Many of you know we recently visited Cooperstown and Baseball’s Hall Of Fame as part of our Silver Anniversary road trip celebration.

The shirt is from our previous trip, 23 years ago.

The shirt is from our previous trip, 23 years ago.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Celebrating 25 years of marriage still leaves me astonished. These have been the best years of my life and all the credit goes to Marilyn who has seen me through some difficult times while surviving several life and death health crises of her own.


It was Marilyn who had suggested we return to Cooperstown for our anniversary. In a year of many family soap opera crises, Marilyn realized this would be the perfect spot for her husband, the lifelong baseball fan.



We entered the Hall of Fame with great expectations. This has been a year of baseball disappointment because of our under-achieving Red Sox. We would forget all the bumbling performance of this year’s team as we visited heroes of the past.



Team loyalty is on hold in the Hall of Fame. You are walking among the greats. These are the heroes of your youth and those who came before them.


An odd little souvenir shop cum wax museum exhibit down the street from the museum.

An odd little souvenir shop cum wax museum exhibit down the street from the museum. Garry with “The Boss.”

But something was wrong. We had trouble seeing the photos and exhibits in many of the rooms. The lighting was very poor. Non-existent in some places. Exhibits were all behind glass, crammed into tiny little locker-sized cabinets.


Many of the scenes recalled from our visit 23 years ago were missing. Access to the exhibits was severely limited and most of the interactive stuff has been removed. The intimacy that was so much a part of our earlier visit was gone.


There were no benches in exhibit areas. The very limited seating was confined to hallways near the exits and elevators. This created a rather hostile environment for anyone with mobility issues and ignored the needs of the older faithful (the majority of visitors) who had come to recapture memories.


Restrooms were difficult to find and required a guide. No signs pointing to restrooms or signs for the other exhibits. Which is unfortunate since the museum is labyrinthine. If we hadn’t stumbled on exhibits while trying to find the restrooms (then trying to find our way back), we’d have missed everything.

Is this the latest in museum design?


The final insult was the dreary gift shop. It had been a treasure trove in previous visits, full of unique stuff you could only get at the museum. We still have the shirts we bought there 23 years earlier. This time, it was all the usual stuff.

There’s a better selection at the shop on Yawkey Way across from Fenway Park. Marilyn — who can always find something to buy — couldn’t find anything. Sad.


Last time we were there, a life-size Babe Ruth with Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s On First” playing in a loop, greeted us on arrival. This time, nothing. It was just a museum with bad lighting and no place to sit down.

It seems like baseball’s main attractions had been scaled down. The museum, in an attempt to cram in more stuff, has lost understanding of what fans want to see.

Major league baseball, with billions in its coffers, is forgetting its showcase. Neglecting the fans who visit from around the world. I’m not sure whether or not this is a reflection of baseball’s internal problems. If so, it’s a crying shame.

There were some nice moments. Hanging out with baseball greats in fantasy sessions. Swapping chit-chat about how the game has changed and thanking them for those memories — frozen in time across the decades.

Maybe I should sympathize with the Hall of Fame as I approach the midway mark of the seventh decade of my life.

Then again, maybe not.

Which doesn’t mean if you love baseball, you shouldn’t go. You should go. Because for lovers of baseball and its history, it is the only game in town.

“It’s ain’t over till it’s over.”



Yogi Berra passed away yesterday, September 23, 2015 at the age of 90. His contributions to baseball are too great to even begin to list. He was the last of the living legends.

Yogi, we will always miss you!



We spent some hours in the museum. There’s more to the story, but now isn’t the time for me or Garry to write it. Instead, here’s a gallery of pictures from the outing. A little of this, a little of that.

We definitely have more to say on the subject. When we get home. Maybe a week or 10 days from now …


The Red Sox are playing the Phillies. Winning. They haven’t won often this year, compiling a record so awful I thought they had an unbreakable lock on last place in the American League East.


I was wrong. They actually have been playing well enough — while other teams play badly enough — to possibly, maybe slide into fourth place before the season is over.

The Home Run

The Home Run

Such a warm, cozy thought that, as the quiet day continued, I got to drifting into fantasy, thinking … What if they just keep winning? And suddenly, it’s the end of September and they have the wild card spot. And they go on to win the series …


It would leave the baseball world stunned. Probably leave Red Sox fans the most confounded of all …

I’m not saying it’s likely, but it could happen. Stop laughing. It could!


This week’s Frisbee Wednesday is about beisbol, the most American of pastimes in that most American of baseball stadiums, Fenway Park. 

This has been a sad, bad year for the Sox. To say they are playing poorly doesn’t begin to cover it. They are playing so badly they would have to win something like 20 games in a row to not be in last place. Pathetic. Awful.


Nonetheless, Garry was not going to miss an opportunity to spend a night at Fenway. Win or lose, an evening at the ball park is a great thing. Even if your team stinks.

You are welcome to use any of the included pictures, or of course, pick and write about any of your own photographs.

May your team be more succesful than ours in this 2015 season.


