We have many clients who are big baseball fans and we have enjoyed sharing great ways to enjoy baseball locally in Tampa Bay (check out our posts on Clearwater Threshers baseball outings, things to do in Dunedin including a visit to see the Dunedin Blue Jays (or Toronto Blue Jays spring training), and tips for a successful trip to Tropicana Field to see the Tampa Bay Rays.
For baseball fans, this coming weekend is an exciting time…Hall of Fame weekend! This is the annual event where players and sports journalists are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, combined with many other festive activities.
For those who might be considering a trip (especially exciting when you’re favorite player gets inducted), we’ll share some information about what takes place on the weekend and some important logistics. We’d also recommend that baseball fans consider a trip to Cooperstown some time other than Hall of Fame weekend, when massive crowds converge and it can be quite hot. We’ll share what you need to know for a visit, as well as how to enjoy the Hall of Fame weekend festivities from home.
Hall of Fame Weekend
The centerpiece of the weekend is the awards presentation, which takes place on Saturday afternoon at Doubleday Field. This year Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza are being inducted along with Graham McNamee for broadcasting and Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy for baseball writing. The ceremony is free and open to the public. It does draw large crowds and tends to be quite warm, so a little planning (and some sunscreen and cool drinks) is needed to enjoy the experience and stay safe. Consider working with a tour company who can plan things out for you and set up seats, bring drinks, and help you get from place to place.
Other activities that take place on Hall of Fame weekend include: the Parade of Legends (Hall of Famer parade), numerous signings, educational/fan events and of course you have to make a trip to the Hall of Fame itself. Again, working with a tour company experienced in coordinating these weekends might be your best bet. We took a trip years ago with Sports Travel and Tours who specialize in sports-centered events.
You can see more about which Hall of Famers will be returning, hours and events as well as find package trips through travel specialists on the Hall of Fame website.
Enjoying the Baseball Hall of Fame Ceremony at Home
Even if you don’t attend, you can enjoy the ceremony by tuning into the webcast at www.baseballhall.org or watching the live broadcast on MLB network. If your older loved one or client is a baseball fan, this can be a fun activity to enjoy together along with going back through favorite players and team members who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. And, don’t forget there’s a little piece of baseball history right here in Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field’s Hitters Hall of Fame and Ted Williams museum.
A Visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame
Though the Hall of Fame weekend is the most exciting time in Cooperstown, it is also the most overwhelming. Plan well in advance if one of your favorite players is being inducted. However, a visit to Cooperstown at other times of year can be even more enjoyable. The museum is a wonderfully presented tribute to America’s national pastime. Take a virtual tour and get an overview of all the exhibits on the museum site. About 300,000 baseball fans visit each year.
Cooperstown is a lovely town set in a beautiful area with many regional attractions. It is about 90 minutes from three airports. There are plenty of different accommodations (though during Hall of Fame weekend you’ll need to plan well in advance and may find it best/most economical to stay outside of Cooperstown) and the area has a rich heritage, good dining, and great natural surroundings.
Hall of Fame Facts: The only Tampa Bay Ray to be inducted is Wade Boggs, but Tampa was not his primary team. There are 11 Hall of Famers who primarily played for the Philadelphia Phillies, two of whom (Mike Schmidt and Richie Ashburn) were inducted in 1995. Check out the complete list of Hall of Famers here, or you can search by team or other criteria on the Hall of Fame website.
If you need help planning outings and activities for older loved ones in Tampa Bay, our senior concierge team is here to help. Contact us today.