COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) - This weekend, the eyes of the sports world will once again be focused on Cooperstown, N.Y., for baseball’s most exciting weekend.
With traditional fan favorites and one-of-a-kind events throughout the lineup, Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 promises to be an unforgettable moment in time for fans with a full slate of family fun, baseball entertainment and exclusive opportunities comprising a classic American weekend, July 26-28.
Forty Hall of Famers are scheduled to return to honor the Class of 2013 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, honoring the three newest members, will be held Sunday, July 28, at 1:30 p.m. ET at the Clark Sports Center – located one mile south of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Hank O’Day, Jacob Ruppert and Deacon White were elected to the Hall of Fame by the Pre-Integration Era Committee in December. O’Day was a pioneering National League umpire who worked in 10 World Series, including the inaugural modern Fall Classic in 1903; Ruppert bought the Yankees in 1915 and immediately transformed the team’s fortunes, purchasing the contract of Babe Ruth and building Yankee Stadium; and White was an outstanding bare-handed catcher and later a third baseman in the 19th century.
The Induction Ceremony will also honor Hall of Famers Lou Gehrig (Class of 1939), Rogers Hornsby (Class of 1942) and the entire Class of 1945. Due to travel restrictions – and in the case of Gehrig his illness – none of those Hall of Famers were able to participate in an official induction ceremony. Each of the 12 honorees will have their Hall of Fame plaque read at the ceremony by a Hall of Fame. The schedule includes: Roger Bresnahan (plaque read by Carlton Fisk); Dan Brouthers (Orlando Cepeda); Fred Clarke (Bert Blyleven); Jimmy Collins (Wade Boggs); Ed Delahanty (Billy Williams); Hugh Duffy (Jim Rice); Hughie Jennings (Ozzie Smith); Mike “King” Kelly (Andre Dawson); Jim O’Rourke (Tony Gwynn); Wilbert Robinson (Tommy Lasorda); Rogers Hornsby (Joe Morgan); and Lou Gehrig (Cal Ripken Jr.).
The Induction Ceremony will be shown live on MLB Network, which is available in more than 67 million homes nationwide. A webcast will be available at www.baseballhall.org.
The Awards Presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 27 at Doubleday Field. Longtime Philadelphia scribe Paul Hagen of MLB.com will receive the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing and former Blue Jays voice Tom Cheek will be posthumously honored with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence. The Awards Presentation will also feature salutes to Legendary Entertainment CEO Thomas Tull, whose studio produced the Jackie Robinson biopic “42”, and Dr. Frank Jobe, who pioneered the groundbreaking elbow procedure known as “Tommy John Surgery.” Tommy John will be present for Dr. Jobe’s recognition at the Awards Presentation. MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger will emcee the Awards Presentation, which is free and open to the public.
Prior to the Awards Presentation on the stage at Doubleday Field, the Museum will honor the 75th anniversary of Abbott & Costello’s Who’s On First? and the 125th anniversary of Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s poem Casey at the Bat at a special 3:30 p.m. pre-show program. A live performance of Who’s On First? by Gil “Bud” Palmer and Lou Sciara, noted for their portrayal of the classic comedy duo, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, will be staged for all fans in attendance. Joining Palmer and Sciara will be the Hall of Fame’s Director of Research Tim Wiles, who will portray The Mighty Casey and Casey At The Bat. Gates open at 3 p.m. and admission is free.
Also on Saturday, July 27, the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends returns for a fourth year to provide fans with more thrills. Hall of Famers will ride down Main Street in trucks provided by Ford Motor Company en route to a private reception at the Museum during the 6 p.m. parade, with the staging for this year’s Parade to take place at Doubleday Field, immediately following the Awards Presentation.
The Sunday, July 28 Induction Ceremony will take place on the grounds outside of the Clark Sports Center, which is located on lower Susquehanna Avenue, unless severe weather cancels the event. Located just one mile south of the Hall of Fame, the short walk provides a picturesque view of the homes of Cooperstown. Please note that professional interpreters will be provided for the hearing impaired. The event will be held outdoors rain or shine.
The Ceremony is expected to last two hours. Seating for the event is unlimited and free of charge. A blanket or lawn chair is recommended for comfortable viewing. As the weather in Cooperstown can be quite warm in July, it is recommended that visitors bring a cap and sunscreen. Ball caps, Yearbooks and Museum membership packages are available for purchase at the Induction site. Refreshments are sold at the site and water is provided complimentary to visitors.
