Cooperstown Looks Forward to Baseball Hall of Fame Induction

Ancien Hippie

The little upstate community of Cooperstown, New York benefits A LOT from the Baseball Hall of Fame

On Tuesday, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America elected pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, and a multi-positional player Craig Biggio to the Hall of Fame. They will be inducted the weekend of July 24-27.  It was the first time since 1955 that the BBWAA elected four players in one year.
It will be the second straight strong Hall of Fame class following last year’s inductions of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa.
And it’s a long cry from 2013 when the baseball writers did not vote anyone into the Hall.
Things look promising over the next few years, as well, as players such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman are eligible next year, followed by New York Yankees’ favorites Mariano Rivera and…

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From Manchester to Marseille: What can the promise of high speed rail do to a city?

Alighting at Marseille’s Saint-Charles railway station on a balmy August evening, a colleague and I made our way to the head of the grand stone staircase which sweeps leisurely down to street level. As we paused momentarily to appreciate the sprawling city beneath us, I cast my mind back to earlier in the day – 7.15am, in fact – when I had left another major city back in the UK, Manchester, then still shrouded in gloom.

Perhaps more importantly than where we had ended up was the way in which we had arrived: not by some ubiquitous budget airline with tedious transfers and a cosy cabin, but by train – station to station, city centre to city centre. What had started out as a rail journey of stop/start frustration between Manchester and London had ended with an easy saunter through the French countryside aboard one of SNCF’s revered Train Grand Vitesse (TGV) services.


Sat in the bar carriage, amid the convivial conversation of my fellow passengers, I soon shrugged off the day’s earlier stresses and gazed contentedly at the speeding scenery, safe in the knowledge that with each passing minute the mercury outside would continue to rise.

The chance to bask in a little Mediterranean sun was just a bonus. The real reason behind my foray south was the compulsion to test a few theories – theories concerning both Manchester and Marseille, arguably the emerging second cities of their respective countries, and the means by which they may soon be connected via a High Speed Rail line.


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