I made my annual voyage to Cooperstown this past weekend, and as usual was able to take in a game at Damaschke Field in Oneonta. I'm glad to report that nothing has changed - the atmosphere is still pure baseball. No between inning games, no mascots, no beer, no bratty kids. They do use some music and sound effects, but even many of these are baseball related and don't detract from the experience. Oneonta is the closest thing to the minor league experience I remember as a kid growing up in the early 80's and attending games in Holyoke (MA) and Burlington (VT). Damaschke Field really is like a time machine. Hopefully it will remain for many more years as an example of what the minor leagues were before corporations and sponsorship took it over.
Speaking of time machines, did someone put Ryne Sandberg in one ? Or did he just forget when he played baseball. From listening to his Hall of Fame speech, you'd think he played 50 years ago. Apparently to get on the good side of all the HOFers, Sandberg felt it necessary to bash the current ballplayers as having no respect for the game, swinging for the fences too much, and for using steroids. Sorry to tell you Ryne, but you are part of the same generation that you are criticizing.