Celebrate Opening Day at the Hall of Fame

Home of Baseball Welcomes Fans From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday

March 30, 2011
The Baseball Hall of Fame will mark the start of the 2011 season on Thursday. (Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

COOPERSTOWN, NY – The long winter for baseball fans ends Thursday with the start of the 2011 season. And at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, Opening Day means a chance to celebrate at the home of the National Pastime.

The Hall of Fame will offer fans the opportunity to watch live coverage of Opening Day baseball where the game's pulse beats the strongest, starting with the Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees game at 1:05 p.m. in the Museum's Bullpen Theater. Fans can also test their knowledge of Opening Day history with trivia contests.

Admission to the celebration is included in the cost of Museum admission. This year marks the 136th season of Major League Baseball and the 72nd anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Thursday's games promise history on the diamond that will be recorded and preserved by the Hall of Fame. Several Hall of Famers have already made history in March 31, including:

  • Hall of Fame first baseman Mule Suttles, a Negro leagues stalwart in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, was born on March 31, 1900, in Blocton, Ala.
  • Two future Hall of Famers were traded for each other on March 31, 1958, when the Indians sent Dick Williams – inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008 as a manager – along with Bud Daley and Gene Woodling to the Orioles for Larry Doby – who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998 – and Don Ferrarese.
  • Future Hall of Famer Wade Boggs hit the first home run in Tampa Bay Devil Rays history on March 31, 1998.

Among the many Opening Day items in the Museum's collection are: A ball thrown for the first pitch in Washington Nationals' history on April 4, 2005; Opening Day baseballs signed by Presidents Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon Johnson; and the ball from the ceremonial first pitch of the 2000 season, a game between the Cubs and Mets in Japan that marked the first regular-season Major League Baseball game played outside of North America.

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.