Inductions of Griffey, Piazza Highlight Hall of Fame Weekend 2016, July 22-25
Class of 2016 Will Be Inducted in Less than Six Weeks
The stars are set to come out in Cooperstown, with the induction of two of the game’s legendary players highlighting the most exciting weekend on the baseball calendar.
Hall of Fame Weekend 2016 is less than 40 days away, with new classics and old favorites throughout the event lineup as the Class of 2016 takes its bow on stage July 22-25.
Fifty Hall of Famers are scheduled to be in Cooperstown to honor the Class of 2016 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, honoring Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza, will be held Sunday, July 24, at 1:30 p.m. ET at the Clark Sports Center – located one mile south of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Griffey and Piazza were elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in January, marking a historic election that saw Griffey earn the highest vote percentage ever with 99.32 percent of the vote. Piazza, meanwhile, became the Hall’s greatest comeback story by starting as a 62nd round draft pick and ending in Cooperstown.
The first No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft to be elected to the Hall of Fame, Griffey lived up to expectations by becoming one of the best all-around players in the game’s history. Born on Hall of Famer Stan Musial’s birthday in Musial’s hometown of Donora, Pa., Griffey followed his father, Ken Griffey Sr., to the big leagues. He quickly revived the Mariners franchise with power at the plate, grace in center field and charisma that sparkled throughout the baseball world. By the end of his 22-year big league career, Griffey had totaled 630 home runs, 13 All-Star Game selections, 10 Gold Glove Awards and a unanimous American League MVP Award in 1997.
Piazza burst on the scene with the Dodgers in 1993, winning National League Rookie of the Year honors after hitting .318 with 35 home runs and 112 RBI. After five stellar seasons in Los Angeles that included two runner-up finishes in the NL Most Valuable Player Award voting, Piazza was traded to the Marlins and then to the Mets, where he led New York to the 2000 National League pennant. In 16 big league seasons, Piazza hit 427 home runs – including a record 396 as a catcher. He was named to 12 All-Star Games and won 10 Silver Slugger Awards.
The Induction Ceremony will be shown live on MLB Network, which is available in more than 70 million homes nationwide. The Induction Ceremony will also be shown via webcast at www.baseballhall.org.
The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on July 23 at Doubleday Field and will feature the presentation of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for writers to Dan Shaughnessy. On the same stage, the late Graham McNamee will be honored with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters. And New York City Fire Department Battalion Chief Vin Mavaro will share his thoughts and memories of baseball’s role in helping New York City, and the nation, begin to recover from the 9/11 attacks. In late September of 2001, Mavaro found a baseball in the rubble of the World Trade Center. Upon donating it to the Museum, Mavaro explained at the time that the ball offered an unexpected, almost visceral, reminder of the ideal so many of us learned as children, the notion that a game – and its immortals – can have melding, communal power. The Awards Presentation is free and open to the public.
Also on Saturday, July 23, the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends returns for a seventh year to provide fans with more thrills. Hall of Famers will ride down Main Street in trucks provided by Ford Motor Company en route to a private reception at the Museum during the 6 p.m. parade, with the staging for this year’s Parade to take place at Doubleday Field, immediately following the Awards Presentation.
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, unless severe weather cancels the event. Follow the Hall of Fame on Twitter @BaseballHall for the latest updates.
The site of the Induction Ceremony is located just one mile south of the Hall of Fame, and the short walk provides a picturesque view of the homes of Cooperstown. Please note that professional interpreters will be provided for the hearing impaired. The event will be held outdoors rain or shine.
The Ceremony is expected to last three hours. 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 quite warm in July, it is recommended that visitors bring a cap and sunscreen. Ball caps, Yearbooks 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.
Family activities scheduled throughout Hall of Fame Weekend 2016 include the following special events:
Hall of Fame Weekend Events
Friday, July 22: PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith & special guests, Plaque Gallery and On Field (with Craig Biggio and John Smoltz) * Registration fee required - 8 a.m.
Saturday, July 23: Hall of Fame Awards Presentation, Doubleday Field - 4:30 p.m.; Hall of Fame Parade of Legends, Main Street - 6 p.m.
Sunday, July 24: Induction Ceremony, Clark Sports Center -1:30 p.m.
Monday, July 25: Legends of the Game Roundtable, featuring Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza, Doubleday Field -10:30 a.m.
PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith – with special guests Craig Biggio and John Smoltz: Ozzie Smith returns in a fundraiser for the Hall of Fame’s education and public programs with a unique opportunity for fans, featuring fellow Hall of Famers Craig Biggio and John Smoltz. This two-hour event features non-stop interaction at each station with a living legend and includes special mementos. Spaces are limited to 60 participants. The donation is $800 per person, with Hall of Fame Members admitted for $600. To reserve your spot, please call 607-547-0397. 8 a.m., Friday.
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, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza, participate in the Legends of the Game Roundtable event at historic Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. This event is for Members only and tickets are available now 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.
Hall of Fame 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 Hall of Fame 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 and Sunday
• VIP reserved seating for the Induction for Benefactor and President's Circle Members
• Exclusive access to the Legends Roundtable event on Monday
• Transportation provided to and from the Museum for special Weekend events
The Museum maintains the following Hall of Fame Weekend hours: Friday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Plaque Gallery closes at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday); 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 888-425-5633 or by visiting www.baseballhall.org/visit. 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.
Parking will be extremely limited in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame Weekend. As is the case throughout the summer, the village will make parking and trolley service available at three trolley lots in Cooperstown. The Cooperstown Trolley will provide transit to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Doubleday Field from three different locations: the Red Lot on Route 28 (Glen Avenue) at Maple Street; the Blue Lot on Route 28 just south of Cooperstown; and the Yellow Lot on Route 80 at the upper parking lot of the Fenimore Art Museum. All-day passes are available for $2 per adult and free for children 5 and under. The Trolley will operate throughout Hall of Fame Weekend daily from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Follow the trolley's stops at www.followthetrolley.com.
If you need help with accommodations during your stay, please visit www.cooperstowngetaway.org. 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/visit/cooperstown.
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