By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
The Cooperstown community had a mixed reaction to the news that the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum would move its Induction Weekend to a Wednesday in September.
The chair of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Jane Forbes Clark, announced Wednesday, June 9, that the induction would be moving from its traditional Sunday in July to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8.
Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh said she saw this move as “100% positive,” because the inductions would no longer be a virtual one.
“We’re essentially going from something that was going to be private to a free ticketed event,” Tillapaugh said. “I think the businesses are going to benefit. … We went from no public being involved to having a public event. I think that’s good for businesses and I think that’s good for the community.”
Bruce Haney from Where It All Began Bat Company at 87 Main St. said that he was “a little concerned about the staffing” since he was the only full-time employee at the business and wasn’t sure he would able to hire others on in September.
He said he was also was concerned about it being in September during the beginning of the school year as well as it being during the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah and in the middle of the Jewish High Holy Days.
“I’m sure not as many people will come,” Haney said.
Josh Rumenapp of Baseballism had a more positive opinion about it, echoing the thoughts of Tillapaugh.
“It’s better than nothing, that they made it in person with fans than not hold it at all,” Rumenapp said, calling the original virtual ceremony “nonsense.”
This year’s ceremony will include the class of 2020 including Derek Jeter, Ted Simmons, Larry Walker and Marvin Miller. No one was chosen for induction this year.
The Hall will continue to hold its Award Ceremony during the traditional July weekend, with a virtual presentation Saturday, July 24. The award winners or their representatives will be invited back to Cooperstown to be recognized at the Induction. The Awards Presentation will honor 2021 Ford C. Frick Award winner for broadcasting excellence, Al Michaels, and the 2020 Frick Award winner, Ken Harrelson; the 2021 Baseball Writers’ Association of America Career Excellence Award winner, Dick Kaegel, and the 2020 BBWAA Career Excellence Award winner, Nick Cafardo; and the 2020 Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award winner, David Montgomery.
According to the Wednesday media release from Hall, lawn seating at the ceremony will be free, but unlike past years, when seating was open, tickets will be required this year. Beginning at 11 a.m., Monday, July 12, a limited number of tickets will be made available to fans exclusively at baseballhall.org/hof2021. The plan is to have seating areas designated for vaccinated and unvaccinated ticket holders, according to the Hall.