ST. LOUIS, MO- The road to baseball immortality in Cooperstown, New York took long enough for former Cardinals Ted Simmons and Larry Walker, who were both slated to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer. But thanks to the coronavirus, both will have to wait a little longer to officially join the ranks of baseball’s greats.
The Baseball Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that planned ceremonies for this year would be cancelled due to the pandemic.
While authorities have started mapping out what reopening of society will look like in the months ahead, the idea of mass gatherings of any kind, including the annual pilgrimage to upstate New York that this year would also have included fans of former New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter, seemed untenable in the current environment.
“I fully understand and agree with the Board’s decision,” Walker said in a statement released by the Hall of Fame. “It is most important to do the right thing for everybody involved, and that means not putting any participants in jeopardy, whether Hall of Famers or visitors. I realize how serious this situation has become and how many lives have been lost.”
Simmons added that “This was the wisest and smartest thing to do, given the existing environment and the danger that this pandemic presents.”
The 2020 class will be enshrined along with the 2021 class.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame may face a similar dilemma with its ceremonies slated for August 6-9 to celebrate the induction of 20 people into the class of 2020, including former Rams wideout Isaac Bruce and Lutheran North graduate Steve Atwater (Broncos). To this point, the NFL has done its best to keep its regular schedule of events in order, despite the pandemic restrictions, which have closed team facilities. It just completed a remote draft after having to scrap plans for a large-scale public event in Las Vegas.
Baseball Hall of Fame delays Cardinal duo’s induction to 2021 due to coronavirusOn Wednesday morning, a Pro Football Hall of Fame spokeswoman said that hall’s events were still on schedule, but added, “If the NFL season is delayed for any reason, we will adapt accordingly.”