Baseball Hall of Fame to Launch “BASE Race” with Cooperstown’s Clark Sports Center as Starting-Line Effort for National Education Program on Healthy Living

August 11th Debut Event to Feature 5K, 10K Races, Serve as Programmatic Launch Weekend for New Outreach Focused on Dangers of Performance-Enhancing Substances

March 12, 2012

COOPERSTOWN, NY – The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and Cooperstown’s Clark Sports Center are teaming up to bring a pair of road races – a family-style 5K fun run and a competitive 10K for racing enthusiasts – to Cooperstown on Saturday, August 11, 2012, to promote healthy and active lifestyles for individuals of all ages.

The debut event will serve as the foundation for the national launch weekend for the Hall of Fame’s new education program, “Be A Superior Example.” Known by its acronym as “BASE,” the new Hall of Fame initiative will introduce the concepts of healthy lifestyle choices to a worldwide audience, educating students about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances. Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to expand the outreach of the BASE program.

The inaugural BASE Race provides families, athletes of all skill level, and racing enthusiasts with the opportunity to participate in a challenging 10K through the rolling hills of the greater Cooperstown area, or a fun 5K that runs past the Hall of Fame. Both courses celebrate the pastoral beauty of Cooperstown during its summer peak.3

The BASE Race will also include an expo featuring on-site opportunities to learn more about healthy lifestyle choices. A full weekend of public programs, August 11-12, focused on the themes of BASE, will be announced soon, including Hall of Famer participation, panel discussions and additional active programs, geared toward today’s young athletes.

“The BASE Race serves as the symbolic starting line for the Hall of Fame to introduce the components of BASE to a worldwide audience, with the local support of Cooperstown, Otsego County and the central New York community,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “As we go beyond Cooperstown with the BASE program, this debut weekend encourages families, runners, and individuals from a diverse background to join the Hall of Fame in this important endeavor, to promote a healthy lifestyle, which includes making the active choice to live free of performance-enhancing substances.”

“The Clark Sports Center is committed to promoting health, fitness, recreation and education throughout the community,” said Dion Wade, Director of the Clark Sports Center. “As the Hall of Fame embarks on a national effort to share the messages of the dangers of performance-enhancing substances, the Clark Sports Center is excited to be a partner with them at the starting line of the BASE program.”

Both the 5K and 10K courses will start and conclude at the Clark Sports Center. Prizes will be awarded for both races, in a number of categories based on age groups, in both male and female categories. All registrants will receive baseball and Cooperstown-themed gifts from the inaugural event. Registration is $25 for adults and $50 for families until July 15. Registration is now underway at baseballhall.org and clarksportscenter.com. Additional details are available online at both sites and by calling the Clark Sports Center at 607-547-2800.

BASE Weekend will feature the launch of a number of components for the Hall of Fame’s BASE program. The first major national registry to record individual commitments to live a life free of performance-enhancing substances will go live in October. The registry will live online on baseballhall.org and will feature the incorporation of an interactive kiosk in the Museum in Cooperstown, which will feature profiles and photos of those who have made the commitment to the lessons of healthy living.

Registration for the “PES-free” pledge will also begin August 11, as part of a national outreach to schools and youth athletic programs. Online educational tools will be available for access by individuals, teams, parents, coaches and families, with more in-depth programs available through the Museum’s on-site and videoconference educational offerings.

“The BASE program promotes healthy choices, while educating students and adults about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances,” said Idelson. “The introduction of this content to the Museum’s award-winning educational curriculum is a natural integration into how we educate youth everyday about American culture, with topics ranging from history and character education to math and science, through the lens of baseball. BASE provides a powerful refrain and common foundation for students of all ages that performance-enhancing substances are dangerous, and the only way to live a healthy life is to do so free of these harmful substances.”

About the BASE Program

In addition to the online registry and education lessons from Cooperstown, the BASE program will provide for national exposure opportunities to raise the public awareness on the prevalence of PES use in today’s society. Other objectives of the BASE program include: educating audiences about the short- and long-term effects of PES use; providing guidance for developing healthy lifestyles and injury prevention; empowering students, parents and athletic administrators with the ability to identify potential PES use; and providing strategies to help individuals of all ages make informed decisions about their own health and in influencing the health of others.

“The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum houses three entities under one roof: The Hall of Fame for the game’s greats, a Museum to document the rich history of our national pastime, and a Library and Education Center to provide research and educational opportunities for every generation,” Idelson said. “It is through the education programs that we are able to fulfill our mission of providing context to the issues that have faced our game, as a reflection of American history, throughout its history.

“Hall of Fame voting has been a part of this nation’s fabric since 1936, and has touted the virtues of character, sportsmanship and integrity, along with the contributions to the game, as integral qualifications for earning election,” added Idelson. “The various voting bodies for Hall of Fame election will continue to use that criterion in evaluating candidates. The BASE program provides educational content, as mission-based programming designed to influence the lives of young adults and promote the healthy elements of playing all sports the right way. It is not intended to cast a directive to voters about Hall of Fame-worthy candidates.”

A national fundraising campaign for the BASE program will continue this spring, with targeted fundraising goals designed to help the Museum fund several projects that will reach audiences nationwide with meaningful education. The Museum is committed to working with the Taylor Hooton Foundation and the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) as partners in delivering content and programmatic elements.

Among the targets presently identified by the Museum for delivery in the next 18 months, based on funding, include: a national survey to document the use of performance-enhancing substances and the need for increased national education; on-site educational programs in 20 communities nationally; and a national summit in Cooperstown, bringing together youth baseball representatives and education experts in the field of performance-enhancing substances to further address the need for widespread participation and promotion.

Future potential outreach targets, based on funding, include community based webinars, continuing education programs for medical professionals on PES use and effects, and expanded distribution of programmatic materials and elements to influence even greater numbers of individuals to lead a performance-enhancing substance-free lifestyle.

Complete information of the BASE program is available through a comprehensive white paper, featuring detailed data on the use of performance-enhancing substances and the fundraising objectives of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, online at www.baseballhall.org/BASE.