For anyone who’s ever swung a bat or caught a fly ball, Cooperstown means everything.
And for a Saturday afternoon, beep baseball was front and center for all in attendance at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in New York during the museum’s Beep Baseball Bash.
Thanks to the tremendous efforts of Rob Weisman, the Boston Renegades and Dave Wanczyk, the athleticism, competitiveness and skill of beep baseball took the spotlight for over 300 people who showed up throughout the day. Attendees had a chance to meet several of the Renegades players, including Christian Thaxton, who spent an hour talking about the fundamentals of the game. The Learning Center featured opportunities for people to see and hear bases, a ball and other equipment necessary for gameplay. A Jim Quinn and World Series championship ring were also on hand for participants to view.
Also during the afternoon, Wanczyk shared personal stories and tidbits from his highly-acclaimed book, “Beep: Inside the Unseen World of Baseball for the Blind”, which was made available for purchase in the bookstore located in the Hall of Fame. Wanczyk spent time talking with attendees and signing books. The powerful documentary on the Boston Renegades was screened in the late afternoon.
Thaxton, an all-star offensive player with the Renegades who currently holds the league record with an .897 batting average, was also in attendance to share insight on how he approaches the game. Thaxton’s Easton bat from the 2016 World Series is currently on display in Cooperstown – right beside the bat of Major League Baseball slugger, Robinson Cano.
“We were able to expose, educate, and allow hundreds of avid baseball fans to experience our game – many of whom openly admitted a lack of awareness of the sport,” said Thaxton. “It was an amazing experience at the hall of fame, one I was blessed to be a part of, and, add in seeing my bat on display next to Cano’s, one I won’t forget.”
Thaxton is grateful to the Hall of Fame for extending the offer, and says he appreciates Weissman and others with the National Beep Baseball Association for their help in making the day possible.
2nd Vice President and public relations chair, Darnell Booker, had a chance to travel from Indiana to participate in the day’s festivities.
“It was great meeting so many people and seeing them excited about this game,” said Booker. “There were people from the northeast, but some travelled from the Midwest and even Texas. It was exciting.”
Dave “DB” Benney, a veteran of the game and a current player for the San Antonio Jets, traveled from Illinois to help with a fielding demonstration. Benney says he was “encouraged by the outpouring of support we received from the staff at the HOF as well as the tremendous amount of interest from the general public in learning about the sport and our league.”
“This is just the beginning of what I hope will be an ongoing long-term relationship between the NBBA, the HOF, and eventually major league baseball,” said Benney. “I am eternally grateful for having been a part of it.”
To learn more about Wanczyk’s book on beep baseball, you can purchase a copy on Amazon or see all of the media coverage on our website. Also, you can watch the trailer for the Boston Renegades documentary that was shown on Saturday.