Visiting Cooperstown, New York, the historic birthplace of baseball, had been on Lamar Williams’ bucket list for years. An avid baseball fan all his life and a former 25-year Little League umpire, Lamar has followed the new inductees into Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall of Fame as far back as 1974, with the induction of Mickey Mantle.
Lamar’s son Jeff knew it would be a dream come true for his father to be able to witness the annual induction ceremony in person and began planning their trip this summer as a late Christmas gift and bonding experience for the two Houston, Texas, residents. Jeff immediately stumbled across Sports Travel and Tours.
“I initially found Sports Travel and Tours through a link on the Hall of Fame website,” Jeff says. “Later on, I looked at the Houston Astros site, because Craig Biggio was being inducted this year, and there was a link to Sports Travel and Tours there as well. They had these two incredible references and were referred to as the ‘official travel agency for induction weekend.’ I thought to myself, ‘This has got to be the right way to go.’”
Sports Travel and Tours offered four different packages as part of Hall of Fame Weekend: Induction Weekend, Induction Weekend Extra Innings, VIP Induction Weekend, and Ultimate VIP Induction Weekend. Each package offered a little something different, whether it was the location of the seating during the Induction Ceremony or unique events, such as a discussion with a former MLB umpire or a Baseball Hall of Fame artifact spotlight. In addition, Sports Travel and Tours offered extended trips that incorporated attending at least one baseball game and a stadium tour prior to attending the Hall of Fame Weekend activities in Cooperstown: Induction Plus, Boston Induction Special, and Boston Induction Extravaganza.
After experiencing the Hall of Fame induction weekend with Sports Travel and Tours, which took place July 24-27, both Lamar and Jeff remarked on how smoothly the schedule ran, while being filled with so many activities they could not have experienced on their own.
“My favorite part of the trip was the Legends of the Game Roundtable,” Jeff says. “It was a panel discussion with the four new inductees and a moderator, who was there to ask the inductees questions. That was an extra event that was made available to my Dad and me through Sports Travel and Tours via the package I selected.”
Jeff also loved that the Legends of the Game Roundtable took place at historic Doubleday Field, which he says added a wonderful historic feel to the present day event. Their seats, located near first base, were up close and personal with the inductees.
For Lamar, the best part of the weekend was the Parade of Legends. He enjoyed seeing so many special players who excelled in their baseball careers. “You are something like 30 or 40 feet away, and you look at them in awe because they have this God-given talent,” Lamar says.
In addition, Lamar and Jeff enjoyed their time at the Baseball Hall of Fame itself, where they took the time to admire the plaques of all the greatest players, including two of Lamar’s favorites, Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig. While there, and during other parts of their trip, Jeff was impressed by the camaraderie between all of the tourists.
“Whether you were an Astros fan, like us, or a Red Sox fan or a fan of any other baseball team, people would just talk to you,” Jeff says. “What tied everybody together is the love of baseball and being there to witness this historic event.”
Jeff attributes some of the camaraderie to his choice to travel with Sports Travel and Tours.
“Because Sports Travel and Tours assigns you to a bus for all of the events and provides a shuttle from the hotel to Cooperstown each day, Dad and I really got to know a lot of the people we were traveling with,” Jeff says. “I enjoyed interacting with the different people on the tour, and we wouldn’t have had that same built-in sense of camaraderie if we hadn’t used Sports Travel and Tours.”
Additionally, Jeff remarks that he loved working with Teresa Weybrew, director of sales at Sports Travel and Tours. Having everything finalized and planned out beforehand made the trip more leisurely and rejuvenating.
“I’m really glad I planned this trip through Sports Travel and Tours,” Jeff says. “Dad and I just had to show up and enjoy the moments. We didn’t have to worry about the logistics or planning once we were there, and that’s priceless. Sports Travel and Tours is a world-class organization.”
Learn about registering for future Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.