Lineups Set for Saturday’s Hall of Fame Classic

Tickets on Sale in Museum and at 9 a.m. on Game Day at Doubleday Field

June 15, 2012

COOPERSTOWN, NY – Ozzie Smith faced 11 Hall of Fame pitchers in his 19-year big league career, none more often than knuckleball master Phil Niekro.

At Saturday’s Hall of Fame Classic in Cooperstown, Ozzie and Knucksie will face off again when Niekro delivers the first pitch at Doubleday Field.

Lineups for Sunday’s fourth annual Hall of Fame Classic were announced Friday, with Team Captain Niekro scheduled to be on the mound for The Knucksies while Team Captain Smith will lead off for the Wizards. Smith came to the plate against Niekro 74 times in that matchup of future Hall of Famers, recording 17 hits in 67 at-bats for a .254 average.

Smith, who will play shortstop, will be followed in the lineup by Hall of Famer Tony Pérez-1B; Rob Mackowiak-CF; Dante Bichette-RF; Darrell Evans-3B; Ben Davis-C; Todd Haney-2B; Rick Wise-LF (the 188-game winner hit two home runs in his 1971 no-hitter) and Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, who will start on the mound. Other players on The Wizards include former pitchers Brian Boehringer, John Doherty, Brian Fisher, Jack Lazorko and Jon Warden and former infielder/outfielder Rick Lancellotti.

Desi Relaford will lead off for The Knucksies, followed by Hall of Famer Eddie Murray-1B; Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk-C; Dmitri Young-LF (Young was the Hall of Fame Classic Bob Feller Player of the Game Award-winner in 2011); Jesse Barfield-RF; Howard Johnson-3B; Oreste Marrero-CF; Russ Ortiz-2B (the former 20-game winner had seven home runs and a .205 batting average at he plate during his career); and Niekro. Other members of The Knucksies include former pitchers Joel Bennett, Will Cunnane, Jim Hannan, C.J. Nitkowski and Dennis Rasmussen.

Wizards (Visiting Team – 3B Dugout)
Ozzie Smith - Team Captain

1. SMITH, Ozzie SS
2. PEREZ, Tony 1B
3. MACKOWIAK, Rob CF
4. BICHETTE, Dante RF
5. EVANS, Darrell 3B
6. DAVIS, Ben C
7. HANEY, Todd 2B
8. WISE, Rick LF
9. BLYLEVEN, Bert P

Reserves:
BOEHRINGER, Brian RHP
DOHERTY, John RHP
FISHER, Brian RHP
LAZORKO, Jack RHP
LANCELLOTTI, Rick IF/OF
WARDEN, Jon LHP

Knucksies (Home Team – 1B Dugout)
Phil Niekro - Team Captain

1. RELAFORD, Desi SS
2. MURRAY, Eddie 1B
3. FISK, Carlton C4. YOUNG, Dmitri LF
5. BARFIELD, Jesse RF
6. JOHNSON, Howard 3B
7. MARRERO, Oreste CF
8. ORTIZ, Russ 2B
9. NIEKRO, Phil P

Reserves:
BENNETT, Joel RHP
CUNNANE, Will RHP
HANNAN, Jim RHP
NITKOWSKI, CJ LHP
RASMUSSEN, Dennis LHP

Tickets for the Hall of Fame Classic are available now in the Hall of Fame Museum Store or by calling 607-547-0397. Tickets will be available at 9 a.m. on game day at the Doubleday Field parking lot. Tickets are $12.50 for first and third base seats and $11 for outfield seats.

Saturday’s festivities begin with the Cooperstown Game Day Parade at noon on Main Street. Hall of Famers Bert Blyleven, Carlton Fisk, Eddie Murray, Phil Niekro, Tony Pérez and Ozzie Smith will be joined in the parade by more than 20 former big leaguers participating in the Hall of Fame Classic. The parade will also feature the Oneonta High School baseball team, which captured the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B championship last weekend.

The Hall of Fame Classic Hitting Challenge follows the parade, starting at 1 p.m. at Doubleday Field. The Hitting Challenge will feature four sluggers from the Hall of Fame Classic roster. Admission to the Hitting Challenge is included with a ticket to the Hall of Fame Classic.

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, The Hall of Fame will host a memorable Voices of the Game program at Doubleday Field. Six Hall of Fame legends – Bert Blyleven, Carlton Fisk, Eddie Murray, Phil Niekro, Tony Pérez and Ozzie Smith – are scheduled to be on hand for the one-hour roundtable program which will feature memorable stories from the Hall of Fame heroes and a question-and-answer session with the audience. A ticket is required for this event and costs $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Tickets can be reserved now by calling the Hall of Fame’s Membership department at 607-547-0397.

On Friday, June 15, the Museum will host the Legends for Youth Skills Clinic, from 4-7 p.m. at Doubleday Field. Hosted in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, the Clinic gives youth participants ages 5-12 a chance to learn hands-on training from several former major league stars. The event concludes with an autograph session for participants. Registration is free but limited, and is available by calling 607-547-0397.

On Father’s Day, June 17, the Hall of Fame will host Family Catch and Kids Run the Bases from 9-11 a.m. at Doubleday Field. A limited number of participants can reserve a spot for this free event by calling 607-547-0397.

The 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame Classic is co-organized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association. For the fourth straight year, Ford Motor Company is the Presenting Sponsor of the Hall of Fame Classic.

For more information on Hall of Fame Classic Weekend, please visit www.baseballhall.org.

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.