Alomar, Blyleven, Gillick Inductions Highlight Hall of Fame Weekend 2011, July 22-25

Cooperstown Weekend Honors 12-Time All-Star Second Baseman, Curveball Master and Three-Time World Series-Winning General Manager, with Activities, New Celebrations

June 27, 2011

51 Hall of Famers expected in Cooperstown for Hall of Fame Weekend

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – In less than four weeks, the eyes of the baseball world will once again be focused on Cooperstown, N.Y., for baseball's most exciting weekend.

With several fan-friendly changes in this year's lineup, Hall of Fame Weekend 2011 promises to be a spectacular experience for fans with a full slate of family events, baseball entertainment, and exclusive opportunities comprising a classic American weekend, July 22-25.

More than four dozen Hall of Famers are scheduled to return, with the full list of returnees to be announced July 5, to honor the Class of 2011 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, honoring the three newest members, will be held Sunday, July 24, at 1:30 p.m. EDT at the Clark Sports Center.

Two electees emerged from the Baseball Writers' Association of America vote in January – 12-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award winning second baseman Roberto Alomar, and curveball master and 287-game winner Bert Blyleven. The December 2010 Expansion Era Committee election produced one electee for induction: Former Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners and Phillies general manager Pat Gillick.

The Induction Ceremony will be shown live on MLB Network, which is available in more than 56 million homes nationwide. This year's Hall of Fame Weekend will feature two new events: The Hall of Fame Spotlight Series and the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation, both of which will be held on Saturday, July 23 at Doubleday Field.

The Hall of Fame Spotlight Series, which will be held from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on July 23, will bring several Hall of Famers to Doubleday Field to participate in interactive discussions on a variety of topics. The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on July 23 at Doubleday Field and will feature the presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters to Dave Van Horne, the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for writers to Bill Conlin and the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award to Roland Hemond, as well as the performance of singer/songwriter Terry Cashman on the 30th anniversary of his baseball classic, Talkin' Baseball.

Also on Saturday, July 23, the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends, a smash hit in its rookie season of 2010, returns for a second year to provide fans with more thrills. Hall of Famers will ride down Main Street in trucks provided by Ford Motor Company en route to a private reception at the Museum during the 6 p.m. parade, with the staging for this year's Parade to take place at Doubleday Field, immediately following the new presentation.

The Sunday, July 24 Induction Ceremony will take place on the grounds outside of the Clark Sports Center, which is located on lower Susquehanna Avenue, unless severe weather cancels the event. Located just one mile south of the Hall of Fame, the short walk provides a picturesque view of the homes of Cooperstown. Please note that professional interpreters will be provided for the hearing impaired. The event will be held outdoors rain or shine.

The Ceremony is expected to last two hours. Seating for the event is unlimited and free of charge. A blanket or lawn chair is recommended for comfortable viewing. As the weather in Cooperstown can be quite warm in July, it is recommended that visitors bring a cap and sunscreen. Ball caps, Yearbooks and Museum membership packages are available for purchase at the Induction site. Refreshments are sold at the site and water is provided complimentary to visitors.

Seating for the new Awards Presentation is free of charge and open to the general public. The one-hour ceremony will follow the free and open seating for the Hall of Fame Spotlight Series throughout the day on Saturday.

Family activities scheduled throughout Hall of Fame Weekend 2011 include the following special events:

Hall of Fame Weekend Events

Friday, July 22 - 8 a.m. PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith & special guests, Plaque Gallery and On Field (with Rod Carew, Andre Dawson and Whitey Herzog)

Saturday, July 23 - 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Hall of Fame Spotlight Series, Doubleday Field Featuring discussions and interactive events with Hall of Famers

4:30 p.m. Hall of Fame Awards Presentation, Doubleday Field

6 p.m. Hall of Fame Parade of Legends, Main Street

Sunday, July 24 - 1:30 p.m. Induction Ceremony, Clark Sports Center

Monday, July 25 - 10:30 a.m. Voices of the Game – Inductee Memories: Clark Sports Center Featuring Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick

PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith - special guests Rod Carew, Andre Dawson and Whitey Herzog: Ozzie Smith returns in a fundraiser for the Hall of Fame's education and public programs with a unique opportunity for fans, featuring fellow Hall of Famers Rod Carew, Andre Dawson and Whitey Herzog. This two-hour event features non-stop interaction at each station with a living legend and includes special mementos. Spaces are limited to 40 participants. The donation is $600 per person, with Hall of Fame Members admitted for $450. To reserve your spot, please call 607-547-0397. 8 a.m., Friday.

Hall of Fame Spotlight Series: The brand new Hall of Fame Spotlight Series will feature discussions about writers and broadcasters, managing the game, the art of pitching and the rare combination of power and speed. Several Hall of Famers are scheduled to appear in programs throughout the day, with guests to be announced soon. The Spotlight Series is free and open to the public. Doubleday Field, 11 a.m. -3 p.m., Saturday.

