Baseball’s Best Weekend Set for Thrilling Climax at Sunday’s Induction Ceremony
(COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.) – Jim Kaat was heading for the first tee box at the annual Hall of Fame Weekend Golf Tournament when Harold Baines walked up and extended his hand.
“I just wanted to thank you for my first major league hit,” said Baines, the Class of 2019 inductee who was 0-for-19 at the start of his career before doubling off of Kaat on April 17, 1980.
A smiling Kaat replied: “I’m just glad I could help you get to Cooperstown.”
Hall of Famers and fans were all smiles Saturday, the day before Kaat and six other legends are inducted as the Class of 2022 in Cooperstown. Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Minnie Miñoso, Tony Oliva, Buck O’Neil and David Ortiz will be inducted at 1:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center. The Induction Ceremony, which is expected to last about three hours, will be broadcast live exclusively on MLB Network. A live stream will be available at MLB.com.
Kaat and Baines were among more than two dozen Hall of Famers at the famed Leatherstocking Golf Course on Saturday, enjoying cloudless skies and warm temperatures. The Hall of Famers played golf in the morning, then enjoyed the Awards Presentation and the Parade of Legends before attending a private evening reception at the Hall of Fame.
At the annual Awards Presentation, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN was presented with the BBWAA Career Excellence Award for writers and Jack Graney was posthumously honored with the Ford C. Frick Award.
“Yesterday, Cal Ripken went into a room to be interviewed about me,” Kurkjian said. “Usually, it’s the other way around. It's made me wildly uncomfortable. But at the same time, I'm just so deeply honored to be a part of this that I need to recognize that I love baseball and that's why I'm here today.”
Replays of the speeches from the Awards Presentation will be included in MLB Network’s pre-Induction Ceremony coverage starting at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Some of Saturday’s additional highlights included:
**The annual Hall of Fame Weekend Golf Tournament at the Leatherstocking Golf Course was won by the team led by Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins and Ozzie Smith, with the team led by George Brett and Jim Thome taking second place. John Smoltz took home low gross honors with a 74.
**Fans jammed Main Street to get a glimpse of their Hall of Fame heroes during the 11th Parade of Legends, some lining up for spots along the parade route as early as Friday morning.
**More than 5,500 guests visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday, the largest attendance day of the year to date and the most since Induction Weekend of 2019.
The Museum is open Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with participants in the Hall of Fame’s Membership Program able to enter the Museum at 7 a.m.
Follow all the action during Hall of Fame Weekend with the #HOFWKND hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.