For local business owners and residents like Steve Stegman of August Lodge, Cooperstown holds a special place in their hearts. For one, it’s their home – the place where they happily serve customers, meet friends, and make a living. But baseball fans know that there’s a lot more to Cooperstown than seeing the sights in New York State. In fact, as the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown serves as the pilgrimage point for countless baseball enthusiasts.
Stegman is often asked about other great spots for baseball fans to explore across the country. Below are a few options for any worthwhile baseball-oriented trip. This even includes a few options that most people may not have thought about.
The best stadiums – A subjective thought
One of the more obvious choices for baseball enthusiasts is to get to the big stadiums like Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium. These are the real ‘meat and potatoes’ of baseball – the place where the magic truly happens.
Experiencing the rush of Major League Baseball doesn’t have to come from just these stadiums. There are stadiums throughout the country to see, explore, and experience games. Depending on your team loyalty, you can head to any MLB stadium to experience a bit of this magic.
One of the best parts of getting to an actual ballgame is that you’re never too far from a Major League stadium. Most big cities have a team – and most towns are within a few hours of a city with an MLB stadium. Whether it’s an afternoon excursion or a day trip, seeing a game should rank at the top of every fan’s bucket list. And getting to more stadiums across the country can turn this idea into an epic quest to really get at the baseball magic.
Relive the field of dreams experience
If you’re looking for more of a ‘off-the-beaten’ path experience for a baseball trip, you have plenty of interesting options to consider as well. Take the so-called “Field of Dreams,” for instance. According to Sports on Earth contributor Matthew Kory, the classic Kevin Costner film elicits feelings of nostalgia and sentimentality to any hardcore baseball enthusiasts. Heading to the place where the movie was filmed, located in Dyersville, Iowa, is a must for both fans of the film and the game itself.
As Kory puts it, “I've always had a soft spot for the movie ‘Field of Dreams’… It's a movie about a boy and his dad who bonded over baseball, so for me at least, it's pretty relatable stuff.”
This excursion won’t be for everyone. Traveling to a small town in America may not sound like the most exciting experience, but the fact remains that the cornfield baseball diamond still plays an important role to many baseball fans – and players, too. In fact, a recent exhibition game featured a number of big stars including Pete Rose, Jim Palmer, and Johnny Bench.
Get to the hall of fame
No baseball pilgrimage would be complete without a trip to the most important place for baseball preservation: the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY. Cooperstown is where the heart and soul of the game are preserved. At the Hall of Fame, you can check out all your favorite names, highlights and memorabilia throughout the sport’s rich history. And the town itself lives and breathes baseball. You’ll meet like-minded baseball fans, business owners, and maybe even new friends along the way.
Local business owners make it a point to give travelers the best possible experience while visiting the baseball headquarters. They do this by giving visitors a personal experience that helps enhance their enjoyment of the Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, and New York alike.
“I know my customers are coming from all over the place,” business owner Steve Stegman of August Lodge Cooperstown recently noted. “My hotel gives guests all the accommodations they need to be happy and comfortable after a long day of exploring Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame.”
Stegman recognizes the importance of offering the latest and greatest in accommodations for guests coming to the Cooperstown area. He believes this type of service is what brings people back to both Cooperstown and his hotel, year after year.
“I like to create ongoing relationships with my customers,” Steve Stegman continued. “Most baseball fans will make the trip to the Hall of Fame pretty often. If I give them the best hotel experience in the area with things like free wi-fi, they’re more likely to come back the next time they visit.”
Take me out to the ballgame
No matter how you plan a trip, a baseball-inspired pilgrimage will create a wealth of memories for you and your family. From random hotspots to the big stadiums and the Hall of Fame, there are lots to see. And the experience will likely show you how baseball serves as the heart and soul of Americana. It’s this spirit that keeps business operators like Steve Stegman of August Lodge Cooperstown committed to customers – and baseball itself.