Monday, July 13, 2009

HOF Weekend: The Hall of Famers

With the induction ceremony less than two weeks away, more and more details of the weekend are beginning to emerge. This is hopefully the first of many posts that will chronicle my entire Hall of Fame Weekend experience. I'm going to be in New York for 5 days, and will be posting updates often as possible. I started this blog over a year and a half ago with the intention of keeping it going until Rickey was inducted. I've reached that goal, but currently have no intention of stopping here. I can't wait to see what memorable experiences await in the week ahead!

The list of past Hall of Famers planning to attend has been released, which contains 50 of the 65 living Hall of Famers, not counting this years inductees (Rickey Henderson, Jim Rice, and Joe Gordon). The record for most returning members in attendance was set last year, with 54 past inductees attending the ceremony.

Following is a list of those who will be attending:

Sparky Anderson
Johnny Bench
Yogi Berra
Wade Boggs
George Brett
Lou Brock
Jim Bunning
Rod Carew
Steve Carlton
Gary Carter
Orlando Cepeda
Dennis Eckersley
Bob Feller
Rollie Fingers
Carlton Fisk
Whitey Ford
Bob Gibson
Goose Gossage
Tony Gwynn
Monte Irvin
Reggie Jackson
Fergie Jenkins
Al Kaline
Harmon Killebrew
Ralph Kiner
Juan Marichal
Willie Mays
Bill Mazeroski
Willie McCovey
Paul Molitor
Joe Morgan
Eddie Murray
Phil Niekro
Tony PĂ©rez
Gaylord Perry
Robin Roberts
Brooks Robinson
Frank Robinson
Ryne Sandberg
Mike Schmidt
Tom Seaver
Ozzie Smith
Bruce Sutter
Don Sutton
Earl Weaver
Billy Williams
Dick Williams
Dave Winfield
Carl Yastrzemski
Robin Yount

There are a few notable names missing from the list, which has actually changed slightly from the one that I received a few days ago. Lee MacPhail, an executive and the oldest living Hall of Famer, had been scheduled to attend, but his name has now been removed. Also added to the list was Johnny Bench and Lou Brock, the latter of which I was particularly shocked at his omission. Considering it was Brock who Rickey passed for the all-time stolen base crown, I was really hoping that he'd be in attendance, and am glad to see that his name has now been added.

Recent inductees still absent from the list include Cal Ripken Jr. and Nolan Ryan. Ryan's currently the President of the Texas Rangers, but he should have been able to get away for the day. Ryan and Rickey have quite a surprisingly large number of connections to each other, and it would have been nice to see him there. Ripken was just inducted in 2007, but he is very active in the community, and it's possible that he had another commitment.

Other than Jim Palmer, whose 63-years-old, all of the other Hall of Famers not attending are over age 70. This includes Bobby Doerr (91), Stan Musial (90), Red Schoendienst (86), Duke Snider (82), Tommy Lasorda (81), Ernie Banks (78), Hank Aaron (75), Luis Aparicio (75), and Sandy Koufax (73). While I would have loved to have caught a glimpse of such greats as Aaron, Musial, and Koufax, there's still plenty of "big" names to go around.

The day before the induction, all of the attending Hall of Famers are arriving via the red carpet, and I know I'll be there. Although this blog is focused on Rickey Henderson, I'm obviously a huge baseball fan as well. If I end up encountering any of the other greats of the game, I'll definitely post all about it here.


Jamie Majik said...

I would love to attend this! Just to be in the presence of MLB greatness! I bet you the stories being told and memories being recollected are phenomenal. The wisdom each player could give would be crazy! Seriously that would be a once in a life time experience. Not to mention my all time favorite "Mr. October" would be there! I would rack his brain for all of the stories and info I could get!

Unknown said...

Three more days until I leave for New York!

ManOfSteal said...

I hope you have a blast in Cooperstown Jenny! I know I've been waiting for this for quite awhile now, and I bet you have as well.