The Baseball Hall of Fame announced Tuesday that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds have been selected to participate in the 2006 Hall of Fame Game on May 15 at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y. The Hall of Fame Game has been scheduled annually since 1940, and it is the only big league exhibition game that will be played during the 2006 regular season. The Pirates, who will be the home team for the contest, are 1-3-1 all-time in Hall of Fame Game appearances. The Bucs last participated in this venue in 1980, when they defeated the Chicago White Sox, 11-8. Pittsburgh also made appearances in the 1949, 1959, 1968 and 1973 contests.
The Reds have been invited to seven Hall of Fame games, but they were unable to participate in their previous two scheduled appearances; mechanical problems with their airplane kept them from making the game in 1989, while the players' strike halted action in 1981. The Reds, who are 1-3 all-time in their Hall of Fame Game appearances, last participated in the event in 1967, when they were defeated, 3-0, by the Orioles. Cincinnati suffered a 2-1 loss to the Indians in 1941 in a game that was called after six innings due to rain, dropped a 10-9 decision to the Yankees in 1954 and defeated the White Sox, 16-6, in 1953. The May 15 game will occur during a scheduled nine-game homestand for the Pirates at PNC Park. The Reds will embark on a six-game road trip following the exhibition game, including a three-game set May 16-18 in Pittsburgh. The May 15th date is the earliest in Hall of Fame Game history. Prior to 2003, the game was held in conjunction with the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Cooperstown. The Hall of Fame Game Weekend will feature appearances by Hall of Fame members, a parade and a tribute to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Tickets will be made available beginning Feb. 18 at a cost of $11.00 for first and third base reserved seats and $10.00 for outfield reserved seats. They can be purchased in person at the Hall of Fame Museum on Feb. 18 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET, online at baseballhalloffame.org or by calling 888-HALL-OF-FAME, option 2, anytime from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET. There is a limit of six tickets per customer.
Ed Eagle is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.