OFFICIALS at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are weighing whether to reschedule the enshrinement of Derek Jeter and Larry Walker amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A decision is expected in early May, a Hall of Fame official told the New York Post. The ceremony is scheduled for July 26.
“The health and public safety aspect of it is paramount,” said Jon Shestakofsky, the organization’s vice president of communications and education. “But we also consider the experience that we are providing for both the visitors and for members of our Hall of Fame family that would be traveling.
“Pretty much everything remains on the table, other than a virtual event.”
The ceremony is held annually on the expansive grass field at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y., where 55,000 people showed up last year as Jeter’s longtime teammate with the New York Yankees, Mariano Rivera, and five others were inducted.
Jeter’s enshrinement has been expected to shatter the record set in 2007, when an estimated 82,000 people descended on the small village to see Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn take their place among the game’s greats. Social distancing would be impossible.
The Post reported options include keeping the ceremony as scheduled, moving it to later in the summer or the fall, or pushing it to 2021.
“Our board has been having conversations for over a month about the status of induction weekend,” Shestakofsky said. “We are expecting to make an announcement in early May to indicate the direction that we are going. Again, health and safety is our No. 1 objective.”
Jeter and Walker will be inducted along with the late Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons, who were elected by the Modern Baseball Era Committee.