Hall of Famers, fans get together to PLAY Ball
By Craig Muder
Richard Mole and his son Kevin drove more than 300 miles to play ball with the legends on Friday. So there was no way a little rain was going to slow them down.
“This is so great – I’m here listening to Wade Boggs and Ozzie Smith,” said Richard Mole, an Andover, Ohio, resident who participated in the Hall of Fame’s PLAY Ball event on Friday morning at Doubleday Field. “That’s amazing! I can’t believe I’m actually here.”
Mole, a participant in the Hall of Fame’s Membership Program, promised his son more than 20 years ago that they would come to Cooperstown when Rickey Henderson was inducted.
Promise made, promise kept.
PLAY Ball, which raises money for the diversity scholarships for the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program, gave participants the chance to interact with host Ozzie Smith and fellow Hall of Famers Wade Boggs, Harmon Killebrew and Eddie Murray. Though the skies were cloudy, smiles were everywhere as fans listened to stories from the Hall of Famers and played ball on Doubleday Field.
And a surprise guest visited, too. Tony Kubek, winner of the 2009 Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence, stopped by Doubleday Field and signed autographs for fans. It was a moment that only happens in Cooperstown.
PLAY Ball kicked off Induction Weekend, which features family-friendly events throughout the weekend. For a complete list of events, visit us at www.baseballhall.org.
Joe Gordon, Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as the Class of 2009 at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown.
Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.