Baseball Hall of Fame to Recognize Feature Film ‘42’ Alongside Dr. Frank Jobe During Saturday Awards Presentation at Hall of Fame Weekend 2013

Pioneering Elbow Surgeon, Former Pitcher Tommy John and Producer Thomas Tull’s ‘42’ to Receive Honors in Salute to the Game’s Impact on Culture

March 14, 2013
Thomas Tull (right) with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken in May of 2011 during the Museum's One for the Books exhibit opening. (NBHOF Library)

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will honor Hollywood’s portrayal of an American icon and salute a revolutionary baseball medical procedure with two special recognitions during the annual Awards Presentation at Hall of Fame Weekend, Saturday, July 27 in Cooperstown, New York.

The Museum will pay tribute to Legendary Pictures founder and CEO Thomas Tull and his soon-to-be-released film “42”, which documents and pays homage to Baseball Hall of Famer and civil rights pioneer Jackie Robinson. The film, in partnership with Warner Bros., will be released nationwide on Friday, April 12, just in advance of baseball’s Jackie Robinson Day on April 15.

The Museum will also recognize Dr. Frank Jobe for the development of the historic elbow procedure, known as “Tommy John Surgery,” that has helped hundreds of major league players past, present and future extend their baseball careers. John, the former left-handed pitcher who won 288 games in his 26-year major league career, will join Dr. Jobe for the special recognition.

These two special recognitions will be accompanied by the Museum’s annual presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. The late Tom Cheek, who broadcast nearly 30 years of Toronto Blue Jays games, will be honored posthumously with the Frick Award. Paul Hagen, who has covered Major League Baseball for five decades and presently writes for MLB.com, has been selected the Spink Award winner by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Now in its third year, the Awards Presentation takes place on Saturday, July 27 at 4:30 p.m., at world-renowned Doubleday Field, the day before the 2013 Induction Ceremony. In 2012, the Museum recognized three generations of St. Louis Cardinals’ world titles, featuring the three managers who led their clubs to championships.

“The Awards Presentation was developed to celebrate fans’ connections to baseball, whether on the field, or through mass media, pop culture and innovations, channels which help us appreciate the game on many different levels in every community around the globe,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “In addition to this year’s Spink and Frick Award winners, we are pleased to recognize two contributions to our game’s history that furthers the appreciation and understanding of our sport.

“The creative representation of Legendary Pictures, spearheaded by Thomas Tull, along with the talented cast and crew, brings to life the story of Jackie Robinson’s rookie year, so that present and future generations can continue to learn about the courageous nature of an American hero and a Hall of Fame ballplayer. The film is an important cultural asset to baseball, civil rights and our country’s values, and shows the vitality of our game as a foundation of popular culture, as well.

“The ground-breaking work of Dr. Frank Jobe to conceptualize, develop, refine and make main stream Tommy John Surgery, a complex elbow procedure that has furthered the careers of hundreds of ballplayers, is a testament to the positive role of medicine in our game’s growth.

“We are honored to salute these two contributions to the game with special recognition in 2013.”

Admission to the Awards Presentation is free. The one-hour ceremony precedes the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends, featuring Hall of Fame members in a Main Street parade through Cooperstown.

The Hall of Fame will induct three new members on Sunday, July 28 in Cooperstown at 1:30 p.m.: Hank O’Day, renowned as the best of the early umpires of the game; Jacob Ruppert, revolutionary owner of the New York Yankees who built Yankee Stadium and acquired Babe Ruth; and Deacon White, a 19th-century star who played for 20 seasons.

The Hall of Fame will also specially recognize 12 members of the Hall of Fame who never had an induction ceremony due to wartime restrictions, including Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby and the entire class of 1945 Hall of Fame electees.

An estimated 40-50 Hall of Fame members are expected to return for Hall of Fame Weekend 2013, July 26-28 in Cooperstown, New York. For full programming details, please visit 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 regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend. From Memorial Day Weekend through the day before Labor Day, the Museum observes summer hours of 9 a.m. until 9 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.