Character, Courage and Fall Colors On Display This Weekend in Cooperstown

Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg Featured in Museum Programs Saturday

October 03, 2012
The Character and Courage exhibit honoring Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, and Lou Gehrig resides in the Hall of Fame lobby. (Milo Stewart, Jr./NBHOF Library

COOPERSTOWN, NY – As the days get shorter and the temperatures fall, the Central New York scenery changes to a brilliant palate of fall colors every October. 

What never changes in Cooperstown, however, is the timeless qualities of character and courage on exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. 

The Hall of Fame will host special programs for visitors to Cooperstown on Oct. 6 – highlighting Columbus Day Weekend – for the annual Character and Courage celebration. Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg will be on hand, highlighted by a 1 p.m. Voices of the Game event on Saturday, in the Museum’s Grandstand Theater. 

A limited number of tickets remain for the special Voices of Game event. Tickets are required and cost $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12. Tickets are available by calling 607-547-0397. 

Sandberg, manager of the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs of the International League, will share the values of character and courage, including promoting the value of healthy lifestyle choices featured in the Museum’s new “Be A Superior Example” initiative. The fifth-annual Character and Courage Weekend 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. 

“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. The weekend is highlighted by the debut of the new “BASE Registry,” which will first be available nationwide on Thursday, to allow fans the opportunity to sign a pledge to live and play free of performance-enhancing substances. 

In addition to his participation in the Voices of the Game 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. In the event of inclement weather, the Clinic will be condensed to a one-hour program starting at 11:30 in the Bullpen Theater, that introduces the lessons of staying physically fit. 

The events will be held against the backdrop of early autumn in Cooperstown, featuring vibrant colors along the shores of Otsego Lake certain to thrill even veteran “leaf peepers.” 

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 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 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. 

For more information on Character and Courage Weekend, please visit

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 or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.