One of my favorite scenes in the movie Castaway is when Chuck is telling the story of his failed plan to hang himself it things got too unbearable for him in his island. He tested the rope with a log that approximated his weight, because he couldn't do anything without a plan. I thought that was a great illustration of what the character was all about.
I can be like that too, and most of the people who know me think I'm a dork because of it. Well, ok, I am a dork because of it, but thankfully so is XL. This weekend he and I drove 4 hours from my house to Cooperstown New York to plan for a trip we are taking there this summer. In addition to being a nice get away in early spring, it served as a reconnaissance trip for us, so we can get around without much trouble this summer when 100,000 other baseball fans show up for Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn get inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
It's not like we haven't been to Cooperstown before, because we have gone 8 or 9 times by now. And it's not as if we haven't been there for a Hall of Fame induction before, because we were in attendance when Eddie Murray was enshrined in 2003. This time is different, however, due to the staggering drawing power of the two men being honored this summer. In a story right out of central casting; two guys grow up loving the hometown team and then spend their whole career playing for that team. Gwynn was a student at San Diego State, and Ripken was a Baltimore boy and they managed to get drafted by the hometown team. Once there they bucked a growing trend in the 80's and 90' and played their whole career in one town. Along the way Gwynn cemented himself as pretty much one of the two or three greatest hitters since WWII, and Ripken had massive appeal for many reasons. Yes, he played in 2,632 games with out taking a day off, but he also collected more than 3,000 hits and 400 home runs which actually meant something in most of the years he was active.
It is because of all they meant to the game that so many of us love, that so many of us will make the trip to the tiny village in NY this summer. And it is because of all those other people who will be going to Cooperstown for the first time that XL and I booked our accommodations back in October, almost 10 months in advance. It's also the reason we took our trip this past weekend, so we could map out alternate routes to and from our hotels and camp sites. We also had a nice little meal and hit the tittie bar too, which never hurts, but our primary focus was to be prepared. Like good lil Boy Scouts.