The Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that it has canceled the July 26 induction ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s class will be included at next year’s induction festivities — along with any additional new choices — on July 25, 2021.
A record crowd of over 70,000 had been expected this summer at the small town in upstate New York to honor Derek Jeter, the former New York Yankees captain who came within one vote of unanimous election by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in January. Jeter and Larry Walker were to be inducted with catcher Ted Simmons and the late Marvin Miller, the pioneering players’ union head who negotiated free agency and transformed the sport.
Jeter, a key to five World Series titles, was on 396 of 397 ballots in voting announced Jan. 21. The only player with a higher percentage was former Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera, who became the first unanimous pick in 2019. Walker, making his 10th ballot appearance, got 304 votes — six over the threshold.
This will be the first year without an induction ceremony since 1960. The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum closed at the end of the day on March 15 due to the virus outbreak.
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