Baseball And <I>Peanuts</I>

charlie brown
This week's diversion is the picturesque town of Cooperstown, New York.

That's Cooper's Town - home to writer James Fenimore Cooper and a lake he called "Glimmerglass". It's a place of rolling farmland, 4H fairs and, of course, a place synonymous with our national pastime.

Opened on June 12, 1939, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum draws fans from around the world to Cooperstown to see the shrines honoring generations of great players. It has become the definitive repository of baseball artifacts and the stories they inspired.

New to the hall, The Great Home Run Chase traces the history of the home run craze. From Babe Ruth's record setting blasts in the 1920s to the recent record shattering seasons of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, the exhibit contains the bats and balls that set the records as well as historic photos, film footage and narratives from the game's great home run chases.

Every summer, Cooperstown hosts a Hall of Fame Weekend. The celebration includes a Hall of Fame Game, autograph sessions with former players and an induction ceremony to honor a new crop of players elected into the Hall.

Along with the inductees, the Hall of Fame honors the late Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts cartoon, with a special exhibit. Titled You're in the Hall of Fame, Charlie Brown!, the exhibit contains familiar scenes such as Charlie Brown tossed out of his clothes by a ball hit back to the mound and Snoopy as the fiery and unintelligible baseball manager.

"I could draw baseball strips every day," Schulz once said. Some of his original drawings are on exhibit at the hall, just around the corner from the 249 Hall of Famers enshrined in the main gallery.