Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony moved to Sept. 8 to allow fans

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The Baseball Hall of Fame reversed course and announced Wednesday they will have an induction ceremony after all, albeit much smaller and six weeks later.

The abbreviated Hall of Fame ceremony will now be Wednesday, Sept. 8, honoring Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and the late Marvin Miller.

“I can’t tell you how thrilled we are that Cooperstown is opening up and welcoming these guys into the Hall of Fame in grand fashion,’’ Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said. “Jeter, Walker and Simmons were all fan favorites. And it will at least allow some fans to properly celebrate their induction and the legends of the game.’’

Derek Jeter, right, and Larry Walker pose after receiving their Baseball Hall of Fame jersey in 2020.
Derek Jeter, right, and Larry Walker pose after receiving their Baseball Hall of Fame jersey in 2020.

This year’s ceremony was scheduled to be only a televised-only event with no fans because of COVID-19. It will now be the first Hall of Fame ceremony since July 21, 2019 with the cancellation of last year’s ceremony.

“Since the beginning of the year, we were working with the guidelines of the state and the CDC [Centers for Disease Control],’’ Idelson said, “ “that’s why we originally scheduled the event to be televised only. Now, with the country moving in the right direction, it’s afforded us the opportunity to bring in some fans, and the Hall of Famers who are comfortable coming back.’’

The induction ceremony, which was expected to draw an anticipated record of at least 90,000 fans in 2020 because of Jeter’s election, now will be limited. Instead of open seating, fans will be required to order tickets, separating vaccinated and unvaccinated ticket holders. The exact number of seats will depend on the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and the State of New York.

The traditional pomp and circumstances will be gone, reduced to only a weekday ceremony that was “the least disruptive’’ to everyone’s plans. There will be no parade or legion of parties and autograph shows, but the players at least will be able to celebrate with their families and a small legion of fans, while remembering the 10 Hall of Famers who have passed in the last 14 months.

There still will be a televised-only event on July 24 honoring the lifetime writing and broadcast award winners featuring the late Nick Cafardo, Dick Kaegel, Ken “Hawk’’ Harrelson, Al Michaels, with the late David Montgomery receiving the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement award.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Baseball Hall of Fame induction moved to Sept. 8 to allow fans