No Shortage of Talent: Six-time All-Star Bert Campaneris to Appear at Hall of Fame Classic

Legends Game to be Held June 20 at Doubleday Field

May 27, 2010
Bert Campaneris will appear at the 2010 Hall of Fame Classic. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

COOPERSTOWN, NY – The dynasty that was the Oakland A’s of the 1970s was flush with future Hall of Famers, including Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers and manager Dick Williams.

But it was their pesky shortstop, Bert Campaneris, that often kept things together for the Swinging A’s en route to three straight World Series titles.

Campaneris, the starting shortstop on the 1972-74 World Champion Athletics and a six-time All-Star, will suit up on Father’s Day at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown in the 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 Campaneris – 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.

Campaneris, a native of Pueblo Nuevo, Cuba, broke into the big leagues in 1964 with the Kansas City Athletics. The next season, Campaneris won the first of six American League stolen base titles with 51 steals. And on Sept. 8 of that season, Campaneris became the first player in big league history to play every position in the same game in a contest against the Angels.

Campaneris and the A’s moved to Oakland in 1968, and that season he led the A.L. with 177 hits and a career-high 62 stolen bases en route to his first All-Star Game selection. By 1971, the A’s and Campaneris had advanced to the playoffs, and the following year Campy helped Oakland to its first of three straight Fall Classic titles.

After 13 years with the A’s, Campaneris left for Texas after the 1976 season, then finished his career with the Angels and the Yankees. In 19 big league seasons, he stole 649 bases, scored 1,181 runs and totaled 2,249 hits.

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, John Doherty, Jim Hannan, Jay Johnstone, Jeff Kent, 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.

Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum