By CHARLIE VASCELLARO • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
A long time ago in what seems like a galaxy far, far away … way back in the pre-coronavirus era, January of 2020 the New York Yankees all-time greatest shortstop Derek Jeter was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, garnering 396 of 397 votes.
Jeter fell one vote shy of joining teammate Mariano Rivera as just the second unanimous selection in Hall of Fame voting history. Rivera was named on all 425 of the ballots cast in the 2019 election.
Jeter made his major league debut May 29, 1995, six days after Rivera made his first appearance, heralding an era that saw the Yankees reach the post-season for the first time in 14 years. The Yankees were eliminated by the Seattle Mariners in the 1995 ALDS but, propelled by Jeter’s Rookie of the Year performance, returned to the post-season in 1996 and won the World Series for the first time in 18 years.
Rivera finished third in 1996 Cy Young voting posting an 8-3 record with a 2.09 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 107 innings in his first full season as the team’s set-up man in the bullpen. The pair is eternally linked on Yankees modern “dynasty” teams of the late 1990s and early 2000s. As Yankees their entire careers, they would win 13 American League East division titles, seven AL pennants and five World Series, including three in-a-row from 1998-2000.
Jeter made the first of 14 All-Star Game appearances in 1998 and won his first of five Gold Glove Awards in 2004. He is the Yankees all-time leader with 3,465 hits; he surpassed Lou Gehrig’s mark of 2,721 in 2009. His 2,674 games played as shortstop are a record for the position and he never played another position in the field, even after Alex Rodriguez, a seven-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glover at the position, joined the Yankees in 2004.
The history of the national pastime stretches across multiple centuries. But the connections that link baseball’s early days to today’s game are always evident in Cooperstown.
Through its new YouTube series, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is sharing those connections with viewers at home, according to a media release.
The Hall of Fame is debuting a YouTube series, “Hall of Fame Connections,” produced by MLB Network and made possible by a grant from I LOVE NY/New York State’s Division of Tourism.
The series looks at the Hall of Fame’s collection from a new and exciting angle, with each episode telling a different story of how two seemingly unrelated artifacts in the museum’s vast collection connect to each other, crossing through generations of baseball history.
BASEBALL – Noon. Virtual Voices of the Game to honor Hall of Fame 2020 inductee Derek Jeter. Learn more about how the Yankees 5 world series titles with Jeter as the shortstop in every season. Jeter will be joined by fellow Hall of Famers Mariano Rivera, Joe Torre reflecting on their teams and the moments that shaped a dynasty. Visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-legends-of-the-game-Ted-Simmons?date=0 for details.
COOPERSTOWN – Mariano Rivera, Class of 2019, honored as the only Hall of Fame inductee elected unanimously on the first ballot, is getting another honor today – at the White House.
At a reception today, President Trump plans to honor Rivera, the Yankees vaunted relief pitcher, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here’s the complete citation.
“During his 19 seasons in Major League Baseball, Mariano Rivera established himself as the greatest relief pitcher of all time. Signed