COOPERSTOWN, 11/17/08--State Senator James L. Seward joined officials with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and local leaders today to announce a new tradition in Cooperstown: Hall of Fame Classic Weekend.
The Baseball Hall of Fame is teaming up with the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) to stage the inaugural Hall of Fame Classic, which will replace the defunct Hall of Fame Game on the 2009 baseball calendar. The MLBPAA is a proven leader in staging legends baseball games.
In a salute to fathers everywhere, Cooperstown will be the place for families to celebrate June 20-21, as Hall of Fame Classic Weekend will include a number of interactive activities both at the Museum and Doubleday Field, culminating with the Hall of Fame Classic on June 21, which is both Father's Day and the first day of summer.
The Hall of Fame Classic will feature four Hall of Famers and more than 20 other retired Major Leaguers. Along with the exhibition game, there will be a hitting contest and free autograph sessions throughout the day for all Hall of Fame Classic ticket holders.
Senator Seward convened a special task force last year when the end of the Hall of Fame Game was announced. That group worked together to find a suitable replacement.
“Losing the game meant more than the end of a tradition; it also meant the possible loss of revenue for Cooperstown, Otsego County, and the entire region, something we simply cannot afford,” said Senator Seward. “But like a batter getting up after a knockdown pitch, The Baseball Hall of Fame, Otsego County tourism officials, and elected representatives joined forces to hit a game winning home run.
“With today’s announcement, I feel we are not only starting a brand new tradition that will last for years to come, but also ensuring that the economy will receive a much needed boost.”
A number of other events, including a game of catch at Doubleday Field for fathers and their children, or grandfathers and their children, are being planned. There will also be a skills clinic for children featuring former Major League players and a number of events in the Museum in a salute to fathers. Ticket information and a complete schedule of events is forthcoming.
"We are extremely excited to start a new Cooperstown tradition for multi-generational families everywhere," said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. "In tandem with the MLBPAA, we are thrilled to bring a marquee event to Doubleday Field, which promises to be a lot of fun and incredibly interactive. We know how much our visitors appreciate the human connectivity our events encompass.
"We will couple The Classic with a number of other exciting family activities and programs throughout Classic Weekend, assuring that Cooperstown is the definitive Father's Day weekend destination. Classic Weekend will be engaging, educational and tremendous fun for community members as well as baseball-loving families across the country. Given that Cooperstown is steeped in nostalgia, a legends-style baseball game is a natural fit."