Ozzie among 40 returning former HOF inductees
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) - It's Induction Weekend in Cooperstown and while there's no living inductees to be enshrined, there's still a lot going on in the "Birthplace of Baseball" and plenty of reasons to celebrate the national pastime.
Ozzie Smith conducted his 12th annual "Play Ball" event, teaching and talking baseball with a handful of fans, along with fellow Hall of Famers Gaylord Perry and Juan Marichal.
"This is baseball americana right here," said Smith, a 2002 HOF Inductee. "It doesn't get any better than this, being able to walk down Main St and we know the people that make the pilgrimage here are true baseball fans and this is always a special weekend and we look forward to the end of July."
"I enjoy this place and I think every member of the hall of fame should give back something to the hall, to the museum and to the fans," added Marichal, an inductee back in 1988. "They came here to see the hall of fame, to see the Induction and I think we should be part of that"
Ozzie then hopped a ride to take part in the unveiling of the museum's commemorative coin designs, which will jump start the celebration of the Hall's 75th anniverasary, in 2014. Hall president Jeff Idelson was also a part of it and he says this weekend is perfect for first timers to the big event.
"For fans, if they've not been to Induction Weekend, this is a great year to come," said Idelson. "It's a very New York centric theme, we're honoring the movie 42 with Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig's going to have his plaque read by Cal Ripken. Jacob Ruppert who owned the Yankees and built them into a dynasty, all being recognized throughout the weekend."
Ruppert and his fellow inductees, Hank O'Day and Deacon White, passed away many years ago. But the game's living legend and fans will celebrate their memory all weekend.
KEEP IT TUNED TO NEWSCHANNEL 2 ALL THROUGH INDUCTION WEEKEND, AS MIKE LEVIN WILL HAVE REPORTS ON SATURDAY AS WELL AS INDUCTION SUNDAY!