According to a media release, The Hall of Fame plaques of Puerto Rico’s baseball royalty – Roberto Alomar, Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Clemente and Tony Perez – will leave their home in Cooperstown to travel to Puerto Rico, from Dec. 16- to 9 as the Hall of Fame pays homage to the homeland of four of its members.
The four-day visit to cities across the commonwealth of Puerto Rico will mark the first time in the 73-year history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum that more than two Hall of Fame plaques have traveled simultaneously, according to the release.
The release said the museum is expanding its outreach in Latin America by providing an “exclusive opportunity” to the fans of Puerto Rico in the year in which Alomar was inducted to the HOF.
Hosted in conjunction with Museo del Deporte de Puerto Rico in Guaynabo, the visit of the four Hall of Fame plaques will include public showings in Guaynabo, Guayama, Salinas and Ponce.
“The baseball fans of Puerto Rico are among the best in the world,” Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum., said in the release. “In celebrating the induction of one of their heroes this summer, Roberto Alomar, we are honored to share some of Cooperstown with the passionate baseball fans of Puerto Rico.
The love they have for their game and their stars is truly unmatched. We are very appreciative to our friends at Museo del Deporte de Puerto Rico for making our visit possible.”
A private event and unveiling of the plaques will take place at the Museo del Deporte de Puerto Rico at 5 p.m., Friday, Dec.16,. The event will feature a special evening hosted by the Museo featuring Puerto Rican dignitaries, former and current players, according to the release.
“The contributions of Puerto Ricans to the game of baseball are seen all around the world, but no more so than at the home of baseball in Cooperstown,” Rafi Serrano, executive director of Museo del Deporte de Puerto Rico, said in the release. “For generations, Puerto Rican influence has touched the Hall of Fame. Now, a part of the Hall of Fame is coming to Puerto Rico. We are thrilled to honor these native sons who have left an indelible mark on the game.”
The plaques will visit four cities in four days, including the opening reception in Guaynabo on Dec. 16. In order to facilitate the visit to Puerto Rico, the four Hall of Fame plaques will be removed from display in Cooperstown from Dec. 15 to 21. The plaques are expected to return to exhibit on Dec.22.
The release said this marks only the third time a Hall of Fame plaque has traveled outside the continental U.S., as the Hall of Fame previously traveled Roberto Clemente’s plaque in 2000 to Puerto Rico and Juan Marichal’s plaque to the Dominican Republic in 2008. Only on rare selected occasions have the Hall of Fame plaques left their home in Cooperstown for events, typically involving a team celebration or memorial, said the release.