Fan Favorite Ozzie Smith Hosts 14th Edition of Hall of Fame Weekend Tradition PLAY Ball
2002 Hall of Fame Electee and Museum Education Ambassador Joins Special Guests Andre Dawson, Ferguson Jenkins and Greg Maddux at the Museum’s Annual Education Fundraiser, July 24
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – He joined baseball’s greatest team in 2002, and ever since Ozzie Smith has brought his electric smile and infectious enthusiasm to Hall of Fame Weekend.
And for the 14th straight year, The Wizard is ready to PLAY Ball in Cooperstown.
Smith, the Education Ambassador for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, will host PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith on Friday, July 24 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Cooperstown. Ozzie will welcome fellow Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Ferguson Jenkins and Greg Maddux as his guests during a fun-filled morning that gives fans a unique chance to experience on-field moments and stories with Hall of Famers.
PLAY Ball is a Museum fundraiser that supports the Hall of Fame’s educational programs and internship scholarships. 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 24 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 along with non-stop interaction from some of the greatest players the game has known.
Since hosting the event annually beginning in 2002, Ozzie Smith has helped raise more than $130,000 for the Museum’s educational outreach programs and the Ozzie Smith Diversity Scholarships, presented annually to members of the Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development.
Dawson, an eight-time All-Star outfielder and the 1987 National League Most Valuable Player, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2010 after a 21-year career with the Expos, Cubs, Red Sox and Marlins. Jenkins, who won 284 games and is one of only four pitchers in major league history to record more than 3,000 strikeouts with fewer than 1,000 walks, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991. Maddux, a 2014 Hall of Fame inductee, won four National League Cy Young Awards en route to 355 victories over 23 seasons.
PLAY Ball is part of the July 24-27 Hall of Fame Weekend activities that will be highlighted by the July 26 Induction Ceremony when Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martínez and John Smoltz will be enshrined as the Class of 2015.
A limited number of spaces for PLAY Ball remain, and a reservation is required. Event pricing is $600 for Members, $800 for non-Members. Members may reserve spots now by calling 607-547-0397. For more information on Membership, please visit www.baseballhall.org/support/become-a-member .
The Museum maintains the following Hall of Fame Weekend hours: Friday, July 24: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday, July 25: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday, July 26: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.; and Monday, July 27: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 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. Interested parties may enroll in the Membership Program in advance or at the Museum.
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