Dawson, Harvey, Herzog Thrill Cooperstown Crowd At Class of 2010 Hall of Fame Induction
Rock and Roll Legend John Fogerty Performs Classic Baseball Anthem ‘Centerfield’
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – The list of baseball’s immortals expanded by three on Sunday at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
For each, their moment in Cooperstown proved the thrill of a lifetime.
Baseball’s most exclusive club welcomed its newest members Sunday, with the biggest names the game has ever known were right there to see it. Fifty Hall of Famers graced the stage in Cooperstown on Sunday during the annual Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony as Andre Dawson, Doug Harvey and Whitey Herzog were inducted as the Class of 2010 in front of a cheering crowd of an estimated 10,000 fans and a nation of supporters watching from home live on MLB Network.
Dawson, Harvey and Herzog each became a bit emotional during their induction speeches at the three-hour ceremony, which also featured the honoring of Jon Miller and Bill Madden as the Ford C. Frick and J.G. Taylor Spink Award winners, respectively.
The usually stoic Dawson, an eight-time All-Star outfielder and one of just two Hall of Famers – along with Willie Mays – with at least 400 career homers and 300 stolen bases, joked with his new Hall of Fame teammates during his speech before reflecting on the experience.
“I will never forget his day, and I will never forget those who helped make it possible,” Dawson said. “I will never forget that it was my love for the game that propelled me and kept it going when times got tough. I will never forget that if you love this game, it will love you back.”
Harvey, who is the ninth umpire elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, rarely let his emotions show when he was on the field. But on Sunday, he embraced his new role as a Hall of Famer.
“As we all know, Cooperstown is the home of baseball,” Harvey said during his speech, which was pre-recorded due to the after-effects of a bout with throat cancer. “One of the many duties of the home plate umpire is to make sure that the runner touches home. Well, if you are a true baseball fan, you need to visit Cooperstown. This is home.”
Herzog, who managed for 18 seasons and led the Cardinals to the 1982 World Series title, becomes the 19th former big league manager inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“Being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York,” Herzog said, “is like going to heaven before you die.”
What started as a cool and overcast day turned sunny mid-way through Harvey’s speech after a brief shower fell on the crowd. Highlights from the afternoon included:
**Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Fogerty paid homage to the game by performing his classic “Centerfield.” The Hall of Fame honored Fogerty for his song and the impact of the timeless classic. After the Induction Ceremony, an exhibit dedicated to Fogerty, featuring his bat guitar “Slugger” and the original lyrics that Fogerty penned the song, opened at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, with Fogerty on hand following the Ceremony.
**Former teammates and friends of the inductees were on hand at the Induction Ceremony, including Dawson’s former Expos teammates Tim Raines and Warren Cromartie and Harvey’s former umpiring colleagues Joe West, Ed Montague, Jerry Crawford and Randy Marsh.
**Fans heard from several Hall of Famers during the Ceremony, including Ozzie Smith on the electees and his annual PLAY Ball event at the Hall of Fame; Al Kaline on the 30th anniversary of his Hall of Fame induction; Tom Seaver on his role as the Hall of Fame’s 2010 Membership Spokesman; and Johnny Bench, who performed “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
**Eleven-year-old Anthony Gargiula of Glenmont, N.Y., gave a rousing rendition of the National Anthem.
**During the introduction of returning Hall of Famers, thunderous standing ovations came for Henry Aaron, Bob Feller and Willie Mays, among others. Forty-seven Hall of Famers, not including the Class of 2010, returned to Cooperstown to watch the Induction Ceremony.
Transcripts of the Induction Ceremony speeches of Dawson, Harvey and Herzog are available online at www.baseballhall.org.
The 2010 Hall of Fame Weekend concludes Monday with a Legends Series event hosted by George Grande at 10:30 a.m. at the Clark Sports Center Induction Site in Cooperstown. This event will feature a discussion with Class of 2010 members Andre Dawson, Doug Harvey and Whitey Herzog and is open to participants in the Hall of Fame’s Membership Program. The event will be recorded for broadcast on MLB Network, with the first air date scheduled for 2 p.m. on July 28. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children, and are available at the Hall of Fame. For information on becoming a Member, please visit us online at www.baseballhall.org.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2011 Induction Weekend will take place July 22-25, with the Induction Ceremony scheduled for July 24.
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. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Museum is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. The Museum observes regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from the day after Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend. Ticket prices are $16.50 for adults (13 and over), $11 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $6 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.