Tauck Adds Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith to Ken Burns Baseball Event in Cooperstown

All-Time Assist and Double-Play Leader to Meet and Mingle With Tauck Guests at Four-Day June Event

NORWALK, CT (February 27, 2013)  Baseball legend and Hall of Fame Member Ozzie Smith has joined the roster of former players, authors and experts who will be attending “The Tauck Baseball Event: America’s Pastime”  in Cooperstown, New York, in June.  The four-day event (June 27-30, 2013) is being designed and offered by Tauck in cooperation with Ken Burns, whose PBS film Baseball earned nearly 20 different awards and award nominations, and spawned a critically-acclaimed sequel, The Tenth Inning.  Burns will deliver the event’s keynote speech and greet Tauck guests during an exclusive, “after-hours” evening inside the National Baseball Hall of Fame that includes a cocktail and dessert reception, and the opportunity to tour the Hall of Fame’s exhibits when the facility is closed to the public. 

Known as “The Wizard,” Smith is regarded by many as the best defensive shortstop of all time.  Over the course of 19 years in the major leagues, Smith became the all-time assist leader at shortstop with 8,375 assists, and the all-time leader at turning double plays, with 1,590.  He was also the recipient of 13 consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, signifying the best player at his position, and he was the starting shortstop for 10 consecutive years in the All Star Game (including being the number-one vote getter overall for the 1987 and 1988 All Star Games).  At the plate, Smith recorded 2,460 hits during his career.

Joining Smith will be fellow Hall of Fame member Phil Niekro and former outfielder  Doug Glanville.   Niekro, nicknamed “Knucksie” for his famed knuckleball, won 318 games during a 24-year career.  He twice led the National League in wins, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1997.  Glanville collected an even 1,100 hits over a nine-year major league career, and amassed a 293-game errorless streak.  He is also author of the baseball book, “The Game From Where I Stand,” he was a featured expert on the Ken Burns baseball films, and he is a current ESPN analyst and commentator.

Also included in the event’s activities are special lectures by baseball experts, including author Daniel Okrent, who was featured prominently in both of the Ken Burns baseball films (and who invented Rotisserie League or “Fantasy” Baseball), and baseball historian Tom Heitz.  Attendees will also enjoy an exclusive interactive experience with Niekro and Smith at Cooperstown’s iconic Doubleday Field, learn about the 1940s and 50s-era women’s baseball leagues from a former league player, attend a period “Town Ball” game played with 19th-century rules, and even take a few swings in historic batting cages.

Burns is the perfect partner to help Tauck craft an in-depth baseball event, noted company CEO Dan Mahar.  “Ken’s knowledge of baseball is incredible; that’s obvious to anyone who’s watched Baseball or its follow-up, The Tenth Inning,” said Mahar.  “But what makes Ken unique are the broader perspectives on America that he’s gained through all of his other films, which allow him to view the sport within the larger context of American culture and history.  Who better to help us tell the story of America’s pastime than Ken Burns, ‘America’s storyteller?’”

According to Burns, the same elements that prompted him to create two films about baseball also make the sport a great basis for a Tauck travel experience.  “So many of the things that have shaped America are also reflected in baseball, from race relations to women’s rights to multiculturalism,” said Burns.  “And baseball reveals the best and the worst in us while ultimately celebrating the human spirit.  Baseball is about greed and scandal, but it’s also about teamwork and poise under pressure.  It’s about sorrow and disappointment, but it’s also about perennial optimism and hard-won triumph.  Baseball is truly a mirror in which we can all see pieces of ourselves and our own experiences reflected.”

Guests attending the Tauck Baseball Event will spend three nights in Cooperstown at the Otesaga Resort Hotel.  A member of the Historic Hotels of America, the resort overlooks Otesaga Lake and is approximately a half-mile from the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Included in the price (from $$3,690 per person, double occupancy, plus air) are all daytime activities and evening festivities, all meals, all gratuities, airport transfers and ground transportation, and much more.

Those interested in learning more can visit their local travel professional, call Tauck at 1 800 468 2825, or visit www.tauck.com.

About Tauck.  Tauck is a world leader in upscale guided travel, with nearly 100 land and cruise itineraries to some 70 countries and all seven continents.  The company has been named to Travel + Leisure magazine’s list of the “World’s Best Tour Operators & Safari Outfitters” in each of the past 15 years, and it has also been named to the magazine’s list of the “World’s Best River Cruise Lines” in each of the past four years. 

About “Ken Burns American Journeys.”  Through its “Ken Burns American Journeys” partnership, Tauck is working with the award-winning filmmaker and his longtime collaborator Dayton Duncan to craft travel experiences that incorporate and explore the themes of Burns’s films, including (among others) Baseball, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, The Civil War and Jazz.

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