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Kevin Hieronymus

A whirlwind tour

The Hieronymus vacation bus has pulled back into town after whirlwind tour of the East Coast.

Along the way throughout the past two weeks, we went through Niagara Falls, Cooperstown, N.Y., New York City, Washington, D.C., Mount Vernon, Baltimore and Gettysburg, Pa. My body is still recovering.

We saw a lot of great history along the way with all the memorials at the National Mall, which were all nicely done. We punched in the name of our family friend, the late Carl Hultine of Princeton at the kiosk at the World War II Memorial and saw the names sketched on the Vietnam Memorial of John Schertz of Tiskilwa and Bill Bulthuis of Wyanet, who were killed in action.

I gained a better appreciation of the MLK Memorial when an African American asked me to take his picture with his wife in front of the statue. That wouldn’t have happened 50 years ago.

The Newseum was right up my alley as a newsman. I especially liked the 9/11 tribute and the FBI display of the infamous Unabomber’s cabin.

My favorite stops were visiting Arlington Cemetery to see JFK’s grave, the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, which is beautifully done, Ford Theatre and the Peterson House in D.C, where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and died in 1865, and Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington.

And of course, our vacation included some sports.

Cooperstown, the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, is a quaint little town, nestled along Otsego Lake in central New York. The Hall of Fame wall’s flow with the history of our national pastime, a site I have visited three times now, but for the first time in 24 years.

Ruth, Gehrig, Mays, Musial all call the place home. Wyanet’s very own Jean (Peterson) Fox has a spot there as well, included on the wall of fame for the former All-American Professional Girls Baseball League? She played for the Rockford Peaches, and it was very cool to see her name enshrined there.

I would like to see the Hall become more interactive, adding accompanying video clips of the greats of the games enshrined in the Hall of Fame Gallery. I would also add an interactive display where visitors can stand in at the plate and face Hall of Famers such as Walter Johnson, Bob Feller, Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax, to name a few, to see exactly how fast those fastballs were.

On the way home, we stopped through Baltimore to see the Battle of the Birds between the hometown Orioles and the Cardinals. Camden Yards has always been one of the stadiums I’ve wanted to see and to have the Cardinals there for an interleague game was a bonus. The Orioles fans really get into their team, especially with them having a resurgent season being in first-place in the A.L. East.

It also happened to be the night the Orioles held their 60th anniversary celebration, featuring their many past great players with a fantastic video presentation on the adjacent Camden Yards brick walls.

The only downfall of the night was to have the O’s take batting practice on the Cardinals pitching to the tune of six home runs in a 12-2 win. That one hurt.

Now that I have checked Camden Yards off my list, I have made it to 24 major league stadiums in 16 cities, although being an old-time baseball fan, 13 of those stadiums are no longer in existence. I still have 13 existing stadiums to see, but by the time I get to all those places, there will sure to be new ones built.

Welcome home Ashton: Great to see 12-year-old Ashton Landrus, the Miracle Boy, return home from an 85-day stay in the hospital. He surprised the seventh-grade JFL team Tuesday by leading them in drills. Welcome home!

Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor. Contact him at khieronymus@bcrnews.com.