Hall of Fame Weekend 2016 to Feature Inductions of Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza, July 22-25 in Cooperstown

Induction Ceremony, Awards Presentation highlight family friendly events during celebration of the game’s elite

Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza will receive the National Pastime’s highest honor in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame Weekend 2016, July 22-25 – four days of celebratory events and programs for baseball fans of all ages.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2016 Induction Ceremony will feature the two Baseball Writers’ Association of America electees. Griffey and Piazza will be formally inducted and deliver speeches beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 24 at the Clark Sports Center. The 2016 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be shown live exclusively on MLB Network.

The election of Griffey and Piazza brings the three-year BBWAA electee total to nine, the most in any three-year period since nine candidates were elected by the BBWAA from 1954-56.

Hall of Fame Weekend 2016 will also feature the Saturday, July 23 Awards Presentation, when Ford C. Frick Award winner Graham McNamee and J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Dan Shaughnessy will each be honored. The Weekend will include many family programs, including the July 23 Parade of Legends and a July 25 Legends of the Game Roundtable discussion event with the two inductees.

More than 50 Hall of Famers are expected to return for Hall of Fame Weekend, with the full list of returnees to be announced in early July, to honor the Class of 2016 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Museum Members are afforded special opportunities throughout the Weekend. As a not-for-profit educational institution, membership support advances the Museum's programs and aids in the preservation of artifacts and archival materials that document the rich history of America’s game. Additionally, membership packages are wonderful and unique gifts for friends and family. Members enjoy many privileges, including free admission to the Museum year-round. To learn more about the program and its many benefits, please visit www.baseballhall.org/join.

Additional Hall of Fame Weekend Privileges

• Free admission to the Museum throughout the year
• A special members-only entrance to the Hall of Fame to avoid long lines
• Exclusive early access to the Museum on Saturday, Sunday and Monday
• VIP reserved seating for the Induction for Benefactor and President's Circle Members
• VIP reserved seating for the Awards Presentation for Benefactor and President's Circle Members
• Exclusive access to the Legends of the Game Roundtable program on Monday

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has teamed up with Sports Travel and Tours to offer baseball fans a one-stop opportunity to purchase Induction Weekend travel packages. For more information or to plan a trip to Cooperstown, please call 1-888-310-HALL (4255). Membership participants receive a 5% discount on all their baseball travel packages.

The Sunday, July 24 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-to-three hours. Lawn 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 warm in July, it is recommended that visitors bring a cap and sunscreen. 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 23 at Doubleday Field and will feature the posthumous presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for baseball broadcasting excellence to Graham McNamee and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing to The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy. 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.

The Class of 2016 features two batters who set standards for their positions throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

Griffey played 22 big league seasons with the Mariners, Reds and White Sox and was named on 99.32 percent of ballots cast, setting a new mark for highest percentage in the BBWAA election. A 13-time All-Star Game selection and 10-time Gold Glove Award winner in center field, Griffey hit 630 home runs – good for sixth place on the all-time list – while driving in 1,836 runs. The 1997 American League Most Valuable Player drove in at least 100 runs in eight seasons and won seven Silver Slugger Awards. In the 1995 Division Series against the Yankees, Griffey became just the second player (following Reggie Jackson in the 1977 World Series) to hit five home runs in a single postseason series.

Piazza was named on 83 percent of all BBWAA ballots cast following a 16-year big league career with the Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres and Athletics. The 1993 National League Rookie of the Year hit 427 career home runs, including a record 396 as a catcher. A 12-time All-Star Game selection, Piazza won 10 Silver Slugger Awards and finished in the Top 5 of his league’s MVP voting four times. In 1997, Piazza became the first player to total at least 200 hits (201) in a season where he appeared in at least 100 games as a catcher. A .308 career hitter, Piazza posted six seasons with at least 30 home runs, 100 RBI and a .300 batting average. All other catchers in baseball history have posted nine such seasons.

There are now 312 Hall of Fame members, 69 of whom are living.

Award winners Graham McNamee and Dan Shaughnessy will be honored, and Shaughnessy will deliver a brief speech, during the Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 23 at 4:30 p.m. at Doubleday Field.

Shaughnessy, a columnist for The Boston Globe, has been a major voice on baseball in New England and nationally for 35 years. He began his career with the Baltimore Evening Sun in 1977 and then took a role as a national baseball writer for the Washington Star before settling in with the Globe in 1986. He has covered more than 35 Spring Trainings and 25 World Series and has also written 12 books, including nine on baseball, most notably “Curse of the Bambino.”

McNamee, whose national play-by-play of the World Series in the earliest days of radio transformed the one-time opera singer into a household name, helped establish the role of NBC at major events, calling auto races, boxing matches, political conventions and the return of Charles Lindbergh from his transatlantic flight in 1927. McNamee passed away in 1942 at the age of 53.

Throughout the Weekend, the Hall of Fame will host a series of educational programs and fan-friendly experiences designed to connect generations of all ages in activities and events featuring baseball luminaries in the timeless and pastoral village of Cooperstown. Additional programming will be announced soon. Full details of new events and schedule changes will be announced at the Hall of Fame’s website www.baseballhall.org/visit/hall-of-fame-weekend.

Planned activities for Hall of Fame Weekend 2016 include:

Hall of Fame Weekend Events

PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith: Join a dream team that could only come together in Cooperstown, with Ozzie Smith and Hall of Famer guests hosting a morning experience in a fundraiser for the Hall of Fame’s educational programs. For the 15th year, PLAY Ball returns as Players, Legends and You with an interactive meet and greet, starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, July 22nd during Hall of Fame Weekend 2016.

PLAY Ball features over two hours of non-stop interaction, including personalized instruction and the chance to turn double plays. Each participant receives time on the field with these baseball legends, as well as personalized photo and special mementos of the occasion. Prior to the on-field activity, participants and Hall of Famers will share a special breakfast in the Hall of Fame’s Plaque Gallery.

This event is open to fans of all ages. Space is limited and the event will be open for registration this spring. Interested participants can register by calling the Membership department at 607-547-0397. Additional Hall of Famers will be announced soon.

Hall of Fame Parade of Legends: Join the pageantry and excitement as the Hall of Famers ride in trucks provided by Ford Motor Company down Main Street on their way to a private reception at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Staging for the Parade takes place at Doubleday Field and fans are encouraged to attend the Awards Presentation prior to making their way to the Parade. Main Street, 6 p.m., Saturday.

Legends of the Game Roundtable: The Hall of Fame’s newest members will participate in a Legends of the Game Roundtable event. This event is for Museum Members only and tickets will be available starting Monday, June 6 by visiting the Membership desk in the Museum or by calling 607-547-0397. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12. Doubleday Field, 10:30 a.m., Monday.

The Museum maintains the following Hall of Fame Weekend hours: Friday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Monday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Advance tickets are not necessary but are available by contacting the Hall of Fame at 607-547-0397. For Hall of Fame Members, doors open at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and at 8 a.m. on Monday. 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 at www.baseballhall.org, by calling 607-547-0397 or at the Museum.

Accommodation information is available through the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce at 607-547-9983, or by visiting the Chamber website at www.cooperstownchamber.org. The Chamber of Commerce site provides detailed information about what to see, where to stay, places to eat and where to shop in Cooperstown and nearby towns. For driving directions from major cities, area cities and local airports, visit the directions page at the Hall of Fame’s website for more information: www.baseballhall.org.