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Baseball Class hears about Internship at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Heather Rivet, who served as an intern at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, visited class on Friday to tell students of her experiences there. Heather, who is the daughter of ONU professors Harold and Susan Putt, told the students about the controversies surrounding the Hall of Fame, her views toward banned players such as Pete Rose, and the activities that she engaged in as an intern.

she began by mentioning the controversy of who actually invented baseball. According to myth, Abner Doubleday began the game in Cooperstown in 1839. That however, was just a myth. the game actually evolved from English games such as townball and rounders that had been played for more than a century before Doubleday's alleged entrance.

She also discussed the method for selection to the Hall. In order to be eligible, a player must have competed in the Major Leagues for ten full seasons, and be retired for five seasons. The player must then be elected by the Baseball Writers of America, or by the Veterans Committee. In order to remain eligible, a player must receive at least 10% of the votes on each year's ballots to remain in contention. Any player banned from baseball, such as Shoeless Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, or Rose, are ineligible for consideration.

Heather told the class, that after considerable discussion with her father, she felt that Rose should be eligible, based on his career on the field. She also said that Rose was a constant feature of the Induction Week ceremonies in Cooperstown, reminding voters that he was still around and signing autographs. In this, her opinion was in line with most of the class. One student asked what she thought would happen with players who used steroids, and she answered that this would be something to watch in coming years as the steroid generation was only now becoming eligible for the Hall.

She then descried her tenure as an intern at the Hall, describing the programs that she worked on, that included creating artifact spotlights, the All Star Gala, and working with various youth oriented programs such as Ozzie Smith day. She mentioned that she was able to chat for a time with Wade Boggs, when he mistakenly arrived hours early for the day. She also described a youth day where young boys and girls had the opportunity to be coached by former major leaguers such as Bill Lee, nicknamed the Spaceman for his bizarre behavior.

Her experience as an intern was a fantastic one, and she told students how to go about applying for the Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program, which places undergraduate and graduate student interns in a variety of departments at the Hall. She also left a number of brochures for the program, which can be picked up by contacting Dr. Crawford.