Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 to Celebrate Three Inductees, Salute Baseball’s Past with Game’s Greatest Legends, July 26-28 in Cooperstown

Hank O’Day, Jacob Ruppert and Deacon White to Formally Join Hall of Fame; Honorees Cheek, Hagen, Jobe and Tull Featured with Awards Presentations

June 11, 2013

(COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.) – The game’s greatest annual celebration will feature more family-friendly events than ever as the Class of 2013 is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame July 26-28 in Cooperstown, N.Y., at Hall of Fame Weekend.

The pioneering legacies of umpire Hank O’Day, Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and 19th Century catcher/third baseman Deacon White will be honored as the three newest additions to the Hall of Fame family are inducted. Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 will also feature the presentation of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award to writer Paul Hagen, the posthumous honoring of former Blue Jays voice Tom Cheek with the Ford C. Frick Award and a salute to the work of Legendary Entertainment CEO Thomas Tull, whose company produced the epic Jackie Robinson biopic “42”, and Dr. Frank Jobe, whose groundbreaking surgery on pitcher Tommy John has evolved into a game-changing medical procedure.

Nearly forty Hall of Famers are expected to return for Hall of Fame Weekend, with the full list of returnees to be announced in early July, to honor the Class of 2013 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held Sunday, July 28, at 1:30 p.m. EDT at the Clark Sports Center and will be shown live on MLB Network. Four honorees will be recognized during the Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 27 at 4:30 p.m. at Doubleday Field.

The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will also pay tribute to 12 individuals previously counted among the Hall’s roster of members who never had a formal induction. Honorees will include BBWAA electees  Lou Gehrig (1939) and Rogers Hornsby (1942), along with the entire class of 1945 selected by the Committee on Old Timers: Roger BresnahanDan Brouthers,Fred ClarkeJimmy CollinsEd DelahantyHugh DuffyHughie JenningsKing KellyJim O’Rourkeand Wilbert Robinson

The Class of 2013 features an umpire, an owner and a player who each changed the game in its earliest decades.

O’Day became just the 10 arbiter to earn induction and the first since Doug Harvey in 2010. O’Day, who umpired National League games for 30 years and also served as a player and a manager, received 15 of 16 votes (93.8 percent) from the Pre-Integration Era Committee in December. O’Day umpired in the first modern World Series in 1903, one of 10 World Series he worked overall. O’Day was also the ruling umpire in the famous Cubs vs. Giants game on Sept. 23, 1908 when Chicago’s Johnny Evers tagged out New York’s Fred Merkle following what appeared to be the game-winning hit by the Giants. O’Day ruled that because Merkle had not touched second base that the force out ended the game, which was ruled a tie when the fans overran the field. The Cubs later won a re-played version of the game and captured the National League pennant. O’Day passed away on July 2, 1935.

Ruppert became the 33rd executive elected to the Hall of Fame. The former Yankees owner ran the club from 1915-39 and received 15 of 16 votes (93.8 percent) from the Pre-Integration Era Committee. Ruppert bought the Yankees in 1915 with Tillinghast Huston and quickly turned a second-division team into the game’s most prominent franchise. Ruppert brought future Hall of Famers Miller Miller Huggins (as manager) and Ed Barrow (as general manager) to the Yankees, purchased the contract of Babe Ruth from the Red Sox prior to the 1920 season and built Yankee Stadium, which opened in 1923. While he was the Yankees owner, the Bronx Bombers won 10 American League pennants and seven World Series. Ruppert passed away on Jan. 13, 1939.

James Laurie “Deacon” White was a brilliant bare-handed catcher and later a third basemen during the earliest days of professional baseball. White received 14 of 16 votes (87.5 percent) from the Pre-Integration Era Committee. White played in the first professional league, the National Association – which debuted in 1871, and he later played for Chicago in the National League’s inaugural year of 1876. Despite league schedules that often were limited to 70 or 80 games, White finished his 20-year career with 2,067 hits and a .312 career batting average, winning two batting titles and three RBI crowns. White played for nine franchises in three leagues and appeared in 122 games at the age of 42 in his final season of 1890. White passed away on July 7, 1939.

The three newest inductees bring the total to 300 Hall of Fame members, 62 of whom are living.

2013 Award winners Hagen and Cheek will be honored during the Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 27 at 4:30 p.m. at Doubleday Field. As part of the event, the Hall of Fame will also salute Tull, Jobe and John – all of whom will be present against a backdrop of the returning Hall of Famers. 

Hagen, whose baseball writing career has spanned 40 years, including 26 as an authoritative analytical voice in Philadelphia, will be presented the 2013 J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing, presented by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Cheek, who called the first 4,306 regular-season games in Blue Jays history before passing away in 2005, will be honored with the 2013 Ford C. Frick Award , presented annually by the Baseball Hall of Fame for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Cheek’s widow Shirley will accept the Frick Award on her husband’s behalf.

The Sunday, July 28 Induction Ceremony will take place on the grounds outside of the Clark Sports Center, which is located on lower Susquehanna Avenue, just one mile south of the Hall of Fame. The Ceremony is held rain or shine, unless severe weather forces the cancellation of the event. Professional interpreters will be provided for the hearing impaired. The Induction Ceremony historically lasts two hours. Seating for the event is unlimited and free of charge. A blanket or lawn chair is recommended for comfortable viewing. As the weather in Cooperstown can be quite warm in July, it is recommended that visitors bring a cap and sunscreen. Induction Merchandise and Museum membership packages are available for purchase at the Induction site. Refreshments are sold at the site and water is provided complimentary to visitors. For information on reserved seating options granted to Museum members, please call 607-547-0397.

