COOPERSTOWN, NY – Here we are at the most famous baseball museum of them all, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
You don’t need to be a diehard fan to want to come and see the legends of the game that is considered to be America’s favorite pastime.
While in Cooperstown I saw the memorabilia of my baseball hero, Stan “The Man” Musial who played for the St. Louis Cardinals more than 30 years ago. They’re all here, Mantle, Maris and Mays, Cy Young, Babe Ruth, and Bob Gibson, the list goes on and on.
The fans are here to see their childhood idols and remember the fond days when hero’s where larger than life and admired for their on and off the field heroics.
One such “super fan” is Alan Rosen of Chicago who I saw admiring the Tom Seaver collection. Rosen is what I consider a “super fan” for his love and dedication to the New York Mets.
“I’ve been a fan of the Mets since 1966 when my dad took the family to Shea Stadium for my first professional game,” Rosen said. “I was 10 years old at the time and my dad was a big Mets fan. I knew from that day on that I would be a Mets fan too!”
At Cooperstown the Met fans, along with Rosen, were attracted to the Tom Seaver memorabilia. Seaver was the first Met player ever to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“I’ve always been a fan of Tom Seaver and I’ve idolized him ever since I can remember,” Rosen said. “I have an authentic Tom Seaver jersey, which is my favorite and Seaver is the best of all the Mets.”
There are so many Met fans in the United States that their stadium, Citi Field in New York, now has its own Hall of Fame and Museum.
Rosen will try to adjust his work schedule as the vice president of sales for Medline so that business meetings will often take place in the cities where the Mets are playing that particular week.
“My business requires me to travel 100,000 miles per year,” Rosen said. “Over the years I’ve been able to stay at the same hotel that the Mets were staying in and I’ve meet a lot of different players, including Dwight Gooden, Daryl Strawberry and others.”
Rosen recently bought a house in Port St. Lucie in Florida so that he would have a place to stay during Spring Training for the Mets.
“I got a good deal on the house and thought why not,” Rosen said. “It will make it that much easier to watch the Mets during Spring Camp or to come down to Florida during the regular season when they’re playing the Marlins.”
During one particular week Rosen had scheduled business meetings in Washington D.C. which happened to coincide with the Washington Nationals playing against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I’m a baseball fan and will always try to see history being made,” Rosen said. “If the Mets aren’t playing the next best thing would be to watch an up and coming star make his debut.”
On June 8 the Nationals were showcasing their rookie, Stephen Straussberg who was making his major league debut.
Straussberg’s fastball has been clocked at 100 mph and he is considered by baseball sports reporters and fans to be a franchise player and the next big super hero of the sport and Rosen wanted to be a part of this historic day.
“I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to see Straussberg pitch in his major league debut,” Rosen said. “I had a Trade Show scheduled in Washington D.C. and ended up buying the last ticket, behind home plate.”
Rosen wasn’t disappointed as Straussberg set several MLB records, striking out 14 batters and winning his first game in the majors.
“I saved my ticket and I know it’s going to be worth something someday,” Rosen said. “It is far more exciting to see a game in person than it is to see it over the TV.”
When Rosen discovered that I was from Hawaii the first things out of his mouth was Benny Agbayani and Sid Fernandez. “Mets fans loved those Hawaii players,” Rosen said. “Both players were very popular and had great careers in New York.”
Rosen also explained to me how he had a giant game room built in the basement of his Chicago home which he decorated with Mets memorabilia.
“I am very fortunate in this phase of my life,” Rosen said. “My game room has a large sign over the entrance that reads ‘Welcome to Shea Stadium’ and the inside walls are filled with old Mets photos and other collectables.”
Rosen also pointed out the difficulty of being a Mets fan in Chicago. “People in Chicago hate the New York teams,” he said. “They’re probably jealous of our success and wish they could be as good as we are.”
During his busy life Rosen will try to eat healthy and get exercise while flying around the country. “I have so many business meals that it’s often difficult to order what you know is good for you, but I will have salmon and order a baked potato with nothing on it whenever I can.”
Rosen believes that his regular running through airports also helps support an exercise routine. “I carry my luggage in and out of airports and am constantly on the go,” he said. “I also limit my alcohol consumption.”
“My goal is to visit every major league baseball park in the country,” Rosen said. “I love the Mets, but they’ve been playing badly as of late. Something that everyone should know is that only a Mets fans can criticize the Mets.”