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Baseball Hall of Fame: History, Players & Location

Instructor: Greg Hanichak

Greg has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Scranton and is an operations manager with a leading logistics provider.

Located in idyllic Cooperstown, NY, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum opened its doors on June 12, 1939, with the induction of five iconic players. It has since seen hundreds more inductees and millions of visitors. Let's explore the Hall, its history, and location.

History

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated on June 12, 1939, in Cooperstown, NY. The original class boasted 25 inductees, among which were the first five inductees into the Hall: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner, and Christy Mathewson. The Hall was founded by Cooperstown businessman and hotel owner Stephen C. Clark. Clark founded the Hall in an effort to drum up business for his hotel from the waves of visiting tourists.

The Baseball Hall of Fame
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Since its founding, the Baseball Hall of Fame has become a national treasure and a tourist destination for many baseball fans. Baseball is Cooperstown's chief economic driver with nearly a million baseball fans annually making the pilgrimage to the city.

Location

In addition to the investment and support of Clark, Cooperstown, NY, was chosen as the location for the Baseball Hall of Fame for another, rather dubious, reason. Due to the rather foggy origins of the game of baseball, numerous myths and theories exist as to when and where the game was founded. The myth of Abner Doubleday holds that Civil War hero Abner Doubleday invented the game in Cooperstown years before the war. While this theory has since been debunked, it nonetheless drew fans to Cooperstown as Clark heralded the city as ''The Birthplace of Baseball.''

As important as the legend of Abner Doubleday was to drawing the Baseball Hall of Fame to Cooperstown, the Hall of Fame has since meant much more to the city itself. The Baseball Hall of Fame, as well as little league and other games played in the city, attract nearly one million visitors to Cooperstown every year. A significant portion of the economy of Cooperstown is dependent upon tourism and other baseball-related revenue. In addition to the Hall of Fame, Main Street in Cooperstown is inundated with baseball-themed shops and storefronts, some owned in part by Hall of Fame inductees themselves.

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