It appears that you're using a severely outdated version of Safari on Windows. Many features won't work correctly, and functionality can't be guaranteed. Please try viewing this website in Edge, Mozilla, Chrome, or another modern browser. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused!Read More
The distance from Arkansas to Cooperstown, New York, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, is about 1500 miles. It is a journey most Arkansas baseball fans will never make. Fortunately, one weekend each year, an Arkansas city similarly associated with baseball’s rich past, offers an opportunity for local baseball fans to enjoy some of the game’s cherished memories up close and personal.
The weekend of August 14 – 15, the 3rd annual Hot Springs Baseball Weekend will take on a Cooperstown atmosphere, complete with Hall of Fame members and a special photo exhibit. This year’s event features Hall of Famers and former St. Louis Cardinal greats Lee Smith and Ted Simmons, as well as Cardinal fan-favorite Al Hrabosky.
Activities begin on Friday, August 14 with a groundbreaking at the site of the new Majestic Field complex. The city approved the facility in a special election in 2019. The state of the art baseball and softball complex is expected to draw thousands of youth teams to the city when completed in 2021.
Saturday’s schedule features a traveling exhibit from the Baseball Hall of Fame’s permanent photo collection titled Picturing America’s Pastime. The museum’s collection contains a quarter of a million images, spanning 150 years of the sport’s history. The traveling exhibit contains more than 50 photographs accompanied by the words of those who lived those historic times in baseball’s past. Picturing America’s Pastime will be on display in the Exhibit Hall Concourse beginning at 10 a.m.
A baseball card show will also open at 10:00 AM and feature collector/sellers from throughout the South with baseball cards and other memorabilia for sale or trade. The card show will be in the Plaza Lobby from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Admission is free.
For those attendees interested in baseball history, the Robinson-Kell Chapter of The Society for American Baseball Research will hold a regional meeting during the Hot Springs Baseball Weekend. The group has two regular meetings each year and regional meetings around the state at special events. Arkansas SABR welcomes guests. No membership is required to be a guest at a meeting of Robinson-Kell. The meetings usually feature as a special guest speaker a former professional baseball player who was born or lives in Arkansas. Meetings also spotlight presentations on baseball research by members. The meeting at Baseball Weekend will be held in Meeting Room 108, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
At 1 p.m., a panel discussion will highlight the baseball history of Hot Springs. Among the panelists will be Babe Ruth scholar Tim Reid. Reid will provide interesting details on the days The Babe spent his spring training in Hot Springs. The city has become widely known for its part in the early days of spring training. And Hot Springs is rapidly becoming one of America’s premier baseball history destinations.
Lee Smith will be the featured guest for a question and answer session beginning at 2:15 p.m. in the main meeting area. Smith, one of baseball’s all-time great relief pitchers, recorded 478 saves in an 18-year pitching career. Primarily remembered locally for his great years with the Cubs and Cardinals, Smith was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.
At 3:30 p.m., recent Hall of Fame inductee Ted Simmons will be on stage with “The Mad Hungarian” Al Hrabosky to talk baseball and share stories of their days as St. Louis Cardinals. Both Hrabosky and Simmons were featured at last year’s Hot Springs Baseball Weekend, and are returning due to their popularity with local fans. This session promises to be a highlight of the day.
During this historic summer, baseball fans have not only longed for their beloved game, but also the rekindling of memories of games once played. Hot Springs Baseball Weekend promises to restore those nostalgic conversations fans have missed during this summer of lost baseball. “All the Baseball Weekend events are absolutely free, and the public is welcome for all of them,” said Visit Hot Springs CEO Steve Arrison. “We have arranged for proper social distancing during all of the events in Horner Hall at the Convention Center, and face-covering will be mandatory at all our events.”
6 – 6:30 p.m. – Groundbreaking at Majestic Park, new youth baseball facility featuring Legendary major league baseball players Lee Smith, Ted Simmons, and Al Hrabosky along with local dignitaries.
10 a.m. – Picturing America’s Pastime, National Baseball Hall of Fame
Photography exhibit opens to the public (Exhibit Hall Concourse)
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Baseball Card Show (Plaza Lobby)
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.- Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Meeting (Room 208)
1 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Panel on Local Baseball History (TBD)
2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. – A Conversation with Hall of Fame Pitching Legend Lee Smith
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Baseball Talk- Hall of Famer Ted Simmons and “The Mad Hungarian”
4:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. – Q&A -Questions and answers from Lee Smith, Ted Simmons, and Al Hrabosky
Sign up for our weekly e-news.
Get stories sent straight to your inbox!
Sign up for
Sign up for weekly e-news!