View Full Version : Rain might wash out Fame Game/Unoffical Game thread.

05-15-2006, 01:41 PM

Rain might wash out Fame Game
Griffey to appear five days after coming off DL
By P.J. Harmer / Staff Writer

It’s Mother Nature vs. Cooperstown.

The Cincinnati Reds are scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 60th annual National Baseball Hall of Fame Game at 2 p.m. today at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown.

Ken Griffey Jr. highlights Cincinnati’s 37-man roster for the event, which is likely to be played under cloudy skies. The National Weather Service is calling for a high of 57 degrees, with rain showers expected to start by noon. According to the NWS website, there’s a 70 percent chance of precipitation, and a tenth to a quarter of an inch of rain could fall today.

"We’re hoping the skies hold for a couple of hours on Monday," said Brad Horn, the Hall’s communications director. "With the Hall of Fame Game and the induction ceremonies, we’ve had several near-misses the past couple of years, so we’re hoping for the best."

Griffey, who came off the Reds’ 15-day disabled list Thursday (strained right-knee tendon), has amassed 539 home runs and 1,547 RBIs during his 18-year Major League Baseball career.
Today will mark his second Hall of Fame Game appearance as Griffey played in Cooperstown for Seattle in 1994. The Mariners, who also featured New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez that year, defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-3.

"It’s unique to have Major League Baseball in Cooperstown," said Jeff Idelson, the Hall’s vice president of communications and education. "Where else in central New York can you go 20 minutes and see the world’s best baseball players?

"It’s great for the teams, too," Idelson continued. "When it was coupled with the Induction Ceremony, they didn’t get to see Cooperstown."

The Hall of Fame Game will be played independent of the Induction Ceremony for the fourth straight year, and rain hasn’t been a factor since well before the split.

The last Hall of Fame Game rainout came in 1993, when the Cleveland Indians were scheduled to play the Los Angeles Dodgers. Rain also caused cancellations in 1944 (Detroit Tigers vs. New York Giants); 1962 (New York Yankees vs. Milwaukee Braves) and 1990 (Baltimore Orioles vs. Montreal Expos).

According to the Reds’ website, left-hander Eric Milton is expected to start today’s game as part of his rehabilitation for a surgically repaired knee. As of Sunday, Pittsburgh has not announced its starter.

The Reds are 23-15 this season under manager Jerry Narron. Cincinnati, which has lost three straight, is second in the National League Central Division, one game behind the St. Louis Cardinals.

Heavy hitting outfielder Adam Dunn (13 homers this season), outfielder Ryan Freel and recently acquired catcher David Ross will represent the Reds in the annual home run derby, which starts at 1 p.m. today at Doubleday. Right-hander Bronson Arroyo, traded from the Boston Red Sox to Cincinnati this season, is visiting Cooperstown for the second straight season as a member of a Hall of Fame Game team. Arroyo came last season with the Red Sox, who fell, 6-4, to the Detroit Tigers.

The Reds last appeared in a Hall of Fame Game in 1967, falling, 3-0, to Baltimore. Cincinnati is 1-3 in Hall of Fame games, but hasn’t made its last two scheduled trips. In 1989, airplane problems kept the Reds from meeting the Red Sox. A player’s strike in 1981 prevented Cincinnati from playing the Oakland A’s.

The Pirates, managed by Jim Tracy, own the second-worst record in the majors. Pittsburgh is 11-27, last in the NL Central. At 10-25, the Kansas City Royals have the worst major league record.

Outfielder Jason Bay, the 2004 NL Rookie of the Year, leads a Pirates team that looks to improve on a 1-3-1 Fame Game record. Pittsburgh lost, 11-8, to the Chicago White Sox in their last Fame Game appearance, in 1980.

Infielders Jose Castillo and Jose Hernandez join catcher Craig Wilson as Pittsburgh’s representatives for the derby. Following the derby, Pittsburgh will sit in the first-base dugout as the home team for this year’s game.

"(The Hall of Fame Game) is one of baseball’s great traditions," Horn said. "You see the player’s expressions when they walk into Doubleday. They almost chuckle at the size of it. I think this is the same field Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth and Steve Carlton all played on. If, for a brief moment of time, (players) understand the significance the history of the game, it’s all worth it."