Hall of Fame Parade of Legends: Join the pageantry and excitement as the Hall of Famers ride in trucks provided by Ford Motor Company down Main Street on their way to a private reception at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Staging for the Parade takes place at Doubleday Field and fans are encouraged to attend the Awards Presentation prior to making their way to the Parade. Main Street, 6 p.m., Saturday.

Voices of the Game: Inductee Memories: The Hall of Fame's newest members, Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick, participate in a Voices of the Game event. This event is for Members only and tickets are currently available by visiting the Membership desk in the Museum or by calling 607-547-0397. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12. Clark Sports Center, 10:30 a.m., Monday.

The Class of 2011 features two of the most dominant players any era and one of the great general managers of all time. All three inductees are living.

Alomar, a second baseman with the Padres, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians, Mets, Diamondbacks and White Sox, was named on 90.0 percent of ballots cast on his second try on the BBWAA ballot, becoming the 26th player to garner at least 90 percent of the vote in any election. Alomar was listed on 523 ballots, the third-highest total of all time.

Blyleven, a pitcher with the Twins, Rangers, Pirates, Indians and Angels, was named on 79.7 percent of ballots, earning election by 27 votes in his next-to-last year of BBWAA eligibility. Blyleven was named on 463 ballots after falling just five votes short of election in 2010.

A masterful team builder whose clubs posted winning records in 20 of his 27 seasons as a general manager, Gillick received 81.3 percent of the vote from the Expansion Era Committee after being named on 13 of a possible 12 ballots.

The 2011 Award winners will receive their recognition and deliver brief speeches during the Awards Presentation on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Doubleday Field.

Van Horne, longtime voice of the Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins, will be presented with the 2011 Ford C. Frick Award for major contributions to baseball broadcasting. Conlin, who has covered the Philadelphia Phillies as a beat writer and columnist for more than 40 years, will be honored with the 2011 J.G. Taylor Spink award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing, presented by the BBWAA. Hemond, who revolutionized front-office strategy in a seven-decade career in baseball, will be presented with the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award. The Awards Ceremony will feature a performance by singer/songwriter Terry Cashman, whose timeless classic "Talkin' Baseball (Willie, Mickey and The Duke)" – which was released 30 years ago – paid homage to the three great New York centerfielders of the 1950s as well as naming a total of 20 Hall of Famers.

Hall of Fame Members are afforded special opportunities throughout the Weekend. As a not-for-profit educational institution, membership support advances the Museum's programs and aids in the preservation of artifacts and archival materials that document the rich history of America's game. Additionally, membership packages are wonderful and unique gifts for friends and family. Members enjoy many privileges, including free admission to the Hall of Fame year-round. To learn more about the program and its many benefits, please visit baseballhall.org.

Additional Hall of Fame Weekend Privileges

  • Free admission to the Museum throughout the year
  • A special members-only entrance to the Hall of Fame to avoid long lines
  • Exclusive early access to the Museum on Saturday, Sunday and Monday
  • VIP reserved seating for the Induction for Benefactor and President's Circle Members
  • Exclusive access to the Legends Series Monday
  • Transportation provided to and from the Museum for special Weekend events

The Museum maintains the following Hall of Fame Weekend hours: Friday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Monday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Advance tickets are not necessary but are available by contacting the Hall of Fame at 888-425-5633. For Hall of Fame Members, doors open at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and at 8 a.m. on Monday. As always, Hall of Fame Members receive free admission. A special Members' only entrance eliminates the need to wait in line. Interested parties may enroll in the membership program in advance or at the Museum.

Parking will be extremely limited in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame Weekend. As is the case throughout the summer, the village will make parking and trolley service available at three trolley lots in Cooperstown. The Cooperstown Trolley will provide transit to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Doubleday Field from three different locations: the Blue Lot on Route 28, south of Cooperstown; the Red Lot on Route 28 (Glen Avenue) at Maple Street; and the Yellow Lot on Route 80 at the upper parking lot of the Fenimore Art Museum. All-day passes are available for $5 per adult and free for children 12 and under.

If you need help with accommodations during your stay, you should plan to contact the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce at 607-547-9983, or visit the Chamber Web site at www.cooperstownchamber.org. The Chamber of Commerce site provides detailed information about what to see, where to stay, places to eat and where to shop in Cooperstown and nearby towns. For driving directions from major cities, area cities and local airports, visit the directions page at the Hall of Fame's Web site for more information: www.baseballhall.org.

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 summer hours of 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. from Memorial Day Weekend until the day before Labor Day. From Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend, the Museum observes daily regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. 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.