07/24/2003 8:37 AM ET
44 HOFs returning for Induction
The pastoral village of Cooperstown, New York, will be the central focus of the baseball world this weekend, July 25-26-27-28, as the National Baseball Hall of Fame welcomes the 2003 class of electees, Gary Carter and Eddie Murray, along with 44 returning Hall of Fame members, to headline Hall of Fame Weekend.
The Induction Ceremony will highlight a full schedule of events, and will be held on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center. The event is scheduled to commence at 1:30 p.m. EDT and will be shown live on ESPN Classic. An audio broadcast will be available at the Hall of Fame's Web site, baseballhalloffame.org.
As of July 23, 44 Hall of Fame members are scheduled to return to Cooperstown to welcome the 255th and 256th members into the Hall of Fame. The existing record of returnees, 46, was set in 2000 and 2002. Additionally, Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker will be presented with the 2003 Ford C. Frick award for broadcast excellence and longtime Reds' beat writer Hal McCoy from the Dayton Daily News will be presented with the 2002 J.G. Taylor Spink award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.
Veteran baseball announcer George Grande, who has called games for ESPN, the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and currently, the Cincinnati Reds, will serve as master of ceremonies. Grande has introduced the returning Hall of Fame members at the Induction Ceremony since 1981. The invocation will be delivered by Rabbi Mark Miller of Temple Bat Yahm from Newport Beach, Calif. Daniel Rodriguez, "America's Beloved Tenor" will sing the National Anthem.
Though subject to change, the list of 44 Hall of Fame members scheduled to return:
Robin Roberts and
Weather permitting, the Ceremony will take place on the grounds outside of the Clark Sports Center, which is located on lower Susquehanna Avenue. Just one mile south of the Hall of Fame, the short walk provides a picturesque view of the homes of Cooperstown. Every effort will be made to hold the event outdoors in the event of inclement weather. If conditions require, the ceremony will be held indoors. Please note that professional interpreters will be provided for the hearing impaired.
The Ceremony usually lasts 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 you 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 thirsty visitors.
Friends of the 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 the year round. To learn more about the program and its many benefits, please visit baseballhalloffame.org.
Additional Hall of Fame Weekend Privileges:
A special members-only entrance to the Hall of Fame to avoid long lines
Exclusive early access to the Museum on Saturday, Sunday and Monday
VIP reserved seating for the Induction for Benefactor and President's Circle members
Advance seating opportunity at the Connecting Generations event Saturday afternoon
Exclusive access to the Legends Series on Monday. Transportation will be provided to and from the event for members, so be sure to visit the Hall of Fame membership desk in the Museum lobby during the weekend.
Hall of Fame Weekend Events
Friday, July 25
|National Baseball Hall of Fame
Turn Two with Ozzie Smith, 9 a.m.
Saturday, July 26
NY-Penn League Game: Tri-City ValleyCats vs. Oneonta Tigers, 1 p.m.
Connecting Generations Interactive Trivia, 3 p.m.
(Harmon Killebrew, Phil Rizzuto, Robin Roberts, Brooks Robinson, Dave Winfield)
Sunday, July 27
Induction Ceremony, 1:30 p.m.
Monday, July 28
Legends Series with Eddie Murray and Gary Carter, 10:30 a.m.
"Ozzie Smith Turns Two for Charity": For the second consecutive year, Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith provides a unique opportunity for fans in support of the Hall of Fame's educational program. Participants in "Ozzie Smith Turns Two for Charity" field five ground balls with Ozzie at shortstop, providing a second baseman and a first baseman. Both participants will receive an autographed Ozzie Smith baseball, a video and photo from the event. The program will be held Friday morning at historic Doubleday Field and is limited to 30 participants. Cost for the event is $1,000. Friends of the Hall of Fame members receive a 25% discount. All proceeds go to the educational initiatives of the Museum. To reserve your "Turn Two" opportunity, please contact the membership department at 607-547-0397. Space is limited.
Connecting Generations: Connecting Generations, an interactive program designed for families to enjoy, returns for the second year. Connecting Generations allows participants to test their baseball knowledge directly against Hall of Fame members. Harmon Killebrew, Phil Rizzuto, Robin Roberts, Brooks Robinson and Dave Winfield are scheduled to participate, though subject to change. After this unique and exciting trivia game, attendees may ask questions of their favorite legend. Tickets are $5 for Friends members, $10 for non-members. Seating is limited and tickets can be purchased at the Museum membership desk in the lobby, or by calling the membership office at 607-547-0397.
NY-PENN League Game: The Oneonta Tigers will entertain fans with a home game at Doubleday Field against the Tri-City ValleyCats. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. Admission to the game is free, compliments of Key Bank and Coca-Cola.
Legends Series: Join newly-inducted Hall of Fame members Gary Carter and Eddie Murray at 10:30 a.m. as they discuss their careers. This event is exclusively for Friends of the Hall of Fame members and takes place at the Clark Sports Center. Seating is limited. Tickets are $5 and are currently available for purchase at the Museum membership desk in the lobby, or by calling the membership office at 607-547-0397.
The Museum maintains the following Hall of Fame Weekend hours: Friday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.; 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 Friends of the Hall of Fame members, doors open at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and at 8 a.m. on Monday. As always, Friends of the 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 three trolley lots in Cooperstown. The Cooperstown Trolley will provide transit to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Doubleday Field from three different locations: the Blue Lot on Route 28, south of Cooperstown; the Red Lot on Route 28 (Glen Avenue) at Maple Street; and the Yellow Lot on Route 80 at the upper parking lot of the Fenimore Art Museum. All-day passes are available for $2 for all riders. The Trolley will operate throughout Hall of Fame Weekend from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.
On Sunday of Induction Weekend, a parking lot, located on River Road just one mile southeast of the village, will be made available for vehicles. Shuttle service will loop to the Clark Sports Center and the village of Cooperstown, returning to the parking lot throughout the day. Look for signs directing traffic to the lot.
Broadcast Information: Once again in 2003, the ESPN family of networks will broadcast the 2003 Induction Ceremony and other events throughout the weekend from Cooperstown. The Induction Ceremony will be aired live on ESPN Classic on Sunday, July 27 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. EDT with Rece Davis and Tim Kurkjian serving as the network anchors. ESPN Radio will broadcast the ceremony live on affiliates across the country from 1-4 p.m. ESPN will also host the Legends Series roundtable discussion with Gary Carter and Eddie Murray on Monday at 10:30 a.m. at the Clark Sports Center. The event will air later that evening on ESPN2, from 11 p.m. until midnight.
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 web site 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 Web site for more information www.baseballhalloffame.org.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Museum is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week. The Museum observes off-season hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from the day after Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend. Ticket prices are $9.50 for adults (13 and over), $8.00 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $4.00 for juniors (ages 7-12). Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children six years of age or younger. For more information, visit our Web site at baseballhalloffame.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.