The countdown has been on since July 26, 2010 – the day after the Class of 2010 was inducted at the Baseball Hall of Fame. And once the Expansion Era Committee elected Pat Gillick in December, followed by the elections of Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in January, all eyes were focused on Hall of Fame Weekend 2011.
But now that the 2011 All-Star Game is in the books, Cooperstown is officially on the clock. For almost two weeks, all of baseball will be abuzz about the July 24 Hall of Fame Induction. But there’s so much more to Hall of Fame Weekend than just one day.
The weekend begins Friday, July 22, with PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith, when The Wizard and friends Rod Carew, Andre Dawson and Whitey Herzog will share tips and stories with participants in a Museum fundraiser. To reserve your spot, call 607-547-0397.
Then on Saturday, July 23, fans can listen as Hall of Famers like Ralph Kiner, Paul Molitor, Gaylord Perry and others participate in the brand new Hall of Fame Spotlight Series – a series of mini roundtable discussions – at Cooperstown’s Doubleday Field from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. At 4:30 p.m. at Doubleday Field, the new Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will honor award winners Bill Conlin (J.G. Taylor Spink Award), Roland Hemond (Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award) and Dave Van Horne (Ford C. Frick Award) as the returning Hall of Famers gather at one of baseball’s most beautiful ballparks.
And immediately following the Awards Presentation, the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends will take the Hall of Famers down Cooperstown’s historic Main Street, ending in front of the Hall of Fame. The Spotlight Series, Awards Presentation and Parade of Legends are all free.
Sunday’s Induction Ceremony will be held rain or shine at 1:30 p.m. at the Clark Sports Center on Susquehanna Avenue, just one mile south of the Hall of Fame. And on Monday, July 25, Alomar, Blyleven and Gillick will reconvene at the Clark Sports Center for a 10:30 a.m. Voices of the Game – Induction Memories program where the inductees will share their memories from the weekend. Tickets are available to participants in the Hall of Fame’s Membership Program by calling 607-547-0397.
It’s baseball’s best weekend, in the town where baseball’s heart beats the strongest. And now that the 2011 All-Star Game is history, it’s time for the ultimate history lesson to begin in Cooperstown.