Minor History for a Major League (Posted 8/10/2014)
Today marks what would be the 131th birthday of Stephen Carlton Clark. Who is Stephen Clark? He is a brother from New York and the founder of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown!
Bro. Clark was born and raised in Cooperstown, NY. He graduated Yale in 1903 and promptly became a leader in his community by joining Otsego Lodge No. 138, opening the Otesaga Resort Hotel, and being elected to the State Assembly. Stephen answered the call to defend his country as a lieutenant-colonel during World War I.
It was in the mid nineteen thirties that Clark grew an interest in a Hall of Fame. In 1937, Stephen placed various baseball paraphernalia in the local library with the first item being an older baseball. Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick, taking notice of the growing collection, suggested the construction of an official Hall of Fame. Bro. Clark funded the construction of the Baseball Hall of Fame to bring new life to a town that had been hit hard during the Great Depression and Prohibition Era. It was officially opened on June 12, 1939.
If it weren’t for Stephen Clark and his contributions to baseball, we may never have been able to see Red Sox greats like Ted Williams, Carl Yazstremski and Jim Rice honored among the greats.
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