Hall of Fame Classic Player of the Game Award To Be Named for Legendary Pitcher Bob Feller

On the 71st Anniversary of Feller’s Opening Day No-Hitter, Tickets First Available for 2011 Father’s Day Classic at Hall of Fame in Cooperstown

April 16, 2011
Bob Feller started on the mound for the first annual Hall of Fame Classic in 2009. (Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

COOPERSTOWN, NY – When he stepped onto the Doubleday Field mound at the inaugural Hall of Fame Classic at the age of 90 on Father’s Day in 2009, Bob Feller proved his status as an American icon was truly timeless.

Today, on the 71st anniversary of his Opening Day no-hitter, Feller’s iconic legend continues in Cooperstown. As a key part of the latest baseball tradition he helped create, the Hall of Fame Classic, the Hall of Fame announced today that Classic’s Player of the Game Award will be dedicated in Feller’s memory and presented beginning in 2011.

The Bob Feller Player of the Game Award will be presented annually following the Hall of Fame Classic in Cooperstown, starting with the June 19 Legends game at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. Feller, who spent more than half of his life as an elected Hall of Famer following his election in 1962, passed away Dec. 15 at the age of 92.

His starting assignment in the 2009 Hall of Fame Classic was another chapter in the historic moments of Feller’s life, as he faced the first three batters of the inaugural game, before departing to a rousing standing ovation at Doubleday Field. Feller returned to the Classic in 2010 to entertain and thrill fans who adored a man whose patriotism and love of baseball were on display every day of his life.

“Bob Feller’s legacy lives on in Cooperstown through his achievements on and off the baseball diamond,” said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. “No one loved the game or the Hall of Fame more than Bob, and he spent his life thanking the fans for their support of baseball, of America, and of his career. It is fitting that the award for the Classic’s Player of the Game, held on Father’s Day, now bears his name.”

Feller won 266 games in a storied 18-year big league career with the Cleveland Indians, including his 1-0 no-hit victory over the White Sox on April 16, 1940 – the first of his three career no-hitters. His missed almost four years of action on the diamond while serving in the Navy during World War II.

Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1962 in his first year eligible, Feller became one of baseball’s greatest ambassadors, returning annually to Cooperstown for Hall of Fame Induction Weekend and countless other events.

This Father’s Day, fans will once again come to Cooperstown to experience the magic of the National Pastime at the Hall of Fame Classic, presented by Ford Motor Company. The National Baseball Hall of Fame will host Hall of Fame Classic Weekend, June 18-19, with the participation of seven Hall of Fame members highlighting the June 19 Hall of Fame Classic at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y. The 2011 Hall of Fame Classic will once again be staged in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.

Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Goose Gossage, Phil Niekro, Tony Pérez, Jim Rice, Ozzie Smith and Dick Williams will headline the Classic, with former major leaguers Frank Catalanotto, Steve Garvey, Doug Glanville, Bill Lee, Dale Murphy, Willie Wilson, Rick Wise and Dmitri Young also scheduled to appear.

Tickets for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s third annual Hall of Fame Classic will be made available to the general public today at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Concurrently, participants in the Museum’s Membership Program can secure their tickets at 9 a.m. ET today at www.baseballhall.org or by calling 1-866-849-7770. For more information on becoming a Museum Member and receiving access to this special phone and internet sale, please call 607-547-0397.

Hall of Fame Classic Weekend, presented by Ford Motor Company for the third straight season, will feature a slate of family friendly activities, highlighted by the return of the Hall of Fame Classic, a seven-inning legends game, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 19. Other activities planned for Classic Weekend include a Hall of Fame golf tournament fundraiser for the Museum, the new Classic Fest at Doubleday Field, the Legends for Youth Skills Clinic hosted by several former major league players, a special Voices of the Game program, and other unique programs throughout the Museum.

The Hall of Fame Classic will be once again preceded by the Cooperstown Game Day Parade, presented by the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, the village of Cooperstown and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, beginning at noon on June 19 on Main Street. Game participants will ride in the parade on their way to Doubleday Field. Following the Cooperstown Game Day Parade, the Legends Hitting Contest will be held at Doubleday Field at 1 p.m., followed by the Hall of Fame Classic at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the 2011 Hall of Fame Classic are $12.50 for first and third base seats and $11 for outfield seats. Should tickets remain beginning April 25, phone and Internet sales will begin for the general public, with details to be announced at that time.

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.