The Inundation, er, Induction

Ancient Egypt eagerly anticipated the annual flood of the Nile River. This flood, called the Inundation, became one of Egypt’s three seasons.  Ancient Egyptians depended on the flood for that year’s crop because the waters left behind a deposit of rich, fertile silt on their farmland.

Every year, near the end of July, the village of Cooperstown swells from its year-round population of under 2,000 to… well, estimates for yesterday’s crowd were 50,000.

Our inundation, like the Nile’s, brings a certain prosperity to the region. In year’s past, businesses depended on the Hall of Fame Induction Weekend’s flood of people. A good induction weekend meant a prosperous year.

Since the Cooperstown Dreams Park set up operation, the inundation lasts from early June to Labor Day because over 100 Little League teams arrive every Friday for a week of tournament play. These teams and their families deposit green and/or plastic all around the area, and businesses harvest the benefits.

Though businesses are less dependent on Induction Weekend, it is still huge.

Induction ceremonies used to be right on Main Street in front of the Hall of Fame.  For lack of space, they moved to Cooper Park in front of the Hall of Fame Library. Now they are held in a field next to the Clark Sports Center on the edge of town.

1955 in front of the Hall of Fame

This year’s induction inundation ended with rain. The Hall of Fame had a “Legends of the Game Roundtable” (featuring Ken Griffey Jr and Mike Piazza) at Doubleday Field this morning. As I walked down Main Street, I heard people saying things like: “25 minutes until the rain.”

1955 Doubleday Field. It looks pretty much the same today.
1955 Doubleday Field. It looks pretty much the same today.

At first I thought I was mishearing them. Dream Parkers have their week dictated by a crazy game schedule and I thought they were saying, “25 minutes until the game.”

But no, it was rain. As the flood of people left Doubleday Field, many were commenting on how “they must have let out early because of the coming rain.”

Sure enough, right around noon, the heavens opened and we received an inundation, heavy and refreshing,  of summer rain.

It seemed like an good way to close the weekend, like taking a shower after a hard day at work.

Induction weekend is a lot of work, but it feels so good when it’s been done well.

2016 -- After the induction ceremony
2016 — At the Clark Sports Center after the induction ceremony

This was a good weekend.

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