COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - Since his 2009 election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Rickey Henderson has heard the same words upon each return trip to Cooperstown. “He looks like he could still play the game.”
On Memorial Day Weekend, the 54-year-old Henderson will have a chance to prove it when he suits up for the fifth annual Hall of Fame Classic May 25 at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. Henderson, a 10-time All-Star who holds the big league records for runs scored (2,295) and stolen bases (1,406), played in the majors until the age of 44. At the age of 39, Henderson led the American League in steals with 66 – the 12th stolen base crown of his career.
Henderson will be one of four Hall of Famers at the Classic, joining pitchers Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage and Phil Niekro. Almost two dozen former big leaguers will also participate in the seven-inning legends game, which is presented by Ford Motor Company. The teams will be managed by former big league skippers Bobby Cox and Cito Gaston.
Cox and Gaston will reprise their 1992 World Series matchup as opposing managers and draw on talent such as Brian Boehringer, Bob Boone, Bret Boone, Bert Campaneris, Doug Creek, Will Clark, John Doherty, Brian Fisher, Dave Fleming, Cliff Floyd, Jeffery Hammonds, Jim Hannan, Todd Haney, Jim Leyritz, T.J. Mathews, Brian McRae, Desi Relaford, Mark Whiten and Dmitri Young.
The Hall of Fame Classic moves to Memorial Day Weekend this year as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates the time-honored connection between the National Pastime and the nation’s military.
Four soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division will also participate in the Classic, which will begin at 2 p.m. and will be preceded at 1 p.m. by the Legends Hitting Contest at Doubleday Field. The 10th Mountain Division Color Guard and Band from nearby Fort Drum, N.Y., will be featured in pregame ceremonies – including the 12 p.m. Cooperstown Game Day Parade on Main Street – as the Museum presents a salute to our Armed Forces.
Ticket packages for the 2013 Hall of Fame Classic are online at www.baseballhall.org or via phone at 1-877-726-9028. Tickets for the Hall of Fame Classic are $12.50 for first and third base seats and $11 for general admission outfield seats.
Tickets are only available via phone or online and will not be sold at the Museum in Cooperstown.
At the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, a new exhibit has opened honoring scouts and is made possible with the support of the Scout of the Year Foundation. The exhibit is featured on the Museum’s second floor and feature a searchable database of thousands of scouting reports donated to the Hall of Fame throughout the years by hundreds of scouts, including legends such as Roland Hemond and George Genovese and even Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda, who scouted for the Dodgers before beginning his career in the dugout.
“The exhibit will explore and bring light to the untold and under-appreciated part of the game, which is scouting,” said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. “There will be artifacts from different scouts, and the centerpiece will be an interactive data base with 6,000 reports and growing. It will allow a fan to understand how a kid on a sandlot ends up on a major league club, and in some cases, the Hall of Fame.”
Through Diamond Mines, Museum visitors can enter the name of a big league player and search for scouting reports filed on them throughout the years. Reports from more than 200 scouts have already been added to the database.