Hall of Fame Welcomes 15 Millionth Visitor

Blue Jays fan from Ormstown, Quebec Has Been Hall of Fame Member since 2004

May 13, 2011
From left: Jason Schiellack, Ken Gallinger, Robert Mahon, Nick Ross, Marc Brindle, Jeff Idelson (Craig Muder/National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

COOPERSTOWN, NY – Ken Gallinger has visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum regularly for the past 20 years. But when the Ormstown, Quebec, resident entered the Museum at 3:48 p.m. on Friday, his annual trip to Cooperstown became a part of Hall of Fame history.

Gallinger became the Museum's 15 millionth visitor since the Museum first opened its doors on June 12, 1939, when he entered with his Museum Membership card in hand, just days before the Museum's 72nd birthday.

"I was a little worried when I first came in and saw the folks waiting for me," Gallinger said. "I thought maybe I left my headlights on or something. But – Wow! – this is really cool."

Gallinger was greeted by Hall of Fame officials, including President Jeff Idelson, who presented him with a Membership upgrade to the President's Circle level. As a President's Circle Member, Gallinger will receive two tickets to the premium seating area for the July 24 Hall of Fame Induction. The longtime Toronto Blue Jays fan will be able to watch former Jays star Roberto Alomar and former Toronto general manager Pat Gillick receive their Hall of Fame plaques along with Bert Blyleven, the third member of the Class of 2011 at the Hall of Fame.

"My favorite player was Dave Stieb, but I'll always remember my first trip to the Hall of Fame for another Canadian team, the Montreal Expos," Gallinger said. "My first trip to the Museum was (July 28, 1991) – the day Dennis Martinez of the Expos threw a perfect game. Obviously, you never forget something like that."

Gallinger visited the Museum on Friday with friends Marc Brindle of Mercier, Quebec; Nick Ross of Ormstown and Robert Mahon of Long Sault, Ontario – which is located just over the Canadian border from New York State near Cornwall, Ontario. Gallinger is a native of Long Sault.

Dressed in a Jays pullover and fresh off a round of golf in Cooperstown, Gallinger was already making plans for his return trip to Cooperstown.

"We used to come to the Hall of Fame every year on Opening Day, but now we come a little later so we can play golf too," Gallinger said. "This is the best Museum in the world."

Gallinger is the first visitor from Canada to become a "millionth" visitor to the Hall of Fame. The complete list of millionth visitors includes:

MILLIONTH VISITORS

MILLIONTH     DATE           NAME                                 HOME

one...............06/29/56.....John H. Morrissey.............. Bronxville, NY

two...............06/15/63.....Robert Wilson.................... Schenectady, NY

three............06/28/69......Arthur Greenwood............. Chelmsford, MA

four..............08/20/73.....Robert Buraczewski........... Dickson City, PA

five..............10/21/77......Elaine Parachini................. Silver Spring, MD

six...............09/18/82......Ann Hall............................ Wallingford, CT

seven..........07/08/87......John Rourke....................... Gloversville, NY

eight............06/22/90......Alan Agins......................... Westerly, RI

nine............10/09/92.......Dave Halsey, II.................. Mattydale, NY

ten..............08/09/95.......Brett Hornby...................... Glen Ridge, NJ

eleven........10/05/98.......James Mitchell................... Ellenwood, GA

twelve........08/14/01.......Bobby Duley...................... Cape Elizabeth, MA

thirteen......08/17/04.......Gail Millar.......................... Silver Spring, MD

fourteen....08/17/07........Lauren Kohout................... Gloucester Township, NJ

fifteen.......05/13/11.........Ken Gallinger..................... Ormstown, Quebec, Canada

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 regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend. From Memorial Day through the day before Labor Day, the Museum is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week. 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.