Character and Courage Weekend to Honor Ryne Sandberg, October 6 in Cooperstown

Themes to Be Celebrated, Recognized in Columbus Day Weekend Events; Visits to Area Schools to Share Lessons of new BASE Program

September 26, 2012
Ryne Sandberg (NBHOF Library)

COOPERSTOWN, NY – Ryne Sandberg turned an unquenchable work ethic and unwavering dedication into a Hall of Fame playing career with the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies. 

Now as a minor-league manager, Sandberg is preaching those same values – including promoting the value of healthy lifestyle choices featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s new “Be A Superior Example” initiative – to a new generation of players. 

As part of its fifth-annual salute to Character and Courage, and in conjunction with the Museum’s nationwide launch of the BASE program, the Hall of Fame will welcome Sandberg back to Cooperstown and share his stories of sportsmanship and integrity through a variety of programs, highlighted by an 1 p.m. Voices of the Game event in the Museum’s Grandstand Theater on Saturday, Oct. 6. 

The 2012 Character and Courage Weekend celebration, taking place Oct. 5-7, is dedicated to the national launch of the BASE program – the new educational outreach initiative designed to promote healthy habits for individuals of all ages. 

In addition to his participation in the program for Museum visitors, Sandberg will also deliver the keynote address at a skills clinic on Saturday morning, for young athletes ages 7-18, with a special message promoting the values of sportsmanship, integrity and fair play. The clinic, which begins at 10:30 a.m. and features several activity stations promoting exercise and fitness, is free for Museum visitors, but participants must register in advance by calling 607-547-0397. The clinic will be led by area educators, and Sandberg will deliver the concluding message of the program. 

“BASE” promotes the benefits of four foundations – fitness, nutrition, character and fair play – to represent each of the four bases on the diamond. The program also educates students and adults about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances. 

“It’s a daily commitment,” said Sandberg, a 2005 Hall of Fame inductee who has managed the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs of the Phillies organization for the last two seasons. “It’s a dedication. It’s about getting the right nutrition. It’s about getting rest. It’s about taking care of your body because ultimately your body is going to be performing for you not only for a baseball season but in life in general.” 

On Thursday, Oct. 4, Sandberg will help the Hall of Fame launch a national registry featured in the BASE program that allows for participants to sign a life pledge to live and play free of performance-enhancing substances following the conclusion of online education material from the BASE program, which is now available online at www.beasuperiorexample.org. The national registry will live in Cooperstown, allowing those who have made the pledge to see their names when visiting the Museum, along side the game’s greats. 

Sandberg will also visit area Otsego County schools on Friday, Oct. 5, to share these messages of healthy living with area middle and high school students as a part of his appearance in Cooperstown. 

Sandberg’s commitment to playing the game the right away resulted in 10 All-Star Game selections, nine Gold Glove Awards and the 1984 National League Most Valuable Player Award during a 16-year big league career. As a manager, Sandberg preaches self-discipline and self-awareness to players who are striving to make the major leagues. 

“Performance enhancing drugs are very dangerous, lethal, and they are against the rules in professional baseball,” Sandberg said. “Baseball does not need players to take shortcuts and to be misled that illegal drugs helps their performance and that they have anything to gain from that.” 

A ticket is required for the Oct. 6 Voices of the Game event featuring Ryne Sandberg and costs $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12. Tickets are available to participants in the Hall of Fame’s Membership program immediately by calling 607-547-0397, and any remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday, Oct. 1. 

For more information on Character and Courage Weekend, please visit www.baseballhall.org

In 2008, the Hall of Fame dedicated the Character and Courage exhibit in the Museum’s foyer. Three statues, which depict Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente, Lou Gehrig and Jackie Robinson, celebrate character and courage in baseball and in life, reflecting the achievements of Clemente, Gehrig and Robinson as beacons of these characteristics. Made possible through a gift of Hall of Fame supporter Bob Crotty, the statues are a permanent Museum exhibit. 

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.