Welcome to the Weekend

Hall of Famers arriving for Hall of Fame Classic; Festivities begin Saturday

June 17, 2011
Preparations are being made for Hall of Fame Classic Weekend. (Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

View a schedule of events for Classic Weekend

View the lineups for the 2011 Hall of Fame Classic

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – With the summer season in full swing, Cooperstown has been abuzz for several weeks.

But with the arrival of some of baseball's timeless legends Friday on the eve of the Hall of Fame Classic, star-gazing was in full force at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Friday's gray skies and rain in Cooperstown are expected to give way to sunshine and temperatures in the 80s all weekend. The participants in Sunday's Hall of Fame Classic at Doubleday Field arrived throughout the day on Friday, preparing for a memory-filled weekend at the home of baseball. Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Phil Niekro, Jim Rice, Ozzie Smith and Dick Williams checked into town, joining fellow Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, who had been in Cooperstown since mid-week.

On Sunday, the Wizards – captained by Smith – will play Niekro's Knucksies in the annual seven-inning legends game. Tickets for the Hall of Fame Classic are still available and can be purchased at the Hall of Fame on Saturday or at Doubleday Field on Sunday.

More than 20 other former Major League players will join the Hall of Famers on the field on Sunday, including Frank Catalanotto, Doug Glanville, Dave Henderson, Bill Lee, Dale Murphy, Willie Wilson, Rick Wise and Dmitri Young. The Cooperstown Game Day Parade kicks off Sunday's festivities at noon on Main Street, followed by the Legends Hitting Contest at 1 p.m. at Doubleday Field. First pitch for the Hall of Fame Classic is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Glanville participated in a Museum round-table discussion of his book "The Game From Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View" on Friday, the first of many events leading up to the Classic.

On Saturday, Classic Fest will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Doubleday Field parking lot and will feature vendors, food and entertainment. The Youth Skills Clinic will be held at Doubleday Field from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, and from 12:30-4 p.m. inside Doubleday Field, the Hall of Fame Showcase will feature demonstrations from the Museum's award-winning educational program, along with other family-friendly activities. Classic Fest and the Hall of Fame Showcase both feature free admission.

At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the Hall of Fame Members Photos opportunity will give fans a chance to have their picture taken with the six Hall of Fame legends on Doubleday Field. A $50 donation in support of the Hall of Fame's educational programs will be accepted, and spots can be reserved at the Membership Desk at the Museum.

Then at 6 p.m. Saturday, Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Goose Gossage, Phil Niekro, Jim Rice, Ozzie Smith and Dick Williams will participate in a Voices of the Game roundtable discussion program at Doubleday Field. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and will be on sale at the Museum and at the Doubleday Field Retail Tent.

Saturday is Price Chopper Day at the Hall of Fame, with all AdvantEdge Card holders (and three of their guests) admitted to the Museum for free.

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