In an expected move, the National Baseball Hall of Fame postponed its 2020 induction ceremony. And its featured inductee, Yankees legend Derek Jeter, couldn't agree more with that decision.
"Being inducted into the Hall of Fame will be an incredible honor, but the health and safety of everyone involved are paramount," Jeter said in a statement to the Miami Herald. "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."
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Board of Directors was worried about all the people converging on Cooperstown in late July. The large gathering would be too much of a risk for everyone involved.
So they made the official call on Wednesday.
"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 on Wednesday. "We care deeply about every single person who visits Cooperstown."
Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons (Modern Baseball Era Committee inductee) and the late Marvin Miller were elected into the Hall earlier this year, but given Jeter's Yankee roots, the turnout was expected to be massive. Cooperstown was thinking a flock of 100,000 baseball lovers and Yankee fans alike were going to witness Jeter officially cap off his playing days with this ultimate honor.
But with another class combining with these four, it should be an even grander occassion in a class that might have Curt Schilling in it as well. The official date is set for July 25, 2021.