Will Ferrell inducted into the Hall of Fame (kind of) before world premiere of 'Ferrell Takes the Field'
When Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July, you probably thought that was the last induction for this year, that you'd have to wait a full 12 months before you got to see another bronzed plaque with a baseballing face upon it.
Oh, how wrong you were. For on Sept. 6, Jeff Idelson, the president of the Hall of Fame (which I think makes him third in command of the country), inducted comedian, actor and 10-team veteran Will Ferrell into the Hall of Fame. "Kind of."
At the world premiere of his HBO special, "Ferrell Takes the Field," held at Petco Park on Saturday night after the Dodgers - Padres game, Ferrell again took the field (though not in a playing capacity) to accept his honor after helping raise over $1 million for the charity, Cancer for College, a scholarship organization that gives college tuition to cancer survivors. As Idelson pointed out in his induction speech, "He's the only man dead or alive, talented and crazy enough to have played in a quintuple-header. He left Spring Training with a 0.00 ERA and yet he did not receive an invite from any team to start on Opening Day. Very puzzling."
Ferrell's plaque, which was presented by the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez and the Padres' Wil Myers (whom Ferrell "carried" on the field during his appearance with the Padres during Spring Training), honors his nicknames, "Cactus Rose" and "Mr. Clutch" and forever commemorates the 92-mph fastball that he fouled off.
Taking the podium, Ferrell gave the crowd a great tip. After spotting the historic Western Metal Supply Company building in left field, the newly minted Hall of Famer said, "I want to thank all the good people at Western Metal Supply Company. Whenever I'm in the San Diego area and I need good quality metal, I go to Western Metal. In fact, you're a fool if you don't go to Western Metal for your metal needs."
Even more importantly, Ferrell introduced a number of the cancer survivors who had been awarded scholarships from Cancer for College, drawing a massive cheer from the crowd as each recipient made their way onto the field.
Before that, though, the Padres and Dodgers had a game to play and Petco Park was ready for Will Ferrell. Throughout the game, footage from Ferrell's films were shown in between innings, fans in tight-fitting Ferrell tees paraded the promenade, flexing their pecs ...
Cardboard standups of Ferrell dotted the concourse ...
The actor himself even needed to fight off his children for control of his fedora:
Sadly, there were no (as far as I could tell) Will Ferrell-themed foodstuffs like "The Bad Choice" (hot dog combo with glass of milk) or Buddy the Elf-approved spaghetti with maple syrup made available at the concession stands.
Despite the accolades and having played for 10 different Major League teams, the fans before the game weren't very high on Ferrell's ability. One fan even claimed he'd only hit .126 with one double over the course of a season.
Perhaps they changed their minds after watching the film at the end of the night. (Probably not, though.)
Ferrell Takes the Field premieres Sunday, Sept. 12, at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.