Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 4/16/13

When you hear of the place Cooperstown, NY, what do you think? You think of baseball, homeruns, and a hotdog and frosty beverage on a Sunday afternoon. But most importantly, you think of baseball’s shrine, the National Baseball Hall of Fame. A few weekends ago I took a pilgrimage to baseball’s most holy spot. The trip to Cooperstown was not what I expected. As we passed road signs warning for tractors and horse buggies, I began to wonder where exactly I was headed. However, once I arrived at the glorious Hall I realized that this little town situated in upstate New York represented the traditional birthplace of baseball, and it fit the bill. With a nice little main street out front and Doubleday Field out back, the HOF was situated right where it belonged. As a baseball fan, walking into the Hall I had heard so much about was quite the experience. As a Cardinals fan, I spent the afternoon examining the exhibits, and as most fans do, especially paying attention to any exhibit with the birds on the bat. I cannot accurately describe in words how it felt to examine the greatest players and artifacts in baseball history. Nor could I describe the feeling when I heard famous calls from honored broadcasters and well-known stadium anthems. The HOF is truly a magical experience for any baseball fan. However, imagine my intrigue when I reached the World Series exhibit in the Hall of Fame. For those of you who have not visited, a portion of the museum is devoted to historic World Series facts and games, including a display case with every World Series ring. Situated in that exhibit are the remaining pieces of David Freese’s jersey that was torn in half after his Game Six home run in the 2011 World Series. Oh the glory, the memories that came swirling back, oh the excitement as I acted like a typical tourist and snapped a picture of Cardinal history. But how quickly that excitement turned to confusion. Sitting right below the jersey was a placard with the following description: “This is what remains of David Freese’s jersey after his 11th-inning walk-off homer ended Game Six of the 2011 Series. Jubilant Cardinals teammates ripped the jersey off the young slugger as they celebrated their thrilling 10-9 victory, en route to the club’s 12th World Championship.” I know what you are thinking. What is the problem with it? It was a walk-off, it was Game Six, and it was the 2011 Series. But pay attention to the end, “the club’s 12th World Championship.” Twelve. According to the St. Louis Cardinals Organization, Wikipedia.org, and several t-shirts I own from 2011, the Redbirds only have 11 World Series Championships. After quickly checking my smart phone I realized with a sinking feeling, that the glorious shrine to baseball could have an incorrect fact. I know it is heartbreaking so I’ll give you a minute of privacy. Welcome back. Put your tissues away and do not fret baseball fans! After discovering said error, I quickly returned home and typed up an email to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. You will find it below: “Dear National Baseball Hall of Fame,        I recently visited the HOF with some family and was exploring your World Series exhibit. As a proud Cardinals fan I pride myself on knowing the years the St. Louis Cardinals have been World Champions. However, when examining David Freese’s torn Game 6 WS Jersey, I noticed a mistaken fact. The placard in front of the jersey ended with the following, “en route to the club’s 12th World Championship.” However, I know the 2011 World Series was our 11th title. Busch Stadium in St. Louis also only recognizes 11 world titles. As a Cardinals fan, I would like to celebrate a 12th world title if we have one, if not, I would hate for the HOF to have an inaccuracy. Sincerely, A Devoted Cardinals Fan” Hopefully, this email will bring the Hall of Fame to its senses and I will be proclaimed a baseball hero! Just kidding. Realistically, the email will be read by a guy at a desk, sent to another guy at a desk, the placard will quietly be fixed (or St. Louis will be celebrating title number twelve), and I will receive a typical “Thank you for your comments” response. But maybe not, maybe this placard represents a new plan for the HOF. Maybe the Hall plans to fix perceived wrongs in baseball. Maybe the Cardinals are being recognized by the HOF for winning the 1985 World Series. The Series in which the Kansas City Royals were the benefactors of a terrible blown call at first base in Game Six, and then went on to win in Game Seven. Maybe in a few years Barry Bonds’ homerun-record exhibit will slowly disappear and all that will remain is Hank Aaron’s place in the Hall. Maybe the Hall of Fame will pretend like Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa never existed. Or maybe I am a crazy conspiracy theorist and have used the word ‘maybe’ too many times. But maybe, just maybe, it is easier to accept these conspiracy theories than to accept that baseball’s shrine to numbers and statistics could be a little bit off. -Reynolds

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