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13 are headed to Williams Hall

Molitor, Rice, Winfield and Yount lead the way today into the Hall of Fame and museum.

By CAREY FREEMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 18, 2001


CITRUS HILLS -- It's that time of year again -- time for Citrus County to get its taste of big-time baseball. As has been the case since the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame opened its doors in 1994, legions of former and current major-leaguers have made their way to the county for the induction ceremonies.

The 2001 inductees and award winners are sure to attract equally enthusiastic support. The Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame will honor 13 current and former big-leaguers, including Hitter's Hall of Fame inductees Paul Molitor, Jim Rice, Dave Winfield and Robin Yount.

An eight-time All-Star selection, Molitor spent 21 years playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins, posting a lifetime batting average of .306.

Molitor led the American League in hits in 1991, '93 and '96 and was the MVP of the 1993 World Series as a member of the Blue Jays.

Rice played 16 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, compiling a .298 average and .502 slugging percentage. He blasted 382 homers and drove in 1,451 runs. He was an eight-time All-Star and made his only World Series appearance in 1986. Winfield spent 22 years in the majors with seven different teams, recording a career batting average of .283. He hit 465 home runs and had 1,833 RBI.

Winfield began his career with the San Diego Padres before spending eight seasons with the New York Yankees. He later played for the California Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians and made the All-Star team every year between 1977-88.

Yount spent his entire 20 years with the Brewers and was the American League MVP in 1982 and '89.He batted .285 and had 1,406 RBI and 251 homers. In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees, the museum will honor four current major-leaguers for their performance during the 2000 season.

Jason Giambi (Oakland Athletics) and Barry Bonds (San Francisco Giants) will receive the Ted Williams Award for overall hitting excellence.

Rafael Furcal (Atlanta Braves) and Mark Quinn (Kansas City Royals) will get the Ted Williams rookie award.

Further awards will be presented to pitchers Pedro Martinez (Red Sox), Jim Palmer and Tom Seaver, who will be honored on the museum's Wall of Great Achievements, and 3,000 Hit Club members Al Kaline and Winfield.

Topping things off is the presentation of the Splendid Splinter Award, which will go to Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciapara.

Tickets for the event are $35 for general admission and will be available at the museum before today's ceremony.

Ted Williams hall of fame ceremony

WHAT: Eighth annual Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame inductions.

WHEN: Today, noon.

WHERE: Ted Williams Museum, 2455 N. Citrus Hills Blvd., Hernando.

ADMISSION: $35 for first-come, first-served seating under the main tent adjacent to the museum; $75 for preferred seating. Both include a commemorative yearbook. Tickets can be purchased at the museum. People without tickets can sit outside the tent area for free, but the view is limited.

2000 INDUCTEES: Paul Molitor, Jim Rice, Dave Winfield and Robin Yount.

OTHER AWARD WINNERS: Wall of Great Achievement -- Pedro Martinez, Jim Palmer, Tom Seaver. Splendid Splinter -- Nomar Garciaparra. 3,000 Hit Club -- Al Kaline, Winfield. Productive Player -- Barry Bonds (National League), Jason Giambi (American League). Rookie of the Year -- Rafael Furcal (NL), Mark Quinn (AL).

SCHEDULED TO ATTEND: Furcal, Garciaparra, Giambi, Rice, Seaver, Quinn, Winfield and Yount.

NOTES: For the first time since his museum opened in 1995, Williams will not be present to give out awards. He is recovering from open-heart surgery, which he had Jan. 15 at a New York hospital.

FOR INFORMATION: Call (352) 527-6566.

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