COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Much to the chagrin of baseball fans everywhere, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced the 2021 induction ceremony will be limited to a televised indoor event. It’s an especially huge blow to New York Yankees fans who likely would’ve arrived at the small Upstate New York village in record droves for legendary shortstop Derek Jeter.
After the HOF weekend events were canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was some hope Jeter and his fellow inductees, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons, and posthumously Marvin Miller, would receive their due in 2021. Yet, given the still uncertain situation with the pandemic, they, along with 2021 Ford C. Frick Award winner for broadcasting excellence, Al Michaels, and the 2020 Frick Award winner, Ken Harrelson; the 2021 Baseball Writers’ Association of America Career Excellence Award winner, Dick Kaegel, and the 2020 BBWAA Career Excellence Award winner, Nick Cafardo; and the 2020 Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award winner, David Montgomery, will be honored in a vastly smaller ceremony.
“Though we are having to cancel our 2021 Hall of Fame Classic Weekend, the Hall of Fame is maintaining its commitment to hold an Induction Ceremony on July 25,” Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum stated.
“We had hoped to be in a position to welcome loyal baseball fans back to Cooperstown for Induction Weekend, but with the continuing uncertainties created by COVID-19, the Board of Directors has decided not to hold Induction Weekend ceremonies at the traditional Clark Sports Center location. We have prepared alternative plans to conduct our annual Awards Presentation and Induction Ceremony as television events taking place indoors and adhering to all of the required New York State guidelines,” Forbes Clark added.
As I mentioned up top, it’s understandable but unfortunate for Yankee fans and Jeter, for what would’ve been a record-shattering attendance for an induction weekend. Perhaps pushing it out to 2022 would’ve been too much but Jeter, who was the face of the Yankees, if not baseball, for the better part of 20 years, deserves all of the accolades and adulation and the fans the opportunity to shower him with applause.