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Coronavirus: Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony postponed until 2021

April 30 2020 1:07 AM

There will be no pilgrimage to upstate New York for fans of Derek Jeter and Larry Walker as the Baseball Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday it has cancelled the July 26 induction ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jeter and Walker, along with Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller, will be now be inducted on July 25, 2021 with the Class of 2021.

"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 wellbeing of our new inductees, our Hall of Fame members, our wonderful fans and the hundreds of staff," Hall Chairman Jane Forbes Clark said in a statement.

"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."

This will be the first year without an induction ceremony since 1960, when no players received the required 75 per cent of votes for entry by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA).

The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum have been closed since March 16, and record crowds were expected to descend on Cooperstown with Yankees fans making the drive from the New York metropolitan area for the induction of Jeter, who fell one vote shy of a unanimous enshrinement by the BBWAA.

The record for attendance at an induction ceremony came in 2007, when more than 70,000 fans attended to see Cal Ripken Jr. and the late Tony Gwynn enshrined.

There likely will not be any first-time eligible players elected from next year's class, with Mark Buehrle, Tim Hudson, Torii Hunter and Barry Zito headlining the candidates. There are several intriguing holdovers, however, with Curt Schilling, who appeared on 70.0 per cent of ballots this January, along with Rogers Clemens (61.0 per cent) and Barry Bonds (60.7 per cent) all set to appear on the ballot for the ninth time.

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