Hall of Fame Weekend 2012 will feature a Midwest theme this July 20-23, as the eyes of the baseball world turn to Cooperstown, N.Y. for the inductions of Cincinnati Reds great Barry Larkin and Chicago fan-favorite Ron Santo, along with award presentations and family programming for baseball fans of all generations.
As of July 17, the Hall of Fame members expected to return to Cooperstown to honor the Class of 2012 include:
Dozens of members of the baseball community are also scheduled to attend Hall of Fame Weekend, including: Brewers Assistant GM Gord Ash; former major leaguer Glenn Beckert; Blue Jays President and CEO and Hall of Fame Board Member Paul Beeston; former major league pitcher Tom Browning; Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck; former big league pitcher Larry Christenson; former major leaguer Eric Davis; Fox Vice Chairman Ed Goren; former major league player Randy Hundley; Reds President of Baseball Operations and GM Walt Jocketty; former major league manager Tony La Russa; Pat O’Conner, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Minor League Baseball; White Sox Chairman and Hall of Fame Board Member Jerry Reinsdorf; Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts; and MLBPA Chief Michael Weiner.
The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, honoring the two newest members, will be held Sunday, July 22, at 1:30 p.m. EDT at the Clark Sports Center and will be shown live on MLB Network. The Ceremony is expected to last two hours.
The Class of 2012 features two of the most dominant players of any era.
Larkin, a shortstop who played his entire 19-year big league career with the Reds, was named on 86.4 percent of ballots cast on his third try on the BBWAA ballot on Jan. 9. He received 495 votes, reflecting a 24.3-percent gain from the 2011 ballot. Larkin's jump is the largest for any Hall of Fame election in which at least 400 ballots were cast. Larkin, a 12-time All-Star and nine-time Silver Slugger Award winner, ranks among the game’s greatest shortstops.
Santo, who was named to nine All-Star Games in his 15 big league seasons, received 15 of 16 votes from the Golden Era Committee members at the winter meetings in December. Five times Santo won a Gold Glove Award. Santo becomes the 12th former major league third baseman elected to the Hall of Fame and just the 15th overall (including Negro leagues players). Santo passed away on Dec. 2, 2010.
There are now 297 Hall of Fame members, 65 of whom are living.
2012 Award winners Tim McCarver and Bob Elliott will receive their recognition and deliver brief speeches during the Awards Presentation on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Doubleday Field. As part of the event, the Hall of Fame will also salute three generations of St. Louis Cardinals managers who guided the club to World Series titles: Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst, who led the 1967 club, Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog, who guided the 1982 team, and Tony La Russa, who retired following his 2011 managerial title. The World Series trophy will be present in Cooperstown for this special event.
McCarver, who has served as a national analyst on networks for three decades and simultaneously shined as part of broadcast teams with four big league clubs, will be presented the 2012 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Elliott, who has been a positive influence on an entire country the past 30 years as a writer, columnist and ambassador for baseball and Canada, will be honored with the 2012 J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing, presented by the BBWAA.
The Sunday, July 22 Induction 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 Ceremony is held rain or shine, unless severe weather forces the cancellation of the event. Professional interpreters will be provided for the hearing impaired. The Induction Ceremony historically 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 visitors bring a cap and sunscreen. Induction Merchandise 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. For information on reserved seating options granted to Museum members, please call 607-547-0397.
The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 21 at Doubleday Field and will feature the presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for baseball broadcasting excellence to Tim McCarver and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing to Bob Elliott.
The Awards Presentation will be immediately followed by the Parade of Legends, as Hall of Fame members ride down Main Street in trucks provided by Ford Motor Company at 6 p.m., concluding with a red carpet arrival on the Museum steps as Hall of Fame members make their way to the Museum for a private reception.
Throughout the Weekend, the Hall of Fame will host a series of educational programs and fan-friendly experiences designed to connect generations of all ages in activities and events featuring baseball luminaries in the timeless and pastoral village of Cooperstown.
8-11 a.m.Plaque Gallery and On Field
Bullpen Theater2 p.m.
Bullpen Theater11 a.m.
Doubleday Field3 p.m.
Doubleday Field4:30 p.m.
Main Street6 p.m.
Bullpen Theater9 a. m.
Clark Sports Center1:30 p.m.
Clark Sports Center10:30 a.m.
PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith: Join a dream infield that could only come together in Cooperstown, with Ozzie Smith and three Hall of Fame guests hosting a morning experience in a fundraiser for the Hall of Fame’s educational programs. For the 11th year, PLAY Ball returns as the Players, Legends and You with an interactive meet and greet, starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, July 20th during Hall of Fame Weekend 2012.
PLAY Ball features over two hours of non-stop interaction, including personalized instruction and the chance to turn double plays. Each participant receives time on the field with these baseball legends, as well as personalized photo and special mementos of the occasion. Prior to the on-field activity, participants and Hall of Famers will share a special breakfast in the Hall of Fame’s plaque gallery.
This event is open to fans of all ages. The PLAY Ball opportunity is priced at $600 for members and $800 for non-members. Space is limited and the event is open for registration immediately. Interested participants can register by calling the Membership department at 607-547-0397. Additional Hall of Famers will be announced soon.
First Day Issue MLB All-Star stamps: Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn will celebrate the lives of four Hall of Fame teammates during the First-Day-of-Issue Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps dedication ceremony in Cooperstown. The new Baseball Legends Stamps will be unveiled at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The dedication ceremony, which is an invitation-only event, will be shown for fans via closed-circuit television in Cooper Park adjacent to the Museum. Available nationwide that day, the stamps can also be purchased at the Museum and the Cooperstown Post Office. Four of baseball’s most revered Hall of Famers will be immortalized on 45-cent First-Class Forever stamps. Appearing on the Major League Baseball All-Stars sheet of 20 stamps will be Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees; Larry Doby of the Cleveland Indians; Willie Stargell of the Pittsburgh Pirates; and Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox. 10 a.m., Friday
The Hall of Fame will present a new game show, featuring Hall of Fame pitchers Bert Blyleven and Phil Niekro, at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 21 at Doubleday Field, free of charge and open for fans to enjoy as a pre-cursor to the Awards Presentation. The new game show, called “Pitch Count”, is modeled after popular past game shows, in which each Hall of Famer will be paired with a contestant to provide the mystery word answer to a baseball-themed category. The game features nine innings of head-to-head competition, with the winning team having a chance to play for a grand prize, a Lifetime Membership to the Hall of Fame for one lucky fan.
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.
Voices of the Game: Inductee Memories: The Hall of Fame’s newest member, Barry Larkin will participate in a Voices of the Game event. He will be joined by Cincinnati legend Tony Perez, who has served as a mentor to Larkin, as well as Billy Williams, who was among the closest of teammates to Ron Santo. This event is for Members only and tickets are currently available by visiting the Membership desk in the Museum or by calling 607-547-0397. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12. Clark Sports Center, 10:30 a.m., Monday.
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
The Museum has teamed up with Sports Travel and Tours to offer baseball fans a one-stop opportunity to purchase Induction Weekend travel packages. For more information or to plan a trip to Cooperstown, please call 1-888-310-HALL (4255). Membership participants receive a 5% discount on all their baseball travel packages.
The Museum maintains the following Hall of Fame Weekend hours: Friday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. - 5 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 Hall of Fame Members, doors open at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and at 8 a.m. on Monday. 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.
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 atwww.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 more information, visit our Web site at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.