Photos by Garry Armstrong

The title is just a grabber. I ventured, courtesy of a good friend, to my first game at Fenway Park in over 15 years.


It was a steamy hot, muggy Monday afternoon into evening and night. It was just two days removed from the Red Sox back-to-back massacre of the Seattle Mariners. I was hoping, in this wretched season, they could continue their offensive fireworks for at least one more night. For me, the ultimately faithful fan.


The ball park looked wonderful. Just seeing it up close made me temporarily forget lots of things that clog our daily lives with angst. That’s the beauty of baseball and the cathedral known as Fenway Park.



Many of the fans attending the game only know the post-millenium team who won three world series in nine years. Younger fans expect  success and feel downright entitled express their anger over the team’s failure to perform.


History is related to ESPN highlights and not the decades of passionately embracing a team that always came up short, usually at the hands of the dreaded Yankees.


The curse of the Bambino is a blurred legend for many. Too bad.

On this night, as the Sox struggled against the Cleveland Indians, it was time just to absorb the sights, sounds and smells of baseball’s oldest major league ball park.

Time to look at the young players who hopefully are writing the prologue for a brighter future in Red Sox nation. They make wonderful plays to offset the mediocre efforts of the veterans.

The Home Run

The Home Run


There was even a home run by one of our new guys that briefly gives “the Olde Towne team” hope for victory. The applause was deafening and carried the faithful at least part way through what was to be another disappointing evening.


Strangers become instant friends during the game, sharing memories about other games, other years. Grandfathers become children remembering their first game. When? Where? Who started?



Sure, the game was different then, but Fenway transcends time. Mookie Betts or one of the other young players could one day have people talking about them, the same way people reminisce about Teddy Ballgame, Yaz, Pedro, Pesky, Fisk and all those heroes from our collective past.


On this night, it’s all about being there and enjoying OUR game.

Is this heaven? No, it’s Fenway Park.



The look of sudden shock and pain on Garry’s face was alarming.

“What’s wrong?” I cried. He was obviously hurting.

“I just saw the score,” he said sadly. Which is when I realized he had turned on the Red Sox game. They were playing the Angels, the first game of a double-header on the left coast. “It’s eleven-to-one,” he explained.

The agony of defeat!

The agony of defeat!

“Ouch,” I said. “I don’t suppose they’re going to stage a come from behind victory.”

“Actually,” he replied, “I was wondering exactly how bad they’re going to be in the second half of the season.”

There seems to be no bottom for this year’s Sox. No pitching, no bottom. No hope. (Houston put the seal on the deal. If you don’t know what I mean, maybe it’s best you don’t find out.)


Indeed, I had seen correctly. It was pain. Mental, not physical, but the look of agony on his face will stay with me a long time.

There’s no medication that can take away the pain of your team in the dumpster. This will be a season of pain in New England. It’s not our year.


If you follow baseball and especially, the Red Sox and Fenway Park, check out Fenway Park 100.


Grand Slam


Being baseball fans, when you mention baseball and walk-off home runs, David Ortiz pops into mind. He isn’t the Big Poppy he was in the past, but he has his good days.

The Sox are so not in it this year, but it’s been an interesting baseball decade. We’ve had a fair share of victories. In theory, our boys could still do something. In reality, it seems beyond merely unlikely.


My walk-off home run would be a multi-faceted magic remedy to alleviate arthritis, regenerate missing body parts and internal organs, cure skin rashes and hair loss … combined with at least one big score on the lottery.

nationals in DC baseball

On a more modest level, I’d be happy with a good night’s sleep and waking up free from pain.

That said, I’m not unhappy. Life remains engaging, entertaining, amusing, fun. I’ve had to find new things to enjoy and different ways to enjoy them, but we all have to adapt. I guess I don’t remember “the old days” as so much better than right now. Different. Not necessarily better.


We change, the world changes. It takes some enterprise to find new stuff to enjoy, but it’s not beyond our ability to learn to play on a new field. Even to figure out how to hit one of the park.

“It’s Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime”…..Sherm Feller

Marilyn Armstrong:

Okay, this post took a lot of research and makes a lot of connections, so if you are a fan, this is a great post. I’m sorry I hadn’t found it until today, but better late than never. I never would have guessed … but probably should have … that the first baseball night games were in Alaska where you don’t need lights at night because in the summer, in Fairbanks, the sun never sets.

Originally posted on fenwaypark100:

The summer officially arrived yesterday and it was celebrated for the 107th time in the State of Alaska with an annual baseball event in the Alaska Baseball League. The Alaska Baseball League is composed of many of the elite college players in the country, predominantly from the west coast.

This might well be the best baseball tradition in all the game. It started in 1906 and since 1960 it event has taken place in the same park.

Growden Park in Fairbanks Alaska.

The first night game in major league baseball was played on May 24, 1935 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati. Prior to that there were some minor league games played under “artificial illumination” in the 1920s.

However in Fairbanks Alaska, the tradition of night baseball dates all the way back to 1906 and the best part is though they begin at 10:30 PM, there are no lights needed, for in…

View original 621 more words