PLAY Ball with Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith Leads Off Hall of Fame Weekend 2011 with New Lineup

Interact with The Wizard and Special Guests Rod Carew, Andre Dawson and Whitey Herzog at the Museum’s Annual Education Fundraiser July 22

June 20, 2011
Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith will host an on-field skills event during Hall of Fame Weekend. (Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

COOPERSTOWN, NY – On the field, Ozzie Smith provided fans with a new thrill every day with his one-of-a-kind skills at shortstop.

This summer, the Wizard brings that same talent to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's PLAY Ball event to lead off Hall of Fame Weekend 2011, with a brand new format for the one-of-a-kind interactive fan favorite.

Smith, the Hall of Fame's Education Ambassador, will host PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith – an annual fundraiser for the Museum's educational programs – on Friday, July 22 in Cooperstown, to give fans a unique chance to experience on-field moments and stories with Hall of Fame members. Ozzie will welcome fellow Hall of Famers Rod Carew, Andre Dawson and Whitey Herzog as his guests to the event in 2011.

"This will be our 10th PLAY Ball event, and it gets better every year," said Smith, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2002 after a 19-year big league career that featured 15 All-Star Game selections and 13 Gold Glove Awards at shortstop. "We have an exciting morning planned with Rod Carew, Andre Dawson and my former skipper, Whitey Herzog, set to join us to fundraise for the Hall of Fame's incredible education programs and the Ozzie Smith Diversity Scholarship, as part of the Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development. It's going to be a memorable day in Cooperstown, and we look forward to involving fans of all ages for this unique experience."

Participants in PLAY Ball each receive on-field round-robin interaction with the Hall of Famers along with special mementos to commemorate their experience. The event will begin at 8 a.m. July 22 with an exclusive morning reception in the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery, with Ozzie and his Hall of Fame friends. Following photos, stories and interaction with their Hall of Fame guides, PLAY Ball participants will hit the field at a Cooperstown-area diamond, where they will receive two hours of instruction and tips from some of the greatest players and strategists the game has known.

PLAY Ball is part of the July 22-25 Hall of Fame Weekend activities that will be highlighted by the July 24 Induction Ceremony when Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick will be enshrined as the Class of 2011.

A limited number of spaces for PLAY Ball remain, and a reservation is required. Event pricing is $450 for Members, $600 for non-Members. Members may reserve spots now by calling 607-547-0397. For more information on Membership, please visit www.baseballhall.org.

The Museum maintains the following Hall of Fame Weekend hours: Friday, July 22: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday, July 23: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday, July 24: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Monday, July 26: 9 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.

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.