Senator James L. Seward today said he would form a panel charged with developing an alternative to the annual Major League Baseball-sponsored Hall of Fame game held in Cooperstown each year and cancelled by MLB for 2009.
"I've just heard from MLB Commissioner Bud Selig that the plan to cancel the annual Hall of Fame game is irrevocable. I'm very disappointed, but we won't lie down and quit. We've got to start planning how we can turn around a tough break and make sure we have a significant annual baseball event that continues to be a tourist destination, builds on our baseball history, and is an economic asset for our area," Seward said.
Seward said he plans to form a local committee that would include the Hall of Fame, the mayor of Cooperstown, the chairman of the county board, and local tourism/business representatives to develop an alternate plan to fill the Hall of Fame game niche.
"The HoF game is key to our area, and we need to work together to make a positive change for Cooperstown, Otsego County and the area that will boost tourism and create jobs," Seward said. "I am convinced that the Hall of Fame has done everything to keep the game and certainly the hall will be a key part of our effort to develop a honest substitute."
Seward said letters inviting individuals to join the panel would go out in the next week.