Hall of Fame Weekend 2017 to Feature Inductions of Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Iván Rodríguez, John Schuerholz, Bud Selig, July 28-31 in Cooperstown
Induction Ceremony, Awards Presentation Highlight Family-Friendly Events During Celebration of the Game’s Elite
Five icons of the National Pastime will receive baseball’s highest honor in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame Weekend 2017, July 28-31 – four days of celebratory events and programs for baseball fans of all ages.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2017 Induction Ceremony will feature Baseball Writers’ Association of America electees Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Iván Rodríguez along with Today’s Game Era electees John Schuerholz and Allan H. “Bud” Selig. The Class of 2017 will be formally inducted and deliver speeches beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 30 at the Clark Sports Center. The 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be shown live exclusively on MLB Network.
The election of Bagwell, Raines and Rodríguez brings the four-year BBWAA electee total to 12, the most in any similar period since 12 candidates were elected by the BBWAA from 1936-39 – the first four years of Hall of Fame voting.
Hall of Fame Weekend 2017 will also feature the Saturday, July 29 Awards Presentation, when Ford C. Frick Award winner Bill King and J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Claire Smith will each be honored. The Weekend will include many family programs, including the July 29 Parade of Legends and a July 31 Legends of the Game Roundtable discussion event with the five 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 2017 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Museum Members play a major role in preserving baseball history and ensure that generations of fans will always have a home to celebrate the history of baseball. In addition to helping assure that the Baseball Hall of Fame remains a monument to our National Pastime – members are afforded special opportunities throughout the year, including additional perks during Hall of Fame Weekend. Members always enjoy many benefits, including Memories and Dreams magazine, a Hall of Fame Yearbook and 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 Contributor, President’s Circle and Benefactor Members
• VIP reserved seating for the Awards Presentation for Contributor, President’s Circle and Benefactor Members
• A complimentary copy of the Commemorative Hall of Fame Weekend Program
• Priority 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 30 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 29 at Doubleday Field and will feature the posthumous presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for baseball broadcasting excellence to Bill King and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing to ESPN’s Claire Smith. 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 Famers make their way to the Museum for a private reception.
The Class of 2017 features three players and two executives who left indelible marks on the game.
Bagwell played 15 big league seasons, all with the Astros, and was named on 86.2 percent of ballots cast. He posted eight seasons with at least 30 home runs, 100 runs scored and 100 RBI, tying him for eighth on that list all-time with Willie Mays and Jim Thome. Bagwell, who becomes the 50th Hall of Fame electee to have played for only one MLB team, is one of only 11 players in MLB history with at least 440 home runs and 200 stolen bases and the only first baseman with at least 400 home runs and 200 steals.
Raines, who was named on 86.0 percent of ballots cast in his final year of BBWAA eligibility, is the only player in big league history with at least 100 triples, 150 home runs and 600 stolen bases. He is also the only player to record four different seasons with at least 50 extra-base hits and 70 steals. Only Raines has stolen 70 or more bases in six straight seasons (1981-86), and among players with at least 400 stolen base attempts, Raines ranks first with an 84.7 percent success rate. Raines is the fifth player to earn election to the Hall of Fame in his final year on the BBWAA ballot.
Rodríguez, who appeared on 76.0 percent of ballots cast in his first year on the ballot, played in a record 2,427 games as a catcher during his 21-year big league career, and caught in 95.4 percent of the MLB games he played (2,427 of 2,543). Among players who appeared in at least 50 percent of their games at catcher, Rodríguez has the most hits (2,844), runs (1,354), doubles (572) and total bases (4,451). Rodríguez’s 13 Gold Glove Awards are the most of any catcher. He led his league in caught stealing percentage a record nine times, including a record six years in a row (1996-2001).
Schuerholz became the sixth Hall of Fame electee whose primary job function was team building (among non-owners) when he was elected by the Today’s Game Era Committee. Schuerholz laid the groundwork for the Royals 1985 World Series championship team as farm director and general manager, then moved to the Braves. As general manager, and later president and vice chairman in Atlanta, Schuerholz built a club that qualified for 14 consecutive postseasons, advanced to five World Series and won the crown in 1995. He was the first general manager to lead teams to World Series titles in both the American and National Leagues, and in 25 of his 26 seasons as a GM Schuerholz’s teams finished in third place or better.
Selig was Major League Baseball’s ninth commissioner and was elected by the Today’s Game Era Committee. His tenure started in 1992 as acting commissioner before he was named commissioner in 1998. Selig oversaw two rounds of expansion, the creation of Wild Card playoff teams and interleague play as well as the formation of the World Baseball Classic. MLB enjoyed uninterrupted labor peace for the final 20 full seasons of Selig’s tenure, which ended on Jan. 25, 2015. Selig, who is the fifth commissioner elected to the Hall of Fame, now serves as MLB’s commissioner emeritus.
There are now 317 Hall of Fame members, 74 of whom are living.
Award winners Bill King and Claire Smith will be honored, with Smith and a member of Bill King’s family delivering brief speeches, during the Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 29 at 4:30 p.m. at Doubleday Field.
Smith, a pioneering voice among women sportswriters, is the 68th winner of the Spink Award and the first woman to receive the honor. She covered the New York Yankees for five years beginning in 1983 for the Hartford Courant and maintained a high profile as a columnist with The New York Times from 1991-98 and as an editor and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1998-2007. A graduate of Temple University, Smith currently serves as ESPN’s news editor of remote productions, responsible for the integration of news and analysis in live game broadcasts and the Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter studio programs.
King, whose quarter-of-a-century run as the voice of the Oakland Athletics cemented his status as one of the Bay Area’s iconic voices, began calling MLB games for the San Francisco Giants in the late 1950s before becoming the voice of the NBA’s San Francisco/Golden State Warriors and the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. Known for his signature handlebar mustache, passionate delivery and his ever-present “Holy Toledo!” exclamation, King called A’s games from 1981-2005. The 41st winner of the Frick Award, King passed away on Oct. 18, 2005.
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/hofweekend.
Planned activities for Hall of Fame Weekend 2017 include:
PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith:
(Friday, July 28, 8-11 a.m.) 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 28th during Hall of Fame Weekend 2017.
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:
(Saturday, July 29, 6 p.m.) 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:
(Monday, July 31, 10:30 a.m.) The Hall of Fame’s newest members will participate in a Legends of the Game Roundtable event. Tickets to this event will be available for purchase to Museum Members starting Monday, June 5 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 www.thisiscooperstown.com/lodging and through the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce at 607-547-9983. 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.
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. From Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend, the Museum observes daily regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The Museum observes summer hours of 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. from Memorial Day Weekend until the day before Labor Day. Ticket prices are $23 for adults (13 and over), $15 for seniors (65 and over) and $12 for juniors (ages 7-12) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations. Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For more information, visit our website at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.