Hall of Fame weekend: Parade, plaques and presentations

2004 inductee Paul Molitor (1977 Burlington Bees) waves to fans during the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends.

2004 HOF inductee Paul Molitor (1977 Burlington Bees) gives a thumbs-up to fans during the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends.

Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend got off to a great start Saturday with thousands of fans on hand for the first festivities.

After arriving in the early afternoon, I walked around the Hall of Fame museum for awhile to pass some time before the awards presentation at nearby Doubleday Field. The place was packed, of course, but I was still able to see artifacts such as the glove used by San Diego Padres closer Trevor Hoffman (1991 Cedar Rapids Reds) when he earned his 500th career save.

Trevor Hoffman glove and ball

A tour of the Hall of Fame would be incomplete without visiting the plaque gallery. Here are the plaques of two 1969 HOF inductees, Stan Musial and Stan Coveleski …

Musial & Coveleski plaques

… and here is the plaque of Bruce Sutter, who pitched for the Midwest League’s Quincy Cubs in 1973.

Sutter plaque

There was plenty of action outside the museum. The Main Street sidewalks were packed with people, including some former major-leaguers signing autographs for money.

Steve "Lefty" Carlton was among the former MLB stars I saw signing autographs on Main Street.

Steve “Lefty” Carlton was among the former MLB stars I saw signing autographs on Main Street.

Former New York Mets star Darryl Strawberry was kind enough to pose for pictures with fans for free, so my wife shot this photo of me with “Straw”:

Darryl and Craig

While waiting for the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation ceremony to begin at Doubleday Field, I spotted Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux.

Mike Maddux

His younger brother, Greg Maddux (1985 Peoria Chiefs), will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, along with Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, and former managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre. At least 40,000 people are expected to be on hand for the ceremony.

The awards ceremony on Saturday, however, was for non-uniformed personnel being honored for their contributions to baseball. Author Roger Angell received the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing, Joe Garagiola was honored (in absentia) with the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, and longtime Rangers radio broadcaster Eric Nadel was given the Ford C. Frick Award for major contributions to baseball broadcasting.

J. G. Taylor Spink Award winner Roger Angell delivers his acceptance speech in front of a stage full of Baseball Hall-of-Famers.

J. G. Taylor Spink Award winner Roger Angell delivers his acceptance speech in front of a stage full of Baseball Hall-of-Famers.

The final public event of the day was the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends, a fifth-year feature of induction weekend. Many Hall of Fame members, including all of this year’s inductees, participated by riding in trucks on their way to a private reception at the HOF museum.

Here is a look at the large crowd that lined Main Street for the parade …

parade crowd

… and here is Rickey Henderson riding in the parade.

Rickey Henderson

Check back here Sunday night for more Induction Weekend photos, including ones of new inductee Greg Maddux, only the seventh Hall-of-Fame player who is an alumnus of the Midwest League.

*All photos copyright of Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler

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This entry was posted in Baseball Hall of Fame, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs. Bookmark the permalink.

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