The memory of an overnight stay at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum spurred one Major Leaguer to donate an artifact from his historic feat.
Seattle Mariners outfielder Raul Ibanez and his son, RJ, participated in a November 2011 Extra Innings Overnight event in Cooperstown, with father and son spending the night in the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery with members of RJ’s youth baseball team. According to the release, the evening proved so special that when Ibanez made baseball history at the 2012 American League Championship Series with the Yankees, his thoughts returned to Cooperstown.
“It meant such a great deal to go through the museum with RJ and tour through the game’s treasures, knowing that the Hall of Fame is where the game’s greatest stories are preserved,” Ibanez said in the release.
Ibanez became the first player to hit two home runs in the ninth inning or later of a postseason game, powering the Yankees to a win over the Orioles.
“Knowing that the bat that I used from the one moment in baseball history is going to be in Cooperstown forever is just so great. I’m honored to have anything of mine attached to the Hall of Fame,” he added.
Ibanez contacted the Hall of Fame earlier this month to offer a donation of the bat to the museum. The bat from Ibanez’s feat will be preserved in Cooperstown. According to the release, Ibanez said that his memories of the visit to Cooperstown spurred his decision to offer the bat to the museum.
Open to museum members and youth groups, Extra Innings Overnights will feature an expanded lineup, increased capacity and new weekend dates for 2013. Children ages 7 to 12 and their parents can sleep in the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery among the plaques honoring Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson and the rest of baseball’s greats. The evening includes all-access to the museum’s public areas after-hours, hands-on programs throughout the museum and a late-night snack and a movie in the Bullpen Theater.
A light breakfast is provided the following morning, and all junior participants receive a Hall of Fame knapsack filled with mementos of the evening. The program costs $49.95 per person. Upcoming dates include:
• March 9-10 – Youth groups only (Sold out)
• March 23-24 – Youth groups only (Sold out)
• April 6-7 – Members only
• July 16-17 – Held on the night of the All-Star Game; 100 All-Star Gala attendees at the museum can participate
• Nov. 2-3 – Youth groups only
• Nov. 9-10 – Members only
Space is limited for the program. For more information or to register, call the museum’s education department at 547-0347.