Hall of Fame weekend schedule announced

COOPERSTOWN — Two dominant starters, two legendary relievers and two of the best hitters of their era will receive baseball’s highest honor in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame Weekend 2019, July 19-22, to highlight four days of celebratory events and programs for baseball fans of all ages.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2019 Induction Ceremony will feature Baseball Writers’ Association of America electees Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina and Mariano Rivera along with Today’s Game Era electees Harold Baines and Lee Smith. The Class of 2019 will be formally inducted during the event beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 21 at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, which will feature speeches representing each new Hall of Famer. The 2019 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be shown live exclusively on MLB Network.

Hall of Fame Weekend 2019 will also feature the July 20 Awards Presentation, when J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Jayson Stark and Ford C. Frick Award winner Al Helfer and will each be honored. The Weekend will include many family programs, including the July 20 Parade of Legends and a July 22 Legends of the Game Roundtable discussion event with the new electees.

More than 50 Hall of Famers are expected to return for Hall of Fame Weekend, with the full list of returnees to be announced in early July, to honor the Class of 2019 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Becoming a Museum Member is the best way to experience Hall of Fame Weekend, as Members are afforded special perks during Hall of Fame Weekend. Museum Members play a major role in preserving baseball history and ensure that generations of fans will always have a home to celebrate the history of baseball. Members always enjoy a great line-up of benefits, including Memories and Dreams magazine, a Hall of Fame Yearbook and free admission to the Museum year-round. To learn more about the program and its many benefits, please visit baseballhall.org/join.

 The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has teamed up with Sports Travel and Tours to offer baseball fans a one-stop opportunity to purchase Induction Weekend travel packages. For more information or to plan a trip to Cooperstown, please call 1-888-310-HALL (4255). Membership participants receive a 5% discount on all their baseball travel packages.

The July 21 Induction Ceremony will take place on the grounds outside of the Clark Sports Center, which is located on lower Susquehanna Avenue, just one mile south of the Hall of Fame. The Ceremony is held rain or shine, unless severe weather forces the cancellation of the event. Professional interpreters will be provided for the hearing impaired. The Induction Ceremony historically lasts two-to-three hours. Lawn seating for the event is unlimited and free of charge. A blanket or lawn chair is recommended for comfortable viewing. As the weather in Cooperstown can be warm in July, it is recommended that visitors bring a cap and sunscreen. Merchandise and Museum membership packages are available for purchase at the Induction site. Refreshments are sold at the site. For information on reserved seating options granted to Museum members, please call 607-547-0397.

The Hall of Fame Awards Presentationwill be held at 4:30 p.m. on July 20 at Doubleday Field and will feature the presentation of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing to Jayson Stark and the posthumous honoring of Ford C. Frick Award winner Al Helfer. The Awards Presentation will be immediately followed by the Parade of Legends, as Hall of Fame members ride down Main Street in trucks provided by Ford Motor Company at 6 p.m., concluding with a red carpet arrival on the Museum steps as Hall of Famers make their way to the Museum for a private reception.

The Class of 2019 features six players who left indelible marks on the game.

Baines played 22 seasons for the White Sox, Rangers, Athletics, Orioles and Indians, earning six All-Star Game selections and twice winning the Designated Hitter of the Year Award (now named the Edgar Martinez Award). An eight-time .300 hitter who reached the 20-homer mark in 11 seasons, Baines, drove in 90-or-more runs eight times and ranks 34th on the all-time list with 1,628 RBI. Baines’ 2,830 games played rank 20th on the all-time list. Among batters who played at least 50 percent of their games as a designated hitter, Baines’ 2,866 hits rank first and his 384 home runs and 1,628 RBI rank third behind only David Ortiz and Frank Thomas, respectively.

Halladay pitched 16 seasons for the Blue Jays and Phillies, winning Cy Young Awards in 2003 and 2010 and finishing in the Top 5 of his league’s Cy Young Award voting in five other seasons. An eight-time All-Star, Halladay led his league in complete games seven times, the most of any pitcher whose career started after World War II. A three-time 20-game winner, Halladay led his league in strikeouts-to-walks ratio five times, innings pitched four times, shutouts four times and victories twice. Halladay threw two no-hitters for the Phillies during the 2010 season, the first a perfect game against the Marlins on May 29 and then a no-hitter against the Reds in Game 1 of the NLDS, making Halladay the second pitcher in postseason history to throw a no-hitter following Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.

Martinez played 18 seasons, all with the Seattle Mariners. A seven-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger Award winner, Martinez was a two-time American League batting champion who led the AL in on-base percentage three times. Topping the 20-homer mark in eight seasons, Martinez drove in 100-or-more runs six times and hit .300 in 10 full seasons. A third baseman at the start of his career, injuries pushed Martinez into a DH role, where he thrived for a decade. He was named the AL’s outstanding designated hitter five times, an award that now bears his name. When he retired, Martinez was one of only six players with a .300 batting average, .400 on-base percentage, .500 slugging percentage, 500 doubles and 300 home runs.