Noticeably absent from Pittsburgh’s roster is Oneonta High graduate Mike Connolly, a lefty who pitches for the Pirates’ Double-A affiliate, the Altoona Curve of the Eastern League.

Connolly, The Daily Star’s Player of the Year in 1999 and 2000, earned a victory Saturday against the visiting Binghamton Mets. Connolly struck out three, walked three and allowed five hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings of Altoona’s 5-0 victory. Connolly is 3-3 with a 4.99 ERA this season. Connolly also went 1-for-1 with a run.

Tickets for today’s game are sold out, but Horn said if any become available, they’ll go on sale at 9 a.m. at Doubleday.

Horn added that if the game is rained out, tickets can be refunded for face value. The same holds true if poor weather stops the game before it’s considered complete (4½ innings if home team is winning, or five innings if visiting team is ahead).


05-15-2006, 01:43 PM
Hopefully it's just one at-bat for Junior then he's done unless they use the DH in today's game.

05-15-2006, 01:45 PM
I don't understand the point of the game being played seperately from the induction ceremony. just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

05-15-2006, 01:47 PM
They're playing, so the rain must be holding off.

Listen here: http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/

NOTE: it says the game starts at 2 PM, but they're playing now.

Dunn had 6 HRs in the pre-game derby but was beaten by Jose Hernandez (I think that's who they said).

05-15-2006, 01:48 PM
I tuned in and they're playing already!

I thought it was a 2:00 first pitch?

Reds Fanatic
05-15-2006, 01:49 PM
I tuned in and they're playing already!

I thought it was a 2:00 first pitch?
That is what is was supposed to be. Maybe they moved it up to try to get the game in with the bad weather.

05-15-2006, 01:56 PM
I guess this is the game thread. Milton 1-2-3 1st. 0-0. They were saying the demision of the park and they are short short short. True test. But then again Hateberg just walked and some guy came in to PR. I didn't know who it was. Whoever it is stole 2nd, No BALK. He's on 2nd. LOL

05-15-2006, 02:04 PM
LaRue singles in first run and then McCracken homers to give the Reds a 3-0 lead.

Danny Serafini
05-15-2006, 02:04 PM
Quinton McCracken just went deep. 3-0 CIN

Danny Serafini
05-15-2006, 02:04 PM
Who the heck includes Ryan Freel and David Ross in a HR derby? Wow.

05-15-2006, 02:12 PM
Milton sets the Pirates down in order in the 2nd. It's beginning to rain in Cooperstown. This game may not last too much longer.

05-15-2006, 02:14 PM
Who the heck includes Ryan Freel and David Ross in a HR derby? Wow.

Ross can hit homeruns pretty far and Freel could have a chance if they played in a little league park.


05-15-2006, 02:16 PM
Who the heck includes Ryan Freel and David Ross in a HR derby? Wow.

I heard some begged off of doing this, like Aurilia was going to play but asked out. I'm sure the same can be said of the HR Derby.

Danny Serafini
05-15-2006, 02:18 PM
Chris Dickerson has a single off of some AA pitcher. Luis Bolivar is up to bat. This feels like March 15, not May! 3-0 CIN, middle 3rd.

05-15-2006, 02:22 PM
Does this mean this is the official game thread? :)

05-15-2006, 02:25 PM
Freel could have a chance if they played in a little league park.


And when the wind is blowing out at Wrigley.

Danny Serafini
05-15-2006, 02:26 PM
Game over, declared a rainout. Eric Milton just threw a two inning no hitter!

05-15-2006, 02:26 PM
Rain delay. I'll be surprised if they play anymore. They were saying that this is the only exhibition game that is now played during the regular season. I didn't really know that. I can remember the Reds would play their AAA team and usually a couple of kid glove games with the Tigers. But I guess those have all gone away now.

As I write this it's called off. Oh well. The Pirates can't even win a two inninng exhibition.

05-15-2006, 02:37 PM
I guess that will shoot down the chance of Milton starting on the 20th. I would think he will get 1-2 starts for the Bats.

05-15-2006, 02:39 PM
I guess that will shoot down the chance of Milton starting on the 20th. I would think he will get 1-2 starts for the Bats.

