"We are delighted to have the Cubs and Padres in Cooperstown for Father's Day Weekend. They are two of the National League's most exciting teams and will surely provide great entertainment," said Hall of President Dale Petroskey. "We're grateful to Major League Baseball for making an annual Hall of Fame Game possible for so many years, but we also understand their enormous scheduling challenge today, which makes continuing this exhibition game impossible."
"The Hall of Fame Game has been an important community-wide event since 1940," said Hall of Fame Chairman Jane Forbes Clark. "We've been extremely fortunate Major League Baseball has gone the extra mile all these years to bring two major league teams to Cooperstown. We recognize that the game has been wonderful family entertainment for area residents, and been an important fund-raiser for Cooperstown Central School, as well as area non-profits and the business community. We will continue to be creative and innovative in looking for ways to host wonderful baseball events in the absence of the game."
"Given the complexities of the Major League schedule and all its inherent challenges, it has become increasingly difficult in recent years to find a suitable date and make the proper arrangements for two clubs to participate in the Hall of Fame Game during the regular season," said Major League Baseball President and Chief Operating Officer Bob DuPuy. "Since 1940, the Hall of Fame Game has been a unique part of the baseball calendar, and one that has been greatly enjoyed.
"We hope that the wonderful fans of Central New York can understand the practical considerations that contributed to this decision. Cooperstown remains a beacon for our national pastime. We will continue to work with the Hall to find ways to promote it and Cooperstown throughout our season."
The Game will begin at 2 p.m., with pre-game festivities starting at 12 noon with the Hall of Fame Game Day Parade on Main Street and the always-popular Home Run Derby at 1 p.m. at Doubleday Field.
Chicago will be the home team and will occupy the first base dugout at Doubleday Field. The Padres will occupy the third base dugout as the road team. Doubleday Field has a seating capacity of 9,571. Ticket prices are $12.50 for first and third base seats and $11 for outfield seats. Tickets will be available for purchase just one of two ways for the final Hall of Fame Game in 2008, in person during a one-day sale on March 8 or for members by phone beginning March 8. Tickets will not be available for purchase online this year, due to the commemorative nature of this final event.
On-Site Ticket Sale: Approximately 2,500 tickets will first be available through a one-day, over-the-counter ticket sale at the Museum on Saturday, March 8, beginning at 10 a.m. All visitors purchasing tickets to the Hall of Fame Game during the first-day sale will be admitted FREE to the Museum on March 8. Patrons for the first-day ticket sale will not be allowed to line up outdoors overnight. The Museum will open at 9 a.m., at which time patrons will be allowed inside. Patrons must hold their place in line.
Hall of Fame Members: Hall of Fame members will have an exclusive opportunity to purchase a maximum of six Game tickets per membership beginning March 8 by calling the mail order department at 888-HALL-OF-FAME, option 2, anytime from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., EST. Valid membership numbers are required for purchase. No member discounts apply to this sale. The sale will last until March 14 or until supplies are exhausted.
General Purchase: Only in the event any tickets remain following the one-day sale of March 8 and the member-exclusive period of March 8-14, those quantities will first be available beginning Monday, March 17 by calling the Museum's mail-order department at 888-HALL-OF-FAME, option 2, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., EST, Monday through Saturday.
The Padres will make their third appearance in the Hall of Fame Game, going 0-2 in their previous appearances. In 1979, they lost to the Texas Rangers, 12-5, though future Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and Ozzie Smith both saw game action for the Padres. In 1997, Bill Russell's Dodgers outlasted Bruce Bochy's Padres, 16-8. Rickey Henderson, who becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2009, saw game action and central New York native and fan favorite Archi Cianfrocco won the Home Run Derby.
The Cubs will make their seventh Hall of Fame Game appearance, bringing a 3-2-1 record in six previous tilts to Cooperstown. They last played in 1995 and beat the Tigers 8-6. Sammy Sosa won the Home Run Derby. In 1988 they tied the Indians 1-1 with the lone Cubs run coming on future Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg's first inning home run. Appropriately the Cubs are playing the final Hall of Fame Game, having also played in the inaugural contest in 1940, beating Boston 10-9. Both managers – Joe Cronin and Gabby Hartnett – went on to become Hall of Famers. Ted Williams hit two home runs in the game, with other future Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx and Billy Herman seeing action.
The 2008 Game marks the sixth consecutive year that it has been held independently of Hall of Fame Weekend, which is scheduled for July 25-28. Prior to 2003, the Game was held in conjunction with Weekend ceremonies, as a stand alone game on the Monday following induction ceremonies since 1977.
Hall of Fame Weekend 2008: Hall of Fame Weekend will be held July 25-28 in Cooperstown and feature the induction of BBWAA electee Rich "Goose" Gossage, along with Veterans Committee electees Barney Drefuss, Bowie Kuhn, Walter O'Malley, Billy Southworth and Dick Williams. Induction Ceremonies will take place on Sunday, July 27 at the Clark Sports Center, at 1:30 p.m. ET.. There is no admission fee for the Induction Ceremony. The winner of the 2008 Ford C. Frick Award, to be announced Feb. 19, along with Larry Whiteside, the 2008 J.G. Taylor Spink Award recipient, will also be honored, posthumously. Additionally, the first Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, named in memory of baseball's great ambassador, will be recognized, with a statue of O'Neil to be unveiled during the weekend.
Open seven days a week the year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day, the Hall of Fame is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. after Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend. Summer hours are from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. Ticket prices are $16.50 for adults (13 and over), $11 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $6 for juniors (ages 7-12). Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children six years of age or younger, active and retired card-carrying military personnel. For more information, visit our Web site at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.