Reporter: Justin Feldkamp Twitter: @justinabc13 Facebook: Justin Feldkamp-ABC 13 Sports
The National Baseball Hall of Fame is not about plaques and speeches. It's not about old wool jerseys or statistical records. When you make the trip to Cooperstown, NY it's about everything that has led you to this point.
The Hall of Fame is about seeing your first game with your mom or dad, sliding head first, grass stains, eye black when you don't really need it, sunflower seeds, the sound metal spikes make on concrete, the crack of a wooden bat against a ball, games of pepper, waking up early to rake the field, elaborate handshakes, early morning dew on your shoe, oiling your glove, hitting a home run on Senior Day, and Opening Days.
Baseball is sacred because of everyone who makes it so. Growing up I wanted to be Barry Larkin or Roberto Alomar. Inexplicably I had never been to Cooperstown until I made the trip this past weekend. As a Cincinnati native and lifelong Reds fan, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I could see baseball history and watch baseball history as Larkin was inducted.
During his 33-minute speech, Larkin thanked Buddy Bell, a former Reds player, for giving him perspective. Bell asked Larkin to literally "smell the grass'' at Dodger Stadium. Then he told Larkin to "turn over'' on his back, to gaze at the size of the stadium. "Pretty big?'' Bell asked.
"How big do you feel?''
"Like an ant,'' Larkin answered.
"That's right,'' said Bell. "That's how big we all are, in the grand scheme of baseball.''
A lesson well taught and well learned. We should all pass it along.
To see 105 pictures and a video of my trip to Cooperstown, click here. (Click on Photos to view video as well)