Wizard to Cast Spell in Cooperstown: Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith to Appear at Hall of Fame Classic

Legends Game to be Held June 20 at Doubleday Field

June 07, 2010
Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith will appear at the 2010 Hall of Fame Classic in Cooperstown. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

COOPERSTOWN, NY – Fan favorite Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith may have stood out for the backflips he performed for special occasions, but it was his acrobatics at shortstop during the games that punched his ticket to Cooperstown.

Smith won a record 13 consecutive Gold Glove Awards between 1978 and 1996 with the Padres and Cardinals on his way to a Hall of Fame career, turning defense into must-see TV on highlight shows.

Smith, who was named to 15 All-Star Games, will suit up on Father’s Day at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown in the Hall of Fame Classic. The second-annual Classic Weekend will also feature fellow Hall of Famers Gary Carter, Bob Feller, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Harmon Killebrew and Phil Niekro along with 20 other former major league stars 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.

Smith finished his career with 2,460 hits and 580 stolen bases. He led the Cardinals to the 1982 World Series and the National League Championship in 1985 and 1987, earning NLCS MVP honors in 1985 and a Silver Slugger Award in 1987. But it was in the field at shortstop that he earned his title of the Wizard of Oz.

Elected to the Hall of Fame in 2002 with 91.7 percent of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America vote and active in both business ventures and charity work, Smith serves as the Education Ambassador for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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, 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.

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