The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 27 at Doubleday Field. The Awards Presentation will be immediately followed by the Parade of Legends, as Hall of Fame members ride down Main Street in trucks provided by Ford Motor Company at 6 p.m., concluding with a red carpet arrival on the Museum steps as Hall of Fame members make their way to the Museum for a private reception.

Throughout the Weekend, the Hall of Fame will host a series of educational programs and fan-friendly experiences designed to connect generations of all ages in activities and events featuring baseball luminaries in the timeless and pastoral village of Cooperstown. Additional programming, both at the Museum and at Doubleday Field on Saturday of Induction Weekend, will be announced soon. Full details of new events and schedule changes will be announced at the Hall of Fame’s Web site baseballhall.org.

Planned activities for Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 include:

Hall of Fame Weekend Events

Friday, July 26

PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith & special Hall of Famer guests
8-11 a.m.
Plaque Gallery and On Field

Author’s Series event on “Inside the Baseball Hall of Fame”
1 p.m.
Bullpen Theater

Saturday, July 27

Abbott, Costello and Casey Too!
3:30 p.m.
Doubleday Field

The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation Stage will come alive at 3:30 p.m. with live performances by Gil “Bud” Palmer and Lou Sciara, noted for their portrayal of the classic comedy duo, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Joining them will be the Hall of Fame’s Director of Research, Tim Wiles, portraying the Mighty Casey himself!

Hall of Fame Awards Presentation
4:30 p.m.
Doubleday Field

Hall of Fame Parade of Legends
6 p.m.
Main Street 

Sunday, July 28

Induction Ceremony
1:30 p.m.
Clark Sports Center

PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith: Join a dream infield that could only come together in Cooperstown, with Ozzie Smith and three Hall of Fame guests hosting a morning experience in a fundraiser for the Hall of Fame’s educational programs.  For the 12th year, PLAY Ball returns as the Players, Legends and You with an interactive meet and greet, starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, July 26th during Hall of Fame Weekend 2013.

PLAY Ball features over two hours of non-stop interaction, including personalized instruction and the chance to turn double plays. Each participant receives time on the field with these baseball legends, as well as personalized photo and special mementos of the occasion. Prior to the on-field activity, participants and Hall of Famers will share a special breakfast in the Hall of Fame’s Plaque Gallery.

This event is open to fans of all ages. The PLAY Ball opportunity is priced at $600 for members and $800 for non-members. Space is limited and the event is open for registration immediately. Interested participants can register by calling the Membership department at 607-547-0397. Additional Hall of Famers will be announced soon.

Hall of Fame Parade of Legends: Join the pageantry and excitement as the Hall of Famers ride in trucks provided by Ford Motor Company down Main Street on their way to a private reception at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Staging for the Parade takes place at Doubleday Field and fans are encouraged to attend the Awards Presentation prior to making their way to the Parade. Main Street, 6 p.m., Saturday.  

Hall of Fame Members are afforded special opportunities throughout the Weekend. As a not-for-profit educational institution, membership support advances the Museum's programs and aids in the preservation of artifacts and archival materials that document the rich history of America's game. Additionally, membership packages are wonderful and unique gifts for friends and family. Members enjoy many privileges, including free admission to the Hall of Fame year-round. To learn more about the program and its many benefits, please visit baseballhall.org.

Additional Hall of Fame Weekend Privileges

  • Free admission to the Museum throughout the year
  • A special members-only entrance to the Hall of Fame to avoid long lines
  • Exclusive early access to the Museum on Saturday and Sunday
  • VIP reserved seating for the Induction for Benefactor and President's Circle Members
  • Opportunity to reserve Grandstand Seating to the Awards Presentation
  • Transportation provided to and from the Museum for special Weekend events

The Museum has teamed up with Sports Travel and Tours to offer baseball fans a one-stop opportunity to purchase Induction Weekend travel packages. For more information or to plan a trip to Cooperstown, please call 1-888-310-HALL (4255). Membership participants receive a 5% discount on all their baseball travel packages.

The Museum maintains the following Hall of Fame Weekend hours: Friday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Advance tickets are not necessary but are available by contacting the Hall of Fame at 888-425-5633. For Hall of Fame Members, doors open at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. As always, Hall of Fame Members receive free admission. A special Members’ only entrance eliminates the need to wait in line. Interested parties may enroll in the membership program in advance or at the Museum.

If you need help with accommodations during your stay, you should plan to contact the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce at 607-547-9983, or visit the Chamber Web site at www.cooperstownchamber.org. The Chamber of Commerce site provides detailed information about what to see, where to stay, places to eat and where to shop in Cooperstown and nearby towns.

The Baseball Writers Association of America will announce the results of its 2014 Hall of Fame election on Jan. 8. Hall of Fame Weekend 2014 will be held July 25-28, 2014 in Cooperstown.

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 summer hours of 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. from Memorial Day Weekend until the day before Labor Day. From Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend, the Museum observes daily regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 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.