Good. I have tickets for Friday night in Detroit. :D

05-15-2006, 02:41 PM
Good. I have tickets for Friday night in Detroit. :Dyou'll get Dave Williams against all those RH hitting Tigers.

05-15-2006, 02:43 PM
you'll get Dave Williams against all those RH hitting Tigers.

Williams vs. Bonderman

05-15-2006, 02:44 PM
I don't understand the reason for this game. If it doesn't count in the standings during the season (with the exception of an All-Star game) than it shouldn't be played.

05-15-2006, 02:48 PM
I don't understand the reason for this game. If it doesn't count in the standings during the season (with the exception of an All-Star game) than it shouldn't be played.

That's how I feel. it's very strange.

05-15-2006, 03:20 PM
I don't understand the reason for this game. If it doesn't count in the standings during the season (with the exception of an All-Star game) than it shouldn't be played.

It's part of the HOF induction ceremony. But Frankly, the league and even the fans would be better served with a well-organized old-timers game (including, if possible, some hall of famers).

Roy Tucker
05-15-2006, 03:23 PM
I thought I heard on the radio yesterday that Dunn had challenged Freel in the HR derby. And that, to make it fair, Dunn was going to bat right handed. Which would be interesting.

05-15-2006, 03:26 PM
I thought I heard on the radio yesterday that Dunn had challenged Freel in the HR derby. And that, to make it fair, Dunn was going to bat right handed. Which would be interesting.

I'll take Dunn Right handed anyday...except for batting...he IS right-handed.

05-15-2006, 03:57 PM
Maybe Dunn saves all his hits with RISP for right handed hitting ;)

05-15-2006, 07:03 PM
No, it's not part of the Induction Ceremony... that's later in the summer.

It's the wrap-up to Hall of Fame Weekend which is always in May. This is an exhibition game to top off this popular weekend and is a baseball TRADITION in Cooperstown; that's why it's played.

05-15-2006, 07:38 PM
[A Cooperstown Tradition Since 1940:
The Hall of Fame Game
By Bill Francis

In 1939, Honus Wagner and Eddie Collins managed two teams of major league All-Stars in an exhibition at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. The next season, the Hall of Fame Game was born.

An outsider may look at the annual Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown as just an exhibition event, but for those involved in its staging, there is much more than meets the eye.

From picking the two major league teams that will participate in the game to acquiring the hundreds of baseballs needed, the coordinating efforts start nearly a year before the first pitch at historic Doubleday Field is thrown.

The tradition of the Hall of Fame Game dates back to 1940, when the first game, featuring the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox, was held. During the summer-long celebration of baseball’s centennial in 1939, an all-star game was played on June 12, the date of the Museum’s grand opening and first Induction, as the 16 major league teams took an off-day and two members from each club traveled to play in Cooperstown . Two additional games, exhibition contests featuring the New York Yankees versus the Newark Bears and the Philadelphia Athletics against the Penn Athletic Club, were also held that summer, prompting discussions of future tilts that would bring crowds back to Cooperstown for subsequent summers.

Even The Sporting News , the self-proclaimed “Base Ball Paper of the World,” editorially advocated on May 30, 1940 , that the staging of such a contest would significantly benefit the Museum. The editorial pointed out that the only sources of income for the shrine were the small admission fee paid by visitors and the profit on the sale of souvenirs. Those sources of revenue had to be used for operating expenses before any payment could be made on the mortgage against the building.

An article from a Cooperstown newspaper of the time stated: “The Cubs-Red Sox game will be the first step in the proposal to have exhibition contests here annually between teams in O.B. (organized baseball), the proceeds from which will be used in helping maintain the national shrine.”

At the annual joint meeting of the National and American leagues, held at Chicago, Dec. 11, 1940, with Commissioner Kenesaw Landis presiding, it was decided to make permanent the playing of an annual interleague exhibition game between two major league teams, the proceeds of which would be devoted to the upkeep of the national shrine.

Thus began what Cooperstown , and the rest of the baseball world, has come to know as a rite of summer, a sunny afternoon ballgame played on the former cow pasture where Major Abner Doubleday was once thought to have laid out the first diamond and formulated the first rules of the nation’s pastime way back in 1839. Today, the game supports the village of Cooperstown and the Museum, continuing one of baseball’s longest standing traditions.

