HOF inductions put on hold

The Associated PressIn this Jan. 22 file photo, former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, right, and former Colorado Rockies outfielder Larry Walker pose after receiving their Baseball Hall of Fame jerseys during a news conference in New York.

Derek Jeter’s next stop in baseball has been all-but-certain for some time, but now he’ll have to wait one more year to get there.

The former Yankees shortstop and captain is among future members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame whose inductions are on hold until 2021.

Hall of Fame directors voted unanimously Wednesday to cancel this year’s “Induction Weekend” events, citing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

"You go through the options and realize how impractical they are," Hall of Fame president Tim Mead said of the decision making process.

Events were scheduled for July 24-27. This year’s class instead will be honored during the Hall of Fame weekend slated for July 23-26, 2021.

“In heeding the advice of government officials as well as federal, state and local medical and scientific experts, we chose to act with extraordinary caution in making this decision,” said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the Hall of Fame, in a media release.

“Induction Weekend is a celebration of our national pastime and its greatest legends,” she said, “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."

The is the first year since 1960 there will be no ceremony in Cooperstown. That year, no candidates had enough votes to be inducted.

Next year’s ceremony will be the fourth, and the first since 1949, that multiple classes enter the Hall of Fame together.

The class of 2020 headlined by Jeter also includes former Players Association executive Marvin Miller, Montreal Expos and St. Louis Cardinals slugger Larry Walker and Cardinals catcher Ted Simmons.

Their election — Jeter and Walker by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, Miller and Simmons by the Veterans Committee — was announced in January.

“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.

While not unexpected, the cancellation is a blow to this village, where induction events are the high point of the summer. The Hall of Fame Museum is also closed to visitors because of the coronavirus.

“There’s no getting around it, this is going to be a tough summer for the business community," said Tara Burke, executive director of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce.

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