STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
COOPERSTOWN — The Hall of Fame Classic is moving to a new date — the Saturday before Father’s Day.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum says the timing is a better fit for families. The first three Classics were held on Father’s Day, and crowds at Doubleday Field have decreased somewhat since the first drew a near sellout.
So far, six Hall of Famers are slated to take part in the seven-inning legends game on June 16, which will also feature 20 other retired major league stars. Hall of Famers Phil Niekro and Ozzie Smith will return as team captains with preliminary rosters to be announced this spring.
Other activities planned for Classic weekend, June 15-17, include a Hall of Fame golf tournament fundraiser for the museum, a youth skills clinic hosted by several former major league players, and a special "Voices of the Game" program.
Tickets for the Hall of Fame Classic will first be available on Saturday, April 14, in person at the museum, online at www.baseball.org or by phone at 1-866-849-7770, beginning at 9 a.m. Tickets are $12.50 for first and third base seats and $11 for outfield seats. Buyers may first line up at 6 a.m. on April 14. Overnight camping is not permitted.
The Hall of Fame Classic will be once again preceded by the Cooperstown Game Day Parade, beginning at noon on June 16 on Main Street.
Game participants will ride in the parade on their way to Doubleday Field. Following the Parade, the Legends Hitting Contest will be held at Doubleday Field at 1 p.m. followed by the Classic at 2 p.m.
The Hall of Fame members in attendance will then be featured in a roundtable discussion of baseball at Doubleday Field in a one-hour reflection on their memories of the game, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and seating is limited. For more information, call 607-547-0397.