Hall of Famers return to Cooperstown to PLAY Ball

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – One year later, Jim Thome still can’t stop smiling in Cooperstown.

It’s a contagious condition for the returning Hall of Famers, and will continue throughout the weekend as the Class of 2019 prepares for its moment in the sun.

“It’s great to be back, but it’s definitely a little different this year,” said Thome, who joined fellow Class of 2018 members Trevor Hoffman and Alan Trammell at Friday’s PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith event. “This time, you know what the new guys are going through. I keep reminding them to enjoy every minute.”

The four Hall of Famers shared stories and baseball tips with Museum supporters at PLAY Ball, as Smith presented the 18th version of his annual Museum fundraiser. Smith, the Museum’s Education Ambassador, hosts the event to help support the Museum’s educational mission. PLAY Ball also raises funds for diversity scholarships for the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development.

With 38 participants this year, PLAY Ball raised nearly $30,000.

“When you have a person like Ozzie putting his name on an event, you want to be a part of it,” Hoffman said. “It’s a way to give back to the fans, and it makes for a really fun morning.”

Hall of Fame Weekend 2019 runs through Monday in Cooperstown. The Class of 2019, featuring Harold Baines, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera and Lee Smith, will be inducted at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown. Admission to the Induction Ceremony is free.

The 2019 Induction Ceremony will be televised live exclusively on MLB Network. Coverage begins at noon on Sunday. The Induction Ceremony will also be available via a webcast at www.mlb.com.

The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, at Doubleday Field and will feature the presentation of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for writers to Jayson Stark and the posthumous presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters to Al Helfer.

MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger will emcee the Awards Presentation, which is free and open to the public. MLB Network will televise the Awards Presentation at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 21, prior to the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Also on Saturday, July 20, the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends returns for a ninth 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 immediately following the Awards Presentation.

The Museum maintains the following Hall of Fame Weekend hours: Saturday, July 20: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday, July 21: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Monday, July 22: 9 a.m. - 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. For more information on Membership, please visit www.baseballhall.org/join.

For a Hall of Fame Weekend visitors guide, please click here.

Follow all the action during Hall of Fame Weekend with the #HOFWKND hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.