UNITED STATES—The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located in Cooperstown, NY, announced April 29 that its Board of Directors voted unanimously to cancel the 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend events due to growing concerns surrounding COVID-19.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame posted the following statement by Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, on their website:
“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. We care deeply about every single person who visits Cooperstown. 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. The Board of Directors has decided that the Class of 2020 will be inducted and the 2020 Award Winners will be honored as part of next summer’s Hall of Fame Weekend, taking place July 23-26, 2021.”
This year’s Class of 2020 included Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker. With the postponement of this years celebration due to a global pandemic, the event will now take place on Sunday, July 25, 2021 in Cooperstown. Joining those from 2020 will be the talented members elected as part of the Hall of Fame Class of 2021. The Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 24, 2021 will recognize the Hall of Fame’s 2020 and 2021 Award Winners, including 2020 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Nick Cafardo, 2020 Ford C. Frick Award winner Hawk Harrelson and the winner of the 2020 Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, David Montgomery.
The Hall of Fame has held an Induction Ceremony in Cooperstown every year since 1961. However, it is not a stranger to world interruptions to their Induction ceremonies as they were not held in 1950, 1958 and 1960 after voting resulted in no new electees, as well as no elections being held in 1940, 1941 and 1943. Another hiccup occurred in 1942 when Rogers Hornsby was elected but an Induction Ceremony was not held due to travel restrictions related to World War II.