The Game, Historically Speaking
From 1940-1978, the annual Game and Induction Ceremony were scheduled to take place on the same day. Starting in 1979, the Game was moved to the day following the annual Ceremony.

Throughout the Hall of Fame Game’s history, a who’s who of the top players from the last six decades have participated. A sampling of the future Hall of Fame greats who have homered at the venerable park include Ted Williams, Duke Snider, Mickey Mantle, Bill Mazeroski, Hank Aaron, Orlando Cepeda, Ernie Banks, Carlton Fisk, Willie Stargell and George Brett.

While the Hall of Fame Game has always been played as part of Induction Weekend, the 2003 contest between the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the 57th annual game, will instead take place on Monday, June 16, concluding three days of Father’s Day Weekend events at the Museum. As the Hall of Fame Game is now the only in-season exhibition game as part of the new Basic Agreement for Major League Baseball, scheduling precluded the annual Weekend and Game from being part of the same long weekend this year. Though historically an interleague game, the Hall of Fame Game has featured teams from the same league in recent seasons.

“When I first started scheduling, in some instances we would select the teams and find a week where they had an off-day and change it to a Monday from a Thursday as long as it didn’t violate any rules,” said Katy Feeney , vice president of scheduling and club relations for Major League Baseball. “That’s more and more difficult to do now with further complications, because the schedule is a little more rigid now, with interleague play, and there are more places to go, more teams.

“The difficult part of it is finding mutual off days of teams, and teams that are basically within the east, and even within the northeast, because Cooperstown is not the easiest place to get to.”

Because of the scheduling quirk in 2003, and for the first time, both teams will be staying in Cooperstown at the Otesaga Resort Hotel the night before the game.

In previous years, teams have been forced to stay in surrounding cities, such as Utica and Albany , because of the lack of room availability. Major league teams fly into the area the night before the game, after playing a day game in another city that afternoon. Clubs tour the Museum that evening.

“It’s a nice treat for us playing the game and getting an opportunity to come here,” said Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez while touring the museum the night before his team played in the 2000 game.

“We don’t look at playing in the game as taxing,” said Buck Showalter, then-manager of the Diamondbacks in 2000 on his team’s visit. “It’s an honor, and our players are excited about coming here.”

Details of the Diamond
Once the two teams are set, there are still a number of details, large and small, that must be ironed out before the big game takes place in this small village. Two of the more significant donations to the Museum over the course of the year, balls and the rubbing mud used to meet major league standards, are made for the Hall of Fame Game.

“For the 19 years I’ve been here, and before that, Rawlings has been a supporter of the Hall of Fame,” said Ted Sizemore, a Rawlings senior vice president and former major league infielder who played in the 1977 Hall of Fame Game with the Phillies. “We’re the largest baseball company in the United States and so we feel like we have a partnership with the Hall of Fame and have an obligation to support another promoter of the game of baseball.”

Rawlings donates 23 dozen baseballs to the Hall of Fame – 10 dozen for the game and 13 dozen for the home run hitting contest – with each emblazoned with a stamp commemorating the occasion.

“As long as I’m here, this relationship will last,” Sizemore said. “I can speak for anybody that comes after me that as long as we have the major league contract, we’ll do it and even if we didn’t have it we’d do it.”

For over 50 years, Lena Blackburne Rubbing Mud Company has been supplying big league umpires the perfect ingredient to dull the shine of new baseballs. The generosity of the mud supplier is shared with the Hall of Fame through an approximately three pound donation every year.

“It’s an honor that they will take it,” said Jim Bintliff, who runs the company along with the help of his wife, Joanne, son, Jason, and daughters, Vanessa, Abbie and Rachel. “As far as I know, my parents started donating in the mid-1960s. They donated a few artifacts that Lena Blackburne (the former major league player, manager and coach who discovered the mud’s use) had passed on to us, to the Hall. And they started the tradition of donating the can of mud.”

According to Bintliff, he sells close to 300 pounds of the mud, found in a secret location along a tributary of the Delaware River in southern New Jersey , to every major and minor league baseball team, as well as a number of colleges and high schools.

A can of Lena Blackburne Rubbing Mud is even part of the Evolution of Equipment exhibit at the Museum.

