Ibanez’s Unforgettable Night in Cooperstown Leads to Artifact Donation

Big Leaguer and His Son Thrilled by Extra Innings Overnights Experience; Children Ages 7-12 Can Sleep among the Legends in the Famous Plaque Gallery

February 20, 2013
Raul Ibanez sets up his bed in the Plaque Gallery during his Extra Innings Overnight visit. (NBHOF Library)

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – The larger-than-life heroes of the National Pastime can be found year-round in Cooperstown at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. 

But the game’s biggest fans can also call the Hall of Fame “home” – at least for a few nights a year thanks to the Museum’s Extra Innings Overnights program. And for Seattle Mariners outfielder Raul Ibanez, the memory of his overnight stay in Cooperstown with his son launched a special relationship with the Hall of Fame, which has culminated with an artifact donation from Ibanez to the Museum. 

Ibanez and his son, RJ, participated in a November 2011 Extra Innings Overnight event in Cooperstown, with father and son spending the night in the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery with members of RJ’s youth baseball team. The evening proved so special that when Ibanez made baseball history at the 2012 American League Division Series with the Yankees, his thoughts returned to Cooperstown. 

“It meant such a great deal to go through the Museum with RJ and tour through the game’s treasures, knowing that the Hall of Fame is where the game’s greatest stories are preserved,” said Ibanez, who electrified the baseball world on Oct. 10, 2012, when he became the first player in history to hit two home runs in the ninth inning or later of a postseason game, powering the Bronx Bombers to a win over the Orioles. “Knowing that the bat that I used from the one moment in baseball history is going to be in Cooperstown forever is just so great. I’m honored to have anything of mine attached to the Hall of Fame.” 

Ibanez contacted the Hall of Fame earlier this month to offer a donation of the bat to the Museum. The bat from Ibanez’s historic feat will now be preserved forever in Cooperstown – adding another story to the thousands guests experience when they visit the Hall of Fame. Ibanez said that his memories of the visit to Cooperstown spurred his decision to offer the bat to the Museum. 

Open to both Museum members and youth groups, Extra Innings Overnights is one of the Museum’s most popular programs and features an expanded lineup, increased capacity and new weekend dates for 2013. Children ages 7-12 and their parents can sleep in the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery among the plaques honoring Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson and the rest of baseball’s greats. The evening includes all-access to the Museum’s public areas after-hours, special hands-on programs throughout the Museum, and a late-night snack and a movie in the Bullpen Theater. 

A light breakfast is provided the following morning, and all junior participants receive a Hall of Fame knapsack filled with mementos of the evening. The program costs $49.95 per person. 

Upcoming dates include:

  • March 9-10 – Youth Groups only (Sold out)
  • March 23-24 – Youth Groups only (Sold out)
  • April 6-7 – Members Only
  • July 16-17 – Held on the night of the All-Star Game; 100 All-Star Gala attendees at the Museum can participate
  • November 2-3 – Youth Groups Only
  • November 9-10 – Members Only 

Space is limited for this unique program. For more information or to register, please call the Museum’s education department 607-547-0347. 

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.