ALBANY, N.Y. -- TSA officers at Albany International Airport (ALB) got to touch history when the president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum departed the airport with the official Hall of Fame plaque of one of its newest inductees.
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Jeff Idelson flew out of Albany yesterday, August 4, on his way to Seattle with the museum’s bronze Hall of Fame plaque of Ken Griffey Jr. in a specially designed hard-sided pelican-type case molded specially to contain the plaque. The plaque is one of the centerpiece attractions for the weekend in Seattle when the Seattle Mariners are scheduled to hold a ceremony to retire uniform number 24, Griffey’s number when he played for the team.
The airport typically sees more than a dozen Hall of Famers arrive and depart when they visit the nearby Hall of Fame every July for the annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend and when they visit for Hall of Fame Classic Weekend in May.
“I travel a great deal with my job and when I am asked for my favorite airport, I always respond with Albany International, because it is home, and because of the warm and conscientious staff that assure airport operations run so smoothly,” Idelson said. “When coming through the airport this morning, I wanted to meet some of the TSA agents, whom I know by face. It was an honor to get to meet the men and women who keep us all safe, and thank them for a job well done. The TSA staff is among the best I have encountered while traveling. I feel fortunate to call the Albany Airport my home base."
Two weeks ago, 50,000 baseball fans from across the country attended the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, New York, a village of approximately 2,000 residents, flying in and out of ALB airport along with the Hall of Famers and their families.
“We see a significant number of baseball fans flying into upstate New York to travel to Cooperstown through Albany International Airport and our TSA security workforce ensures that that they return to their homes safely and securely, by screening them and their many baseball souvenirs for the flights home,” said TSA’s upstate New York Federal Security Director Bart Johnson.
Idelson also tweeted about his trip through the airport with the photo above: “Ken Griffey Jr.'s plaque heads to Seattle where his #24 will be retired by the @Mariners Saturday. @baseballhall pic.twitter.com/2cR2GOlB0N”