“We’re extremely proud of that,” Bintliff said. “Any time I talk about the mud, one of the first things I tell people is that we’re in the Hall of Fame. Last year, I took my whole family up and we’re going to make it a yearly trip. It was really fun to take my young daughters and show them that our mud really is famous.”

With two major league clubs visiting Cooperstown every summer, the playing field must be in top shape. The responsibility of making sure everything is just right falls on the shoulders of Joe Harris, the head groundskeeper at Doubleday Field since 1990.

“Normally we shut down for a week before the game so that we can sod everything that needs sodding. This gives the sod a chance to grow in a little bit before,” Harris said. “Also, we can get everything edged up so it looks sharp, place dirt where it’s needed, on the warning track where it’s needed, put up the mats, section signs, and check seat numbers.

“This year we’ll only be closing down the Friday, Saturday and Sunday before the game because I won’t have to sod,” he added. “We’ll do everything else but we won’t have to sod because it won’t have had as many games played on it yet.’

A facility owned and operated by the village of Cooperstown , Doubleday Field played host to 343 baseball games in 2002, ranging from youth baseball to high school and collegiate tournaments to senior leagues.

“We like to keep the field looking good all the time – and we want it safe,” Harris said. “We don’t want anybody to get hurt. That’s the big thing there. We just don’t want people getting hurt.

A community effort
Peter Clark, the Museum’s curator of collections, has been the Hall of Fame Game coordinator since 1970. While the event has changed over time, his job has remained relatively the same.

“The things that we do have changed a little, but as far as the volume of work needed to staff the event is fairly much the same,” Clark said. “We would have meetings in May for the game when it was in July. This year, we started having meetings at the end of March. We have two groups - one is the scripting group which puts the program together, and then the other group is the site planning/security committee, which works on the overall site plan.

“We hold the meetings well in advance of game day,” he added. “Most of my work the day of the game is putting out fires.”

Clark estimates he oversees approximately 125 people directly involved in the game (65 with the Cooperstown Sports Booster Club who act as ushers; 40 ticket takers; and 20 Hall of Fame staff working on and around the field). Then there are the members of the State Police, employees from a private security agency, and the Cooperstown High School students who sell the concessions.

Local high school students sell soda, hot dogs and ice cream in the stands and at a stand located in the parking lot of the field. Cooperstown High School Principal Gary Kuch estimates that in the past, a good weekend could net the school between $10,000-$12,000.

“The money has traditionally been split between the junior and senior class, which is about 100 kids apiece. Not all kids participate. There’s a whole point system for earning points towards your senior trip prom, yearbook and charitable gifts,” Kuch said. “The plan is, if you don’t participate, you can have proxies. Some kids will be working or away, so they have their parents work or they can get another student to work for them. Approximately 150 kids work, with countless volunteers.”

Not only are students earning money due to the game’s success, but local merchants also see a windfall, says Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce director Polly Renckens

“It’s the biggest Monday the merchants have all season,” Renckens said. “We’re getting very good response to the change of the game from Induction Weekend to mid-June. The merchants, the restaurants and other businesses will benefit from it being on a different weekend because there is saturation on Induction Weekend. So by moving this event it brings a whole new group of people to the area.”

Cooperstown Mayor Carol Waller, a resident for 31 years, enjoys the family atmosphere of the game.

“I like meeting all the different people that visit and I always have family that wants to go,” she said. “It seems to me, in all the times that I’ve gone to the game, it’s the same people that come back to the game. It’s definitely a family event. I always try to bring my grandchildren.”
Bill Francis is a senior researcher at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

05-15-2006, 08:33 PM
I cannot recall when it happened, but only recently has the game been played this early - as pointed out earlier, it used to be part of the induction ceremonies.
When I went with my family to the induction ceremonies in '86 and '88, we went to see both Hall-of-Fame games, and they were actually a lot of fun, no matter who played.
I think it was '88 when the Royals were supposed to play the Reds, but Cincy got stuck in an airport and could not play.
As a replacement, the Royals played themselves - but earlier in the game, newly inducted Hall-of-Famer Johnny Bench came up and took a couple of swings. That was a very cool moment to see.
Also rather cool was seeing Happy Chandler literally run out onto the field - an impressive feat for an 88-year-old man, but it still proved his great love for the game, and for being on the ballfield.