All tickets for the final 2008 Hall of Fame Game, featuring the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres on June 16 at Doubleday Field, were sold Saturday, as the game was declared a sellout at 2 p.m., just four hours after tickets were first made available. Any returned tickets will be made available at 9 a.m. on Hall of Fame Game Day, June 16, in the Doubleday Field parking lot.
Approximately 400 visitors braved the cold and rain in Cooperstown to purchase about 2,500 tickets available in the one-day walk-up sale at the Museum. Patrons were permitted to lineup starting at 6 a.m. Saturday and wristbands guaranteeing a purchase opportunity were handed out to those who joined the line by approximately 9 a.m.
áMuseum Members purchased the remaining tickets available for the Hall of Fame Game through a phone sale, which began at 10 a.m. With a seating capacity of 9,571, Doubleday Field has hosted the Hall of Fame Game annually since 1940, the only in-season exhibition game for many years. Major League Baseball announced in January that the 2008 Hall of Fame Game will be the last in which major league teams will be sent as participants.
Cooperstown graduate Kristian Connolly and some volunteers were at the ticket sales Saturday trying to drum up support for savethefamegame. com, a website Connolly started after the announcement was made by major league baseball. In an email to the Crier, Connolly said he and other volunteers talked to all people on line, went to area businesses, and put up signage in the village.
“All in all, it was a great day for savethefamegame. com,’’ he wrote. ``We were able to hand out information to over 500 people and we were greeted warmly and enthusiastically by everyone in line. It was great to be able to reach so many people in person and hear their stories, where they come from, why they love the HOF Game, why they want it to continue, etc., and I look forward to more of the same inperson support-building opportunities in the coming months.’’
Earlier this week, Senator James L. Seward said he would form a panel charged with developing an alternative to the annual Major League Baseball-sponsored Hall of Fame game.
Seward had earlier joined the fight to save the game, but said he heard directly from MLB commissioner Bud Selig that the plan to cancel the game is irrevocable. ``We’ve got to start planning how we can turn around a tough break and make sure we have a significant annual baseball event that continues to be a tourist destination, builds on our baseball history, and is an economic asset for our area,’’ Seward said.
Seward said he plans to form a local committee that would include the Hall of Fame, the mayor of Cooperstown, the chairman of the county board, and local tourism/ business representatives to develop an alternate plan to fill the Hall of Fame game niche.
On Monday, June 16, fans are invited to line Main Street for the Cooperstown Game Day Parade, beginning at noon, presented by the Hall of Fame, the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce and the village of Cooperstown. Both teams will ride trolleys down Main Street and into Doubleday Field to conclude the parade. At 1 p.m., the fan-favorite Home Run Derby will feature three contestants from each major league team, slugging for beyond the fences. Following the game, children 12 and under are invited to run the bases at Doubleday Field.
A full weekend of programming for Father’s Day Weekend, including a special appearance by Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins, will take place June 14-16 in Cooperstown. For a full schedule, please visit www.baseballhall. org.
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