Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 to Feature Inductions of O’Day, Ruppert and White, Return of Hall of Famers to Cooperstown July 26-29

Induction Ceremony, Awards Presentation Highlight Family Friendly Events During Celebration of the Game’s Elite

January 10, 2013

(COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.) – The National Pastime’s hometown will once again be the backdrop for the best weekend of the baseball year as Cooperstown hosts Hall of Fame Weekend 2013, July 26-29, featuring the induction of three Pre-Integration Era Committee electees and the return of Hall of Fame members, along with the Awards Presentation and special programs for families and fans of all ages. 

The inductions of pioneering umpire Hank O’Day, former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and 19th Century star Deacon White will be held at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 28 on the Clark Sports Center stage as the greatest heroes the game has ever known gather to pay tribute to baseball’s glorious history. 

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 due to wartime restrictions. 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 Bresnahan, Dan Brouthers, Fred Clarke, Jimmy Collins, Ed Delahanty, Hugh Duffy, Hughie Jennings, King Kelly, Jim O’Rourke and Wilbert Robinson

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. 

The Class of 2013 features three electees who each changed the direction of the National Pastime. 

O’Day umpired National League games for 30 years and becomes just the 10th arbiter elected to Cooperstown when he received 15 of a possible 16 votes (93.8 percent) from the Pre-Integration Era Committee. O’Day umpired in the first modern World Series in 1903, one of 10 World Series he worked overall. He also 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.  O’Day passed away on July 2, 1935. 

Ruppert became the 33rd executive elected to the Hall of Fame and owned the Yankees from 1915-39. Ruppert. who received 15 of 16 votes (93.8 percent) from the Pre-Integration Era Committee, bought the Yankees in 1915 and quickly turned a second-division team into the game’s most prominent franchise. Ruppert brought future Hall of Famers 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. 

White was a brilliant bare-handed catcher and later a third basemen during the earliest days of professional baseball. White, who received 14 of 16 votes (87.5 percent) from the Pre-Integration Era Committee, 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. 

There are now 300 Hall of Fame members, 62 of whom are living. 

On Saturday, July 27, the annual Awards Presentation will honor the Ford C. Frick and J.G. Taylor Spink award winners in front of the returning Hall of Famers at 4:30 p.m. at Doubleday Field, and the popular Parade of Legends will immediately follow as the returning Hall of Famers ride down Main Street in Cooperstown. 

Tom Cheek, who debuted with the expansion Toronto Blue Jays in 1977 and called the first 4,347 regular-season and postseason games for the team before passing away in 2005, will be honored posthumously with the 2013 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Paul Hagen, whose writing career has spanned more than 40 years and has spent the last three decades as an authoritative voice in Philadelphia, will be honored with the 2013 J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing, presented by the BBWAA. 

Throughout the Weekend, the Hall of Fame will host a series of educational programs and fan-friendly experiences soon to be announced 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 website baseballhall.org

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 and will feature the posthumous honoring of Tom Cheek with the Ford C. Frick Award for baseball broadcasting excellence and presentation of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing to Paul Hagen. 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.