Mussina pitched for 18 seasons between the Orioles and Yankees. A five-time All-Star, Mussina finished in the Top 6 of the AL Cy Young Award voting nine times and won at least 10 games in 17 seasons. A seven-time Gold Glove Award winner, Mussina became the oldest first-time 20-game winner when he reached the mark at age 39 in 2008, his final big league season. He totaled 2,813 strikeouts, 19th-most all-time at the time of his retirement, and completed his career as one of only four Live Ball Era pitchers with at least 270 wins and a .625 winning percentage.

Rivera pitched 19 seasons in the big leagues, all with the New York Yankees, retiring after the 2013 season with an all-time record 652 saves and 952 games finished. A 13-time All-Star, Rivera helped the Yankees win five World Series titles and seven American League pennants. The Yankees advanced to the postseason in 17 of Rivera’s 19 seasons. Rivera led the AL in saves three times and finished with 40-or-more saves nine times, a record he shares with Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman. Rivera’s career ERA of 2.21 is the lowest of any Live Ball Era pitcher with at least 1,000 innings pitched, and his career WHIP of 1.0003 ranks third all-time behind Hall of Famers Addie Joss and Ed Walsh. In 96 postseason appearances, Rivera was 8-1 with 42 saves and a 0.70 ERA, winning World Series MVP honors in 1999 and ALCS MVP honors in 2003. In those 96 games, the Yankees were 78-18.

Smith pitched 18 seasons for the Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals, Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Reds and Expos and retired as MLB’s all-time saves leader, a title he held for 13 seasons. Smith’s 478 saves currently rank third all-time, as do his 802 games finished. A seven-time All-Star, Smith led his league in saves four times and reached the 30-save mark in 10 seasons. Smith finished in the Top 10 of his league’s Cy Young Award voting four times, including a second-place finish in the NL Cy Young Award voting in 1991. Of Smith’s 478 saves, 169 required at least four outs and 94 required two-or-more innings pitched. Smith averaged 8.73 strikeouts per nine innings, which ranks third all-time among pitchers with at least 1,000 appearances behind Trevor Hoffman (9.36) and Dan Plesac (8.74).

There are now 329 Hall of Fame members, 80 of whom are living.

The 2019 award winners will be honored during the Awards Presentation on July 20 at 4:30 p.m. at Doubleday Field.

Stark, whose game coverage and insight have provided fans with a unique look at the National Pastime, is the 70th winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. The Philadelphia native and Syracuse University graduate began his sports writing career with the Providence Journal (1975-78), where he occasionally covered the Red Sox, then moved closer to home, joining the Philadelphia Inquirer (1979-1999), where he worked the Phillies’ beat before transitioning into a columnist. By 2000, Stark had joined ESPN, where he not only wrote for their website but also appeared on the network. Writing for The Athletic since 2018, he also appears on MLB Network.

Helfer, who called games for eight big league teams and also was the voice of the Mutual Game of the Day for five seasons during the 1950s, is the 43rd winner of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for excellence in broadcasting. A Pennsylvania native, Helfer left University of Pittsburgh medical school in 1929 after only one month and secured a job at a small radio station in Silver Haven, Pa. By 1933, Helfer’s long tenure in the big leagues began in Pittsburgh recreating Pirates games on the radio. Following stints with the Reds, Giants, Yankees and Dodgers, he would serve in the Navy in World War II. He signed on as play-by-play for the Mutual Game of the Day in 1950, and called six big league games a week for five years, reaching an estimated 80 million listeners via more than 400 stations in non-MLB markets in America and around the world. He stepped away from the Game of the Day in 1955 and would work calling Dodgers, Phillies, Colt .45s and Athletics games during the final years of his career. Helfer passed away on May 16, 1975.

Throughout the Weekend, the Hall of Fame will host a series of educational programs and fan-friendly experiences designed to connect generations of all ages in activities and events featuring baseball luminaries in the timeless and pastoral village of Cooperstown. Additional programming will be announced soon. Full details of new events and schedule changes will be announced at the Hall of Fame’s website baseballhall.org/hofw.

The Museum maintains the following Hall of Fame Weekend hours: Friday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Monday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Advance tickets are not necessary but are available at baseballhall.org. 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.

A special Members’ only entrance eliminates the need to wait in line. Interested parties may enroll in the membership program in advance at baseballhall.org/join, by calling 607-547-0397 or at the Museum.

Accommodation information is available through thisiscooperstown.com/lodging and through the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce at (607) 547-9983.

For driving directions from major cities, area cities and local airports, visit the directions page at the Hall of Fame’s website for more information: baseballhall.org/visit/travel-details.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. From Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend, the Museum observes daily regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Ticket prices are $25 for adults (13 and over), $20 for seniors (65 and over) and $15 for juniors (ages 7-12) and $18 for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations.

Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

For more information, visit our website at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or (607) 547-7200.

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