A few weeks ago I wrote a letter (more accurately a screed) to the Board of Directors of the Baseball Hall of Fame demanding the removal of president Dale A. Petroskey after his handling of the Bull Durham non-celebration.
Today I received the same form letter that has been posted in many places. And the letter is from Petroskey himself. I mean, I really turned up the polemic and the best they can do is to send me a form letter from the man whose dismissal I was demanding. They did not even have the forethought to send the form letter back addressed to the indivdual. It just says "Dear Friend".
Besides my letter was after his public apology. The apology was the impetus for my letter in the first place: "And now his apology dated Friday, April 18 makes it clear that he is content with doing nothing to rectify his mistakes." They could have at least sent me an updated form letter apologizing for the original (non-)apology. Pathetic!
Anyway, here is the form letter for those of you who have not seen it:
April 24, 2003
We have received thousands of letters, e-mails, and phone calls about the cancellation of the Bull Durham events scheduled for April 26-27. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a very special place - a national treasure - and my responsibility is to protect it. Politics has no place in The Hall of Fame. There was a chance of politics being injected into The Hall during these sensitive times, and I made a decision to not take that chance. But I inadvertently did exactly what I was trying to avoid. With the advantage of hindsight, it is clear I should have handled the matter differently.
I am sorry I didn't pick up the phone to have a discussion with Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon rather than sending them a letter.
We are so lucky to have Baseball - a game that unites us as Americans. The events of the past week show us all that The Game burns brighter than ever and continues to stir passions in many people.
Our wish is that every American will visit Cooperstown and join us in celebrating Baseball, our national pastime and the greatest game of all.