Legends PLAY Ball in Cooperstown as Hall of Fame Weekend Gets Under Way

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – They come back for the camaraderie. They stay for the memories.

For generations of Hall of Famers, Cooperstown is magic. And the newest edition of Hall of Fame Weekend once again brought out the stars.

“I grew up watching half of these guys,” said Class of 2017 inductee Jeff Bagwell, who – along with fellow Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Tim Raines and Ozzie Smith – participated in the Museum’s PLAY Ball event on Friday. “You never even think you’re going to be on the same field in a uniform with them, much less be in the Hall of Fame.”

The four Hall of Famers shared stories and baseball tips with Museum supporters at PLAY Ball, as the Wizard of Oz presented the 17th 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 53 participants this year, PLAY Ball raised nearly $40,000.

Also on Friday, Hall of Famers George Brett, Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk, Rickey Henderson and Juan Marichal helped dedicate the Museum’s completely renovated Grandstand Theater. Representatives from Theater architect Populous, Christie® projectors and Dolby Laboratories were also on hand for the event, which featured a screening of the new Generations of the Game film.

“It was emotional watching it because that’s what baseball does to you,” said Fisk, who is one of several Hall of Famers featured in the film. “It brings out that emotion – maybe that little kid emotion – that everybody has about the game.”

Hall of Fame Weekend 2018 runs through Monday in Cooperstown. The Class of 2018, featuring Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, Jack Morris, Jim Thome and Alan Trammell, will be inducted at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 29, at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown. Admission to the Induction Ceremony is free.

The 2018 Induction Ceremony will be televised live on MLB Network. Coverage begins at noon on Sunday.

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

The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 28, at Doubleday Field and will feature the presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters to Bob Costas and J.G. Taylor Spink Award for writers to Sheldon Ocker.

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 29, prior to the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Also on Saturday, July 28, 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 28: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday, July 29: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Monday, July 30: 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.