HOF Weekend to Feature Inductions of Larkin and Santo

(COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.) – 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.

More than four dozen Hall of Famers are expected to return for Hall of Fame Weekend, with the full list of returnees to be announced in early July, to honor the Class of 2012 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, honoring the two newest members, will be held Sunday, July 22, at 1:30 p.m. ET at the Clark Sports Center and will be shown live on MLB Network.

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. Additional programming, both at the Museum and at Doubleday Field on Saturday of Induction Weekend, will be announced soon. Full details of new events and schedule changes will be announced at the Hall of Fame’s Web site www.baseballhall.org.

Planned activities for Hall of Fame Weekend 2012 include:

Hall of Fame Weekend Events
Friday, July 20 PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith & special Hall of Famer guests 8-11 a.m.
  Plaque Gallery and On Field      
Saturday, July 21 Cooperstown I.Q. Trivia Game, Doubleday Field (w Bert Blyleven and Phil Niekro)                3 p.m.
  Hall of Fame Awards Presentation, Doubleday Field    4:30 p.m.
  Hall of Fame Parade of Legends, Main Street 6 p.m.
Sunday, July 22 Induction Ceremony, Clark Sports Center 1:30 p.m.
  Hall of Fame Parade of Legends, Main Street      6 p.m.
Monday, July 23 Voices of the Game - Inductee Memories: Clark Sports Center 10:30 a.m.
  Featuring Barry Larkin, joined by Tony Perez and Billy Williams      

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 Players, Legends and You begins 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 a 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.

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, memberships support advances in 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 www.baseballhall.org.

Additional Hall of Fame Weekend Privileges

·      Free admission to the Museum throughout the year
·      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
  • Opportunity to reserve Grandstand Seating to the Awards Presentation
  • Exclusive access to the Voices of the Game program on Monday
  • Transportation provided to and from the Museum for special Weekend events

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 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.

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. The Museum observes summer hours of 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. from Memorial Day Weekend until the day before Labor Day. From Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend, the Museum observes daily regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Ticket prices are $19.50 for adults (13 and over), $12 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $7 for juniors (ages 7-12). Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger.  For more information, visit our Web site at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.