Cubs, Padres to play last HOF Game

Cubs, Padres to play last HOF Game

CHICAGO -- The Cubs are going to Cooperstown.

The Cubs and San Diego Padres will play at historic Doubleday Field on June 16 in the 2008 Baseball Hall of Fame Game.

Major League Baseball announced this will be the final Hall of Fame Game, a tradition which began in 1940 and the last remaining in-season exhibition game on the schedule for many years.

"We are delighted to have the Cubs and Padres in Cooperstown for Father's Day Weekend," Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey said. "They are two of the National League's most exciting teams and will surely provide great entertainment.

"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," Petroskey said.

The game will begin at 2 p.m. ET, with pregame festivities starting at noon with the Hall of Fame Game Day Parade on Main Street and a Home Run Derby at Doubleday Field.

The Cubs originally had June 16 off after an Interleague series in Toronto, June 13-15. They open an Interleague series in Tampa Bay on June 17.

The Cubs will be the home team and occupy the first-base dugout at Doubleday Field, which 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-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.

"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.

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, beating the Tigers, 8-6. Sammy Sosa won the Home Run Derby. In 1988, the Cubs tied the Indians, 1-1, with the lone Chicago run coming on future Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg's first-inning homer.

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 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 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.

Approximately 2,500 tickets will first be available through a one-day, over-the-counter ticket sale at the Hall of Fame Museum on 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 that day.

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, and selecting Option 2, anytime from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.. 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.

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 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., Monday through Saturday.

The 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 July 27 at the Clark Sports Center.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.