Friday, April 11, 2003

Baseball Hall Of Fame - Petroskey Letter

11 April 2003

Mr. Dale Petroskey
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326

Dear Mr. Petroskey:

I write to you with a heavy heart.

All of my life baseball has been a haven from the daily grind. It is the form of entertainment upon which I most rely for a moment of escapism and peace and quiet. Baseball has always been a place for me to go and be with other baseball fans to talk baseball and leave behind the long day or week that has preceded the game.

I am a life-long baseball fan. I started attending games at Fenway Park in 1966 and every summer I attend scores of games at every level from Little League to Major League, from Central Park to Keyspan Park at Coney Island to Shea Stadium to Yankee Stadium to Fenway to any other park I can get to.

I have traveled to Cooperstown every two or three years during my adult life (which accounts for seven trips at this point) on a pilgrimage to the Hall of Fame and Museum. Cooperstown and the Hall are like Mecca for me. They are a little slice of Heaven on Earth and I am forever grateful that they are there and I live close enough to make the trip. I have a fantasy that some year my wife will agree that we can plan to come to Cooperstown during Induction week. I'll bet that is the greatest of all baseball events outside a stadium.

Sadly, I will not be coming to Cooperstown anytime soon. Also, I plan to ask my friends and family to stay away from Cooperstown in general, and the Hall of Fame and Museum in particular.

I am appalled that you cancelled the anniversary screening of "Bull Durham" because you do not agree with the personal political positions of two of the actors in the film. Have you considered the political positions of the other actors in the film, the director, producer, distributor and all the others involved with the making of this brilliant film? Have you considered that others besides the two actors you vilify might have a vested interest in the celebration? Have you considered that America is a nation of greatness because voices of dissent are heard?

Your remark that the dissenting opinions of fellow Americans could endanger the brave troops fighting overseas is irresponsible. Your statements are much more offensive than any remarks made by voices supporting or opposing the war. Your position is dramatically more un-American and non-patriotic than any voice of dissent I have heard during these troubled times. This is America. All voices are heard, even when we disagree.

You are using your platform as the president of a great institution as a bully pulpit to further your own political agenda at the expense of the game of baseball. My resentment runs deeper than even I could have ever imagined. You are spoiling the game of baseball for your own political expedience.

You do the American flag, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Americanism, and the game of baseball a greater disservice than any criminal, traitor, or spit-baller in the history of our beloved game. How dare you defile our great game with your politicization and polarization?

You should make a public apology to all fans of the game and all Americans about this irresponsible action.

I will stay away from Cooperstown and the Hall, and I will work diligently and vociferously to keep others away, until you resign from the position that you have so abused and besmirched. If you do not resign your position, and if the Hall keeps you on as president, I will stay away from Cooperstown indefinitely.

I may be only one voice, but mine is a voice that will speak out against you and your abuse of power until you are no longer in a professional position related to our great pastime.

Dick Mac

cc: Hall of Fame Board of Directors, individually
Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce