Tauck Baseball Event with Ken Burns Celebrates Baseball Hall of Fame’s 75th Year
Posted by Katie Morell - freelance writer for Tauck
Posted in: Tauck’s Travelogue
Tags: Museums, Tauck Events, Ken Burns
INCLUDING 75TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT FEATURING PAUL SIMON
Baseball lovers are in for a treat in 2014 as the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum celebrates its 75th anniversary. The Cooperstown, N.Y.-based museum will host a special Tauck event July 31 through August 3 where participants will have the opportunity to meet filmmaker Ken Burns (creator of the award-winning 1994 documentary Baseball and The Tenth Inning, broadcast in 2010), MLB Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, and other legends of the sport while enjoying special festivities around the museum's anniversary – including reserved seating in rows 3 & 4 at the Hall of Fame’s 75 Anniversary Concert, featuring music legend Paul Simon, guitarist and former Yankee great Bernie Williams, and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.
“Getting to spend time with Tauck guests, getting to visit the Hall of Fame again, getting to hang out around the Hall of Fame ball players; it is just a really, really good time,” said Burns.
This will be the second consecutive year for the event. Burns said about the 2013 event, “the camaraderie of the guests was incredible, and there was a real sense of shared celebration and a shared love of baseball.”
The 2014 event promises to be even more exciting thanks to the timing of the commemorative celebration, says Jeff Idelson, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. “In addition to the splendor the museum offers all year long, in 2014 we have plans to pay tribute to the sport in grand style,” he said.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum will present its preeminent anniversary celebration – a live 75th Anniversary Concert featuring 12-time Grammy-winner Paul Simon, the world-renowned Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, guitarist and former New York Yankee Bernie Williams, and other celebrities – the night of Aug. 2 at Cooperstown’s Clark Sports Center. Tauck Baseball Event guests will enjoy reserved seats for the concert in rows three and four, giving them a perfect view of the show. “It will be a two-hour live event where celebrities will perform from the world of music, film and comedy,” Idelson said.
On the first night of the event, participants will gather in the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum after dinner to listen to a private keynote address by Burns. The speech will end with a private cocktail hour inside the Hall of Fame, where Tauck guests will have the opportunity to meet Burns in person, as well as have private time to explore the museum’s exhibits after-hours.
“As a filmmaker, Ken Burns has done a beautiful job showing the relationship between baseball and American culture,” said Idelson. “He is very high energy when you meet him and is a treasure trove of culture. To be able to rub elbows with Ken is truly a unique experience.”
Tauck event participants will divide up into groups of 30-35 to experience “innings”, i.e. special sessions focused on different aspects of baseball. One inning will include a curator-led tour highlighting rare baseball artifacts. Another inning will feature a VIP tour of the A. Bartlett Giamatti Research Center (where Burns did much of his research for Baseball), led by a museum librarian.
In addition, the event’s “innings” offer guests the opportunity to meet Phil Niekro, Hall of Fame knuckleballer, on the field at Cooperstown’s Doubleday Field. Lois Youngen, a former catcher for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League of the 1940s and 50s, and noted author and journalist Daniel Okrent will also give presentations and will be on hand to mingle with guests during the Tauck event. Okrent, featured as a key “talking head” in Ken Burns’s Baseball and in The Tenth Inning, is known as the originator of Rotisserie Baseball (forerunner of “fantasy” baseball) and is author of Nine Innings: The Anatomy of a Baseball Game.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum is located on Main Street in Cooperstown, and, according to Idelson, Tauck tour guests will fall in love with the town's idyllic setting as a backdrop to their experience. “Picture yourself in a Norman Rockwell painting and you will have an idea of what Cooperstown looks like,” he said. “There is one stoplight and we sit at the base of a beautiful, nine-mile lake.”
The museum's location is a fitting representation of baseball’s place in American culture, Idelson added. “Baseball has been part of the landscape of American culture for two centuries,” he says. “Cooperstown is emblematic of early Americana, which makes it the perfect place for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.”
Burns agreed, saying, “The Hall of Fame is truly our temple to ‘America's pastime,’ and there's no place better than the Hall to explore the sport’s heritage and the legacies that have come down to us today.”