Hall of Fame Weekend Events
Friday, July 26
PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith & special guests, Plaque Gallery and On Field
(with Rickey Henderson and Juan Marichal) 8 a.m.
Reverse-side 75th anniversary Coin design revealed, Plaque Gallery 11:30 a.m.
Saturday, July 27
Performances of Who’s On First? and Casey at the Bat, Doubleday Field 3 p.m.
Hall of Fame Awards Presentation, Doubleday Field 4:30 p.m.
Hall of Fame Parade of Legends, Main Street 6 p.m.
Sunday, July 28
Induction Ceremony, Clark Sports Center 1:30 p.m.
PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith - Special guests Rickey Henderson and Juan Marichal: Ozzie Smith returns in a fundraiser for the Hall of Fame’s education and public programs with a unique opportunity for fans, featuring fellow Hall of Famers Rickey Henderson and Juan Marichal. This two-hour event features non-stop interaction at each station with a living legend and includes special mementos. Spaces are limited to 40 participants. The donation is $800 per person, with Hall of Fame Members admitted for $600. To reserve your spot, please call 607-547-0397. 8 a.m., Friday.
75th Anniversary Coin Designs Revealed: As part of the celebration of the Museum’s 75th anniversary in 2014, the Hall of Fame and the United States Mint will unveil the reverse (tails side) design of the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins at 11:30 a.m. in the Museum’s Plaque Gallery. The design contest finalists for the obverse (heads side) will also be showcased at the event. The winners of the design competition will be announced in mid-September, with the Coins available to the public in 2014. The National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 112-152) calls for a three-coin program of $5 gold, $1 silver and half-dollar clad coins and requires a competition to select a common obverse design emblematic of the game of baseball.. On display throughout the Weekend.
Hall of Fame Parade of Legends: Join the pageantry and excitement as the Hall of Famers ride in trucks provided by Ford Motor Company down Main Street on their way to a private reception at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Staging for the Parade takes place at Doubleday Field and fans are encouraged to attend the Awards Presentation prior to making their way to the Parade. Main Street, 6 p.m., Saturday.
Hall of Fame Members are afforded special opportunities throughout the Weekend. As a not-for-profit educational institution, membership support advances the Museum's programs and aids in the preservation of artifacts and archival materials that document the rich history of America's game. Additionally, membership packages are wonderful and unique gifts for friends and family. Members enjoy many privileges, including free admission to the Hall of Fame year-round. To learn more about the program and its many benefits, please visit baseballhall.org.
Additional Hall of Fame Weekend Privileges
· Free admission to the Museum throughout the year
· A special members-only entrance to the Hall of Fame to avoid long lines
Exclusive early access to the Museum on Saturday and Sunday
VIP reserved seating for the Induction for Benefactor and President's Circle Members
Transportation provided to and from the Museum for special Weekend events
The Museum maintains the following Hall of Fame Weekend hours: Friday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Plaque Gallery closes at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday); Sunday: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Monday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Advance tickets are not necessary but are available by contacting the Hall of Fame at 888-425-5633. For Hall of Fame Members, doors open at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. As always, Hall of Fame Members receive free admission. A special Members’ Only entrance eliminates the need to wait in line. Interested parties may enroll in the membership program in advance or at the Museum.
Parking will be extremely limited in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame Weekend. As is the case throughout the summer, the village will make parking and trolley service available at two trolley lots in Cooperstown. The Cooperstown Trolley will provide transit to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Doubleday Field from three different locations: the Red Lot on Route 28 (Glen Avenue) at Maple Street; the Blue Lot on Route 28 just south of Cooperstown; and the Yellow Lot on Route 80 at the upper parking lot of the Fenimore Art Museum. All-day passes are available for $2 per adult and free for children 5 and under. The Trolley will operate throughout Hall of Fame Weekend daily from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
If you need help with accommodations during your stay, you should plan to contact the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce at 607-547-9983, or visit the Chamber website at www.cooperstownchamber.org. The Chamber of Commerce site provides detailed information about what to see, where to stay, places to eat and where to shop in Cooperstown and nearby towns. For driving directions from major cities, area cities and local airports, visit the directions page at the Hall of Fame’s website for more information: www.baseballhall.org.