Hall of Famers Phil Niekro and Cal Ripken to Support Museum’s BASE Program at Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School on Friday

Celebration of ‘Be A Superior Example’ Themes Part of Museum’s 75th Anniversary Weekend

June 09, 2014

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Phil Niekro and Cal Ripken spent a combined 45 big league seasons showing teammates, opponents and fans how to play the game with integrity and respect. 

As part of the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the three Hall of Fame legends will share the lessons they learned with the next generation of athletes in Central New York. 

Niekro and Ripken will discuss their careers and their commitment to healthy living and the Museum’s “Be A Superior Example” program with more than 500 area students from 10 different school districts at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 13 at Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School, located about 45 minutes from Cooperstown. The event will be part of the June 12-13 celebration that will mark the exact day – June 12, 1939 – when what was then known as the National Baseball Museum opened to the public for the first time. 

The Museum’s BASE program 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 BASE program encourages participants to sign a life pledge to live and play free of performance-enhancing substances following the conclusion of online education material, which is available on the worldwide web at www.beasuperiorexample.org. The national registry lives in Cooperstown, allowing those who have made the pledge to see their names when visiting the Museum, alongside the game’s greats. 

The two Hall of Famers visit to Central New York is a part of a weekend of events celebrating the Museum’s birthday. The festivities will begin on Thursday, June 12 at 11 a.m. with a Celebration Ceremony on the Museum’s front steps – just paces from the original entrance – featuring Niekro and Ripken along with Museum Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark and President Jeff Idelson. Following the event, visitors will be invited in to experience the Museum and to sing “Happy Birthday!” and enjoy the Hall of Fame’s 75th Anniversary Birthday Cake. 

At 1 p.m., local residents who were present for the opening of the Museum on June 12, 1939 – Homer Osterhoudt, Howard Talbot and Catherine Walker – along with the Museum’s Curator Emeritus Ted Spencer will share their memories in a program for visitors in the Bullpen Theater. 

On Friday, June 13, the Museum will celebrate the opening of Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend. The new exhibit will open on the Museum’s second floor and has been made possible by generous support from Ford Motor Company and Jay and Patty Baker, along with an anonymous gift – with additional support from Mike Costa, Babe Ruth League Baseball, The Hanover Insurance Group, Jockey International and Luminary Group. The exhibit will allow visitors to experience the historic impact of the Bambino on the American public, as it happened. Stunning historic artifacts, never-before-seen ephemera and exciting movie footage come together to reveal the stories and history one of baseball’s most popular figures in the year of the 100th anniversary of Ruth’s big league debut.  

On Friday evening, the Museum will celebrate the careers of Niekro and Ripken through a Voices of the Game program at 5 p.m. in the Museum’s Grandstand Theater. A limited number of tickets are available exclusively to Museum members, for $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12 by calling 607-547-0397. 

For a schedule of all Museum events June 12-13, please visit http://baseballhall.org/75th-anniversary.