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Inside the induction: Since 9/11 attacks, guarding baseball’s legends, fans, has become top priority for Hall, local officials
Hall of Famers applaud 2015 inductees Jeff Bagwell, right, and Ivan Rodriguez during their Induction Ceremony. (Cheryl Clough)

Inside the induction

Since 9/11 attacks, guarding baseball’s legends, fans,
has become top priority for Hall, local officials

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

As with a lot of things in America, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Induction Weekend changed 20 years ago, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“Before, at Induction, you were thinking, ‘what if someone has a heart attack out here in the field?’ Suddenly, you had to think about a lot more things that could go wrong,” said Otsego County Board of Representatives Chair Dave Bliss.

Hall of Fame moves induction to September, will allow limited crowds

Hall of Fame moves
induction to September,
will allow limited crowds

STAFF REPORT • Special to

Jane Forbes Clark, chair of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, announced in a media release Wednesday, June 9, that this summer’s Induction Ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8, in front of limited crowds as an outdoor ticketed event on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center.

The Induction Ceremonywill be broadcast live on MLB Network.

Planning continues to be adapted to guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and the New York Department of Health.

“On behalf of our board of directors and our staff, we are thrilled to be able to welcome our Hall of Famers – the living legends – and fans back to Cooperstown to celebrate the Induction of the Class of 2020,” Clark said in the media release.  “Returning the Induction Ceremony to an outdoor event will provide the baseball community with the opportunity to visit Cooperstown and celebrate the Induction of four of the game’s greats.”

The ceremony will honor the members of the Class of 2020: Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker.

No candidates were elected for Induction in 2021.

Midweek Induction brings questions about attendance, coronavirus safety

Midweek Induction brings questions about
attendance, coronavirus safety

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

In the lull of the 2013 Hall of Fame Induction, when no living people were inducted and only about 2,000 die-hard fans attended on a rainy day, and some people speculated about the demise of the tradition, keen baseball observers knew the Yankees would be coming to Cooperstown eventually.
When large class after large class started popping big attendance figures for inductions the latter half of the last decade — topping out at 53,000 for Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, Alan Trammell, Jim Thome and Jack Morris in 2018 — keen baseball observers whispered, “just wait and see what the Yankee years bring.”







By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Derek Jeter
Jane Clark

COOPERSTOWN – Derek Jeter will have to wait another year to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame will be an incredible honor, but the health and safety of everyone involved are paramount,” said 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.”

The Board of Directors met today and voted unanimously to cancel the annual Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, which has been held in Cooperstown every year since 1961, citing health and safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hall Plans Indoor Induction On 7/25, Limiting Audience


Hall Plans Indoor

Induction On 7/25,

TV Audience Only

Cooperstown Classic Events Cancelled

Jane Forbes Clark

COOPERSTOWN – The Hall of Fame announced a few minutes ago that it still hopes to hold the annual Induction on July 25, but not the unticketed event in the Clark Sports Center fields that can attract tens of thousands of fans.

“We have prepared alternative plans to conduct our annual Awards Presentation and Induction Ceremony as television events taking place indoors and adhering to all of the required New York State guidelines,” Jane Forbes Clark, Hall chairman, announced a few minutes ago.

Miss Clark also announced the Cooperstown Classic events planned for Memorial Day Weekend have been cancelled, including the Legends Game, for a second year in a row.

Baseball Hall Of Fame President: 2021 Induction Still ‘The One’

The One’s Still The One – Later

Jeter’s Celebration

Lives, Only In 2021,

Hall President Says

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Tim Mead

COOPERSTOWN – Just because Derek Jeter’s induction has been postponed for a year doesn’t mean that we’ve missed out on the big one.

“His induction will still be the one,” said Tim Mead, president, Baseball Hall of Fame. “Instead of focusing on it for five years, we’ll have to focus for six. But it will still be a celebratory event, and we’ll all be glad to have it back.”

Again, Post Office Here Offers Induction Stamp


Again, Post Office Here

Offers Induction Stamp

This stamp is available Sunday or by mail.

COOPERSTOWN – The post office here is again marking Induction Weekend with a souvenir picture postmark – also known as a pictorial cancellation in collectors’ circles — to be offered at a special postal booth 9-6 p.m. this Sunday in the post office’s parking lot.

The postmark bears an image of the logo of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Sunday’s Induction Day ceremony date. The Postal Service applies the postmark on any envelope that has proper postage, making it a first class souvenir of the day.

What A Crowd! Induction Of Mariano Rivera, 5 Others Brings 55,000 Here

What A Crowd!

Induction Of Mariano Rivera,

5 Others Brings 55,000 Here

Hall of Fame staffers Roger Lansing, left, and Bruno Russo keep an eye on 2019 Inductee Mariano Rivera during the half-hour the Yankee pitching star spent shaking hands and signing autographs for fans at the end of the Legends of the Game Parade. Lansing is the Hall’s multi-media manager; Rosa, from Atlanta, Ga., is a volunteer and former HoF Steel intern. (Jim Kevlin/


COOPERSTOWN – Induction 2019 was notable for what didn’t happen as much as did.

With the Legends of Baseball parade ostensibly cancelled, Johnny Bench nonetheless jumped out of the pickup truck he was riding in and walked the length of the parade route to the Hall of Fame, to the roar of 10,000 fans.

One, the folks who didn’t collapse from the heat.

A violent storm late Saturday broke the humidity that created a steamy high of 88, making way for much drier Induction Day Sunday, July 21, with highs in the low 80s and a slight breeze keeping the Induction crowd feeling more comfortable than expected.

Two, the parade that didn’t happen.

Due to a pending thunderstorm that didn’t happen (until later), the Hall cancelled what’s become a weekend highlight:  The Parade of Legends.  Still, as most the Hall of Famer stayed enclosed in the cabs of pickup trucks as they rolled down Main Street past thousands of fans, Johnny Bench, 71, hopped out and walked the distance, and other stars followed suit as 25 Main neared.

Three, the attendance record that wasn’t broken.

While the crowd of 55,000, as reported by the Hall, was 3,000 more than last year’s class that included Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guerrero, it still fell significantly short of the 2007 Cal Ripkin Jr./Tony Gwynn 82,000 record.

Hall: Wednesday induction was best option

Hall: Wednesday induction was best option

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN — A National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum official said the rescheduling of Induction Weekend to a Wednesday in September came down to one simple factor: the calendar.

“Looking at the calendar, we just had a very limited amount of options,” Jon Shestakofsky, vice president of communications and education, told Iron String Media, Friday, June 11.

The exclusive interview took place two days after the Hall announced it would shift from a virtual induction on the traditional Sunday afternoon in July to a limited capacity, ticketed-only induction Wednesday, Sept. 8, at the Clark Sports Center in the town of Middlefield.

Shestakofsky said the date was the best available option. He said there was no weekend date in September that worked for all of the induction stakeholders, including Major League Baseball, the MLB Network, the inductees and their families, the Hall and the Hall of Famers.

Induction tribute will feature game’s best, Hall favorites
A feature at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum pays tribute to Hank Aaron, who died in January at age 86. (Charlie Vascellaro)

Induction tribute will feature game’s best, Hall favorites


Each year the Hall of Fame Induction ceremony begins with a roll call of members of the baseball community who have passed during the previous calendar year projected on a jumbotron video screen adjacent to the stage where the returning members of the Hall are seated.

This year’s “In Memoriam” recognition stings with a particular poignancy in a continued season of mourning both across the country and within the baseball community devastated by an unparalleled loss of 10 members of the Hall of Fame since the last Induction Ceremony in 2019.

Main Street business good but not great
A Main Street closed to cars Wednesday, Sept. 8, allowed the reported 20,00 fans to spread out before the Induction. (Greg Klein/

Main Street business
good but not great

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

COOPERSTOWN — As the crowd shifted from Main Street to Middlefield for the 2020/2021 National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Induction, local merchants said business was solid, but not as good as a typical Induction Weekend.

Laura Tolbert from All About the Girls said that she was hoping for better.

“It feels like what our normal day should have been like,” Tolbert said. “We’re not getting business like it’s an Induction.”

Tolbert said this year felt different because there was no parade and the Induction was in the middle of the week in September, as opposed to a weekend in July. She said since Cooperstown relies on the summer tourism season to make money, it’s disappointing it wasn’t as good as previous inductions.

“Maybe some people couldn’t take off,” Tolbert said. “This is our last hurrah and it doesn’t feel like an Induction.”

The Baseball Hall of Fame Induction was moved from July to September because of the coronavirus pandemic. The choice to make the induction on a Wednesday in September confounded some business owners but quite a few were happy that they were even getting an induction at all.

40-Foot Slide, Orchards Proposed In Huntington Park Plan


40-Ft. Slide, Orchard,

Gardens Proposed In

Huntington Park Plan

The proposal for Huntington Library Park includes gardens, an orchard and a 40-foot slide with a “rock-scramble” made of native bluestone.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – With a labyrinth, an orchard and a 40-foot slide set in the hillside, Stimson Landscape Architects, Cambridge, Mass., presented their plan for Huntington Park during a Zoom meeting this evening.

“This really is a bright spot in a difficult era,” said Huntington Memorial Library executive director Tina Winstead. “It’s a design I believe Henry Huntington would be proud of.”

Phase One was detailed during this evening’s meeting, with the plans for the Playland and the Literary Gardens.

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