12 Hall of Fame Legends Coming to Cooperstown for East-West Classic Memorial Day Weekend

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Induction Weekend in Cooperstown annually features the largest gathering of Hall of Famers anywhere in the world.

But the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s celebration of Black baseball this Memorial Day Weekend will feature a lineup only an Induction Ceremony could rival.

A dozen Hall of Famers whose careers cover the pre-expansion era to the present day will return to Cooperstown on Memorial Day Weekend to celebrate the history of Black baseball and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s groundbreaking new exhibit The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball.

Fueled by assistance from Major League Baseball, the Hall of Fame East-West Classic rosters will consist of more than two dozen former big leaguers, including Matt Kemp and Tyson Ross, who join team captains CC Sabathia and Chris Young along with previously announced players Josh BarfieldTim BeckhamJosé ContrerasIan DesmondPrince FielderDexter FowlerDoug GlanvilleCurtis GrandersonTony Gwynn Jr.Jerry HairstonScott HairstonLaTroy HawkinsRyan HowardEdwin JacksonJeremy JeffressAdam JonesRussell MartinDarrell MillerMelvin MoraDavid PriceTony SippDee Strange-GordonB.J. UptonJustin Upton and Dontrelle Willis.

Two new Hall of Fame Members have joined the coaching staff, as Rollie Fingers and Joe Torre will be on hand for The Hall of Fame East-West Classic: A Tribute to the Negro Leagues All-Star Game, presented by Boeing. The game will be played Saturday, May 25, at Cooperstown’s historic Doubleday Field and feature Fingers and Torre as managers and coaches, joining Harold BainesKen Griffey Jr.Fergie JenkinsJim KaatFred McGriffEddie MurrayJim RiceLee SmithOzzie Smith and Dave Winfield, who were previously announced as members of the coaching staff.

Former Kansas City Monarchs star Sam Allen joins Pedro Sierra as Negro Leaguers who will attend the East-West Classic.

Harold Reynolds of MLB Network and Mets’ World Series hero Mookie Wilson will join the rosters as honorary team members.

Fans at The Hall of Fame East-West Classic will also be treated to food and beverage options, music, giveaways including a commemorative program, and a special appearance by Chicago Cubs voice Jeremiah Paprocki, the team’s first Black public address announcer, who will serve as the guest PA announcer for the Classic.

The game will be part of a weekend celebration as the Museum opens its new exhibit The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame East-West Classic are on sale now at baseballhall.org/east-west or at 1-888-325-0470 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

The Negro Leagues East-West All-Star Game debuted in 1933 at Chicago’s Comiskey Park and was played annually through 1962, including several years that featured multiple games. Hall of Famer Bill Foster was the winning pitcher in the inaugural East-West All-Star Game and several future Hall of Famers starred in the game throughout the years, including Cool Papa Bell, Ray Brown, Andy Cooper, Leon Day, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson and Willie Wells.

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 Classic 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.

Located on the Museum’s second floor in the Yawkey Gallery, The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball will cover stories of early Black baseball, the Negro Leagues era, the complexities of reintegration, Jackie Robinson, post-reintegration progress and retrogress, and calls for change in today’s game while celebrating the newest superstars of the era. Meaningful stories from Black baseball are also being added to other exhibits throughout the Museum.

The exhibit is part of the Hall of Fame’s Black Baseball Initiative that includes additional outreach programs, educational materials and virtual programming and is made possible by the Yawkey Foundation with additional support from Bill Janetschek in honor of his siblings Robert and Ann, the Anthony A. Yoseloff Foundation and the Bisignano Family. The initiative will also enhance Black Baseball stories found throughout the Museum.

The Souls of the Game, a title that pays tribute to W.E.B. Du Bois’s seminal 1903 book “The Souls of Black Folk”, will explore the Black baseball experience of those men, women and children who were and are an integral part of our National Pastime.

Subtitled “Voices of Black Baseball”, the exhibit will highlight first-person accounts by the many individuals whose experiences shaped them, their community, baseball and America at large. Featuring historically significant artifacts, documents and photographs, and utilizing audio, video, and interactive elements, the exhibit will tell a more inclusive story of baseball, shine a light on and correct misconceptions about Black baseball.

For more information about the Museum’s Black Baseball Initiative, please visit baseballhall.org/BBI.

LEARN MORE about the Black Baseball Initiative