The Baseball Hall of Fame, realizing that it had no choice, officially postponed the summer induction ceremony, highlighted by Derek Jeter, until the summer of 2021.
““Induction Weekend is a celebration of our National Pastime and its greatest legends, and while we are disappointed to cancel this incredibly special event, the Board of Directors’ overriding concern is the health and well-being of our new inductees, our Hall of Fame members, our wonderful fans and the hundreds of staff it takes to present the weekend’s events in all of its many facets,” Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, said in a statement Wednesday. “We care deeply about every single person who visits Cooperstown.”
The ceremony now is scheduled July 25, 2021. The 2020 class of Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and the late Marvin Miller will join any new members elected in January, with pitcher Curt Schilling the most likely newcomer.
“It was a very difficult decision, but with so many unknowns facing the world, the Board felt strongly that this was the right decision,” said Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, vice chairman of the Hall. “Our Class of 2020 electees should enjoy the same wonderful experience that I did when I was elected, and they will have that opportunity next summer.”
The coronavirus pandemic forced the Hall of Fame to make the difficult decision knowing the crowd restrictions it faced, along with the health concerns of its 38 active members who are 70 years or older.
“I fully understand and agree with the Board’s decision,” Walker said. “It is most important to do the right thing for everybody involved, and that means not putting any participants in jeopardy, whether Hall of Famers or visitors. I realize how serious this situation has become and how many lives have been lost.”
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Said Jeter in a statement: “Being inducted into the Hall of Fame will be an incredible honor, but the health and safety of everyone involved are paramount. I respect and support the decision to postpone this year’s enshrinement and am looking forward to joining current Hall of Famers, fans, staff and my family and friends in Cooperstown in 2021.”
Next summer’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be the first since 1949 to combine multiple classes of electees.
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