From L.A. to Doubleday: Jeff Kent Returns to Hall of Fame Classic

Legends Game to be Held June 20 at Doubleday Field

June 09, 2010
Jeff Kent will appear at the 2010 Hall of Fame Classic. (Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

COOPERSTOWN, NY – When Jeff Kent tearfully announced his retirement in January 2009, fans said goodbye to the most prolific home run-hitting second baseman of all time.

On Father’s Day, many of those same fans will welcome Kent to Cooperstown when he suits up again for the Hall of Fame Classic at Doubleday Field.

Kent, who wrapped up his stellar big league career following the 2008 season when he retired from the Los Angeles Dodgers, will be a part of a star-studded roster at the June 20 Hall of Fame Classic. The second-annual Classic Weekend will feature Hall of Famers Gary Carter, Bob Feller, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Harmon Killebrew, Phil Niekro and Ozzie Smith, along with 20 other former major leaguers – like Kent, who appeared in the inaugural Hall of Fame Classic in 2009 – in a seven-inning exhibition game, with first pitch slated for 2 p.m.

The 2010 Baseball Hall of Fame Classic is co-organized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association. Ford Motor Company will be the Presenting Sponsor of the Baseball Hall of Fame Classic.

Kent who played for the Blue Jays, Mets, Indians, Giants, Astros and Dodgers, had 351 home runs as a second baseman, 74 more than Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, who previously held the record. The five-time All-Star won four Silver Slugger Awards and was named the 2000 MVP of the National League. He finished in the top 10 in the league in RBIs during six seasons. He drove in 100 or more runs from 1997-2002, had a career .290 batting average and hit a total of 377 home runs during his 17-year career.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame Classic are available online at baseballhall.org or by calling 1-866-849-7770. Tickets are $12.50 for first and third base seats and $11 for outfield seats. A $3.50 handling charge per ticket applies to phone and online orders. Phone orders will be taken Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT The online ordering system at www.baseballhall.org is available 24 hours per day.

Classic Weekend will feature a slate of family friendly activities, highlighted by the return of the Hall of Fame Classic. Other activities planned for Classic Weekend include the Cooperstown Golf Classic fundraiser for the Museum, a reprise of the popular “Family Catch,” the Youth Skills Clinic hosted by several former major league players, a special Voices of the Game program, and other special programs throughout the Museum.

Among the 20 other recently retired players already committed to participate in the Classic include former major league stars Kevin Bass, Paul Blair, Brian Boehringer, Bert Campaneris, John Doherty, Dave Fleming, Jay Johnstone, Tim Leary, Bill Madlock, Mike Pagliarulo, Dennis Rasmussen, Lee Smith and Rich Surhoff.

The Hall of Fame Classic will be preceded by the Cooperstown Game Day Parade, presented by the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, the village of Cooperstown and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, beginning at noon on Main Street. Game participants will ride in the parade on their way to Doubleday Field. The Legends Hitting Contest will begin at 1 p.m., followed by the Hall of Fame Classic at 2 p.m.

On Saturday, June 19, the Museum will present the return of “Family Catch” at Doubleday Field from 12-2 p.m. Beginning at 3 p.m., the Hall of Fame and the MLBPAA will present the Youth Skills Clinic at Doubleday Field, featuring former major league players as instructors. At 7 p.m., the Museum will host a roundtable discussion with the seven Hall of Fame members. Advance registration is required for all events. Please call 607-547-0397 for more information.

For more information on Hall of Fame Classic Weekend events, call 1-888-Hall-of-Fame.

Samantha Carr is the manager of web and digital media for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum