are reasons why:

  1. The Bigger Picture: The Hall of Fame Game has survived a world war, player strikes, steroids and more for almost 70 years in order to help maintain what is right and true about our national game. Bud Selig has always been fond of noting all of the many accomplishments he has achieved during his tenure as commissioner. One very black mark on his legacy will be the death of the Hall of Fame Game. The Hall of Fame Game doesn't need TV ratings, ad revenue or 24-7 news-cycle hype to survive. It only needs 10,000 baseball fans -- young and old -- and two Major League teams for one day a year. That's all it takes to greatly impact a deserving community, and remind spectators and participants alike that baseball is a glorious game, and an undeniable part of American culture and identity.

  2. This is What We Mean: Read this email from one concerned fan and parent.

  3. The History: Since 1940, 124 Major League teams have played in Cooperstown. In fact, Cooperstown has a longer history with Major League Baseball than almost half of the big league metropolitan areas today. Take some time to read through the game recaps by decade (linked on the right-hand side of this page) and you'll be told some amazing stories about future Hall of Famers, rookie debuts, called shots, unique moments and more, and none of it would have happened if not for the Hall of Fame Game.

  4. Don't Let Greed Win Out: Major League Baseball has been experiencing unprecedented growth and popularity at the box office in recent years, and every decision that is made -- whether to launch the World Baseball Classic, start its own web site or send teams overseas to play -- is made with an eye focused squarely on the financial gain of such a decision. For almost 70 years, the Hall of Fame Game has been the one thing that has been done in the best interest of the fans and of the sport -- not as a business, but as a game. You can pretty much guarantee that if Doubleday Field held 50,000 people -- or if a major American city that was not already a Major League city was the Home of Baseball instead of 2,000-resident, located-in-the-middle-of-upstate-New-York Cooperstown -- this game would be scheduled and played.

  5. The Connection: Yankee Stadium, as we know it, will close its doors following the 2008 season. That leaves Doubleday Field, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park as the three ballparks in America where a current Major League player can dig the same hole in the batter's box, or stand atop the same mound, or field the same section of the field, as many of the true icons of the national game. Since 1939, more than two-thirds of the Hall of Famers whose careers would have made it possible to have played on Doubleday Field have done so, almost exclusively as a result of playing in the Hall of Fame Game.

  6. The Icons: Here's just a partial list of the game's greats that have played in Cooperstown: Hank Aaron, Yogi Berra, Roberto Clemente, Joe Dimaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, Harmon Killebrew, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Mel Ott, Cal Ripken Jr., Robin Roberts, Brooks Robinson, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Mike Schmidt, Ozzie Smith, Duke Snider, Willie Stargell, Lloyd Waner, Paul Waner, Ted Williams, Dave Winfield, Carl Yastrzemski, Robin Yount.

  7. The Local Economy: According to local news report, Cooperstown Mayor Carol Waller said the village receives about $30,000 from ticket sales for the Hall of Fame Game, and local businesses (restaurants, retailers, hotels, etc.) that rely on the Hall of Fame Game to provide the second-most profitable weekend on the calendar will be heavily affected by the decision to end the annual event. This matters in a tourism-heavy economy that largely relies on the May-October period of the year to do a large amount of its business.

  8. It's Not About the Schedule: It seems hard to believe that, in 2008, it's more difficult than it was at any other point in history to find one day during the season when two Major League teams could make their way to the Home of Baseball in order to visit the Hall of Fame and play an exhibition game that is meant to celebrate the national pastime. Major League Baseball can schedule games in Japan, China, Mexico, Memphis, Orlando and Puerto Rico, so isn't it likely that they could find a way to hold a game in Cooperstown?

  9. The Kids: According to that same news report, Cooperstown High School students could lose an average of $9,000 to $11,000 earned by running the concession stands at the game. Year after year, those earnings are a key financial component to funding the senior class trip to Washington, DC, which for many from the small community in upstate New York will be their first and only trip to the nation's capital.

  10. The People of Cooperstown and Central New York: Don't allow Major League Baseball to flex its corporate muscle and kill a good thing without even discussing it with the folks that it will affect the most. Besides the economic impact of the decision, for most residents in the broader area of New York state that Cooperstown sits within, the closest Major League city is 4-6 hours away. The Hall of Fame Game is their one opportunity every year to see Major League Baseball without having to break the bank on gas or ticket prices.

  11. The Home Run Derby: The left field line is 296 feet, the right field line is 312, and the gaps are anywhere from 336 to 350. If you've never been to the Hall of Fame Game's Home Run Derby and seen the houses of Cooperstown getting bombed by big league blasts, then you've been missing out.

  12. The Stories: During the 1961 game, Brooks Robinson, the Orioles third baseman, learned that he was a father for the first time, as the public address announcer informed the game day crowd. "That was a very special day," Robinson recalled in 2003. "What made that even more special was the fact when I went into the Hall of Fame in 1983, my oldest son went to Cooperstown for the first time. On the day he was born, I was playing in Cooperstown, and then his first visit is to see me inducted."

  13. 1941: In just the second year of the game, future Hall of Famer and then National League president Ford C. Frick instructed the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians to play, despite the driving rains, so that the thousands of fans in attendance would not go home disappointed.

  14. 1943: Because of the strain that World War II was putting on the nation's gasoline reserves, the Brooklyn Dodgers rode into Cooperstown on horseback, while spectators walked, rode bicycles and also came by horse to view that year's contest. How difficult must that have been on scheduling?

  15. The Ticket Line: Before the internet, tickets to the Hall of Fame Game would go on sale at the Hall of Fame itself, and people would line up for blocks and camp out in order to get tickets to the one-time-a-year event. High School students at Cooperstown risked detention or suspension for a chance to get tickets to the Hall of Fame Game, but they camped out all the same. Thankfully, the Hall will return to on-site or phone orders only this March.

  16. The $10-12 Seats: Where else in America can close to 10,000 people sit and watch a game from seats that are practically on the field and only cost $10-12?

  17. The Batboys and Ballgirls: Every Cooperstown Central School senior baseball and softball player looks forward to the chance to interact with the big leaguers for just one day.

  18. It's Simple: You love the game of baseball, and you respect its place in American history and culture.

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