Hall of Fame Weekend 2012 will feature a Midwest theme this July 20-23, as the eyes of the baseball world turn to Cooperstown, N.Y. for the inductions of Cincinnati Reds great Barry Larkin and Chicago fan-favorite Ron Santo, along with award presentations and family programming for baseball fans of all generations.
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 2012 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, honoring the two newest members, will be held Sunday, July 22, at 1:30 p.m. EDT at the Clark Sports Center and will be shown live on MLB Network.
The Class of 2012 features two of the most dominant players of any era.
Larkin, a shortstop who played his entire 19-year big league career with the Reds, was named on 86.4 percent of ballots cast on his third try on the BBWAA ballot on Jan. 9. He received 495 votes, reflecting a 24.3-percent gain from the 2011 ballot. Larkin's jump is the largest for any Hall of Fame election in which at least 400 ballots were cast. Larkin, a 12-time All-Star and nine-time Silver Slugger Award winner, ranks among the game's greatest shortstops.
Santo, who was named to nine All-Star Games in his 15 big league seasons, received 15 of 16 votes from the Golden Era Committee members at the winter meetings in December. Five times Santo won a Gold Glove Award. Santo becomes the 12th former major league third baseman elected to the Hall of Fame and just the 15th overall (including Negro leagues players). Santo passed away on Dec. 3, 2010.
There are now 297 Hall of Fame members, 66 of whom are living.
2012 Award winners Tim McCarver and Bob Elliott will receive their recognition and deliver brief speeches during the Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 21 at 4:30 p.m. at Doubleday Field.
McCarver, who has served as a national analyst on networks for three decades and simultaneously shined as part of broadcast teams with four big league clubs, will be presented the 2012 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Elliott, who has been a positive influence on an entire country the past 30 years as a writer, columnist and ambassador for baseball and Canada, will be honored with the 2012 J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing, presented by the BBWAA.
The Sunday, July 22 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 hours. 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 quite warm in July, it is recommended that visitors bring a cap and sunscreen. Ball caps, Yearbooks and Museum membership packages are available for purchase at the Induction site. Refreshments are sold at the site and water is provided complimentary to visitors. For information on reserved seating options granted to Museum members, please call 607-547-0397.
The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 21 at Doubleday Field and will feature the presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for baseball broadcasting excellence to Tim McCarver and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing to Bob Elliott. 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 Fame members make their way to the Museum for a private reception.
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, both at the Museum and at Doubleday Field on Saturday of Induction Weekend, will be announced soon. Full details of new events and schedule changes will be announced at the Hall of Fame's Web site baseballhall.org.
Planned activities for Hall of Fame Weekend 2012 include: