Baseball World Centered in Cooperstown as Induction Ceremony Approaches
(COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.) – The all-time saves leader was in an unfamiliar role on Saturday as a rookie at the Hall of Fame Weekend Golf Tournament.
But as usual, Mariano Rivera handled everything like a champion.
“I’m a rookie here, so I’ve got to do what everyone tells me to do,” said Rivera on Saturday on the eve of the induction of the Class of 2019. “But this is a wonderful experience. I know tomorrow is going to be something I will never forget.”
Rivera, owner of a record 652 career saves, will be inducted on Sunday along with Harold Baines, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina and Lee Smith. The Induction Ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. ET on the grounds of Cooperstown’s Clark Sports Center and broadcast live exclusively on MLB Network. A live stream will be available at www.mlb.com.
Baines, Mussina and Rivera played golf Saturday morning in the annual Hall of Fame Weekend Golf Tournament, enjoying Cooperstown’s famed Leatherstocking Golf Course under steamy-but-cloudy skies. A record 58 Hall of Famers are in Cooperstown for Hall of Fame Weekend.
The Hall of Famers played golf in the morning, then enjoyed the Awards Presentation and the Parade of Legends before attending a private evening reception at the Hall of Fame.
At the annual Awards Presentation at Doubleday Field, Jayson Stark of The Athletic was presented with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for writers and Al Helfer was posthumously honored with the Ford C. Frick Award.
“Some time in our lives, we all fell in love with baseball,” said Stark to a packed house at Doubleday Field during the Awards Presentation. “And when we arrive in Cooperstown, it brings it all back. Tonight, when you look in the mirror, remind yourself of that. That’s not a sunburn, that’s a glow. That’s the Cooperstown glow.”
A broadcast of the Awards Presentation will be shown at 11 a.m. on Sunday on MLB Network.
Some of Saturday’s additional highlights included:
**The annual Hall of Fame Weekend Golf Tournament at the Leatherstocking Golf Course was won by the team led by Hall of Famer Harold Baines, which finished three shots ahead of a team led by John Smoltz and Jim Rice. John Smoltz led all Hall of Famers with a low gross round of 71, winning the title for the third straight year.
**Fans jammed Main Street to get a glimpse of their Hall of Fame heroes during the 10th annual Parade of Legends, some lining up for spots three deep along the parade route more than 36 hours before the event. The returning Hall of Famers rode down Main Street in pickup trucks provided by Ford Motor Company.
**Almost 7,000 fans visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday, the largest attendance day of the year to date.
The Museum is open Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with participants in the Hall of Fame’s Membership Program able to enter the Museum at 7 a.m. For more information on Membership, please visit www.baseballhall.org/join.
The Class of 2019 will be inducted at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown. The Induction Ceremony is free and open to the public and will be shown live exclusively on MLB Network and broadcast nationally on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. A livestream will be shown at mlb.com and on MLB At Bat. The Induction Ceremony is expected to last about three hours.