Meet Filmmaker Ken Burns In Baseball Heaven: Cooperstown, NY

Academy Award-winner and famed documentarian, Ken Burns, creator of The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, The National Parks and most recently, The Central Park Five, is partnering withTauck this June to offer baseball’s ultimate insider’s event in the village of Cooperstown, New York.

Burns’ PBS documentaries, “Baseball” and its sequel, “The Tenth Inning” are the foundation for the four-day immersion from June 27-30, 2012 — a unique trip to celebrate America’s most beloved sport.  The highlight is a private evening touring the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Guests will meet Ken Burns, a gracious, charming and brilliant personality, at a cocktail reception and after his talk.

“So many of the things that have shaped America are also reflected in baseball, from race relations to women’s rights to multiculturalism,” Burns has stated. “And baseball reveals the best and the worst in us while ultimately celebrating the human spirit. Baseball is about greed and scandal, but it’s also about teamwork and poise under pressure. It’s about sorrow and disappointment, but it’s also about perennial optimism and hard-won triumph. Baseball is truly a mirror in which we can all see pieces of ourselves and our own experiences reflected.”

Baseball Celebs

Perks of the event include: meeting former Major League players and enjoying talks by baseball experts such as historian and author Daniel Okrent, creator of “fantasy baseball” (prominently featured in both of Burns’ baseball films.) Another perk? Getting to meet baseball Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, nicknamed “Knucksie” for his killer knuckleball. Meet outfielder Doug Glanville, Tom Heitz former Hall of Fame Librarian; and a former member of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

An authentic 19th century “Town Ball” game will be played on the grounds of the Fenimore Art Museum and of course there will be a visit to Cooperstown’s elegantly manicured Doubleday Field with a chance to take a few swings in the batting cages.

Tauck CEO Dan Mahar says, “Ken’s broader perspectives on America, gained through all of his films, allow him to view the sport within the larger context of American culture and history.”




Real and Live

Every fall, Great White Adventures offers tours to the rocky Farallon Islands located in the Pacific, 26 miles west of San Francisco.  Their professional crew and staff have created tours whereby one can actually witness the ferocious drama of great whites feeding on elephant seals.  Whew.

You can view too from the comfort of their modern, well-equipped “Superfish” dive boat, or if that isn’t wild enough, you can be plunked down into the deep waters in a diving cage (breathing via a “hookah” line.) Although you might imagine that people are “beating down the doors” to sign up, the cage only holds 4 divers at a time. Space is thus limited.

Farther afield than the Farallons, the highly experienced Great White Adventure also runs their tours near the Isla de Guadalupe off the coast of Baja, and in the Galapagos off mainland.  Click on: