(Reuters) - The Baseball Hall of Fame weekend and induction was cancelled on Wednesday due to health and safely concerns associated with the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The class of 2020, consisting of Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker, will now be inducted into the Cooperstown shrine on July 25, 2021 alongside any new members elected as part of the class of 2021.
“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,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in a statement.
The Hall of Fame has held an induction ceremony in Cooperstown every year since 1961.
Induction ceremonies were not held in 1950, 1958 and 1960 after voting resulted in no new electees, while no elections took place in 1940, 1941 and 1943.
In 1942, Rogers Hornsby was elected but an induction ceremony was not held due to travel restrictions related to World War II.
While members of the 2020 class expressed their disappointment, all agreed it was the right decision.
“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame will be an incredible honor, but the health and safety of everyone involved are paramount,” said New York Yankees great Jeter.
“I respect and support the decision to postpone this year’s enshrinement and am looking forward to joining current Hall of Famers, fans, staff and my family and friends in Cooperstown in 2021.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Ed Osmond