Hall of Famers PLAY Ball in Cooperstown in Support of Museum’s Educational Mission

Ozzie Smith and Hall of Fame Teammates Pat Gillick, Randy Johnson, Fergie Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg Take the Field with Fans as Hall of Fame Weekend Begins

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Randy Johnson owns 303 big league victories and five Cy Young Awards.

But what means the most to him is his bronze plaque at the Hall of Fame – and the idyllic atmosphere at the home of baseball in Cooperstown.

“I look at the players on that wall in the Plaque Gallery, and I’m still in awe that I’m there with them,” said Johnson, who returned to the spot where he was inducted in 2015 on Friday morning as part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s PLAY Ball event. “It’s kind of fun just to take a selfie with your plaque.

“Being here, it’s the pinnacle.”

Johnson shared stories with Museum supporters on Friday at PLAY Ball along with host Ozzie Smith as well as fellow Hall of Famers Pat Gillick, Fergie Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg. A blanket of morning fog quickly lifted from Cooperstown and dissolved into sunshine as the event got under way, with participants listening to stories and fielding ground balls as Smith – the Museum’s Education Ambassador – turned double plays 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.

PLAY Ball raised nearly $25,000 on Friday.

Hall of Fame Weekend 2017 runs July 28-31 in Cooperstown. The Class of 2017, featuring Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Iván Rodríguez, John Schuerholz and Bud Selig, will be inducted at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 30, at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown. Admission to the Induction Ceremony is free.

The 2017 Induction Ceremony will be televised live on MLB Network. Greg Amsinger, Sean Casey, Robert Flores, Peter Gammons and Harold Reynolds will host MLB Network’s live telecast of the 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Coverage begins at noon on Sunday.

The Induction Ceremony will also be available via a webcast at baseballhall.org and will be streamed live at facebook.com/baseballhall.

The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 29 at Doubleday Field and will feature the presentation of the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award to Rachel Robinson and J.G. Taylor Spink Award for writers to Claire Smith of ESPN, along with the posthumous honoring of Bill King with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters. The Awards Presentation will also feature Hall of Fame board member Thomas Tull, who will speak on the legacy of the film A League of Their Own, which was released 25 years ago this summer.

MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger will emcee the Awards Presentation, which is free and open to the public. The Awards Presentation will be livestreamed on the Hall of Fame’s Facebook page at facebook.com/baseballhall. MLB Network will televise the Awards Presentation at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 30 prior to the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Also on Saturday, July 29, the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends returns for an eighth 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 29: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday, July 30: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Monday, July 31: 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 baseballhall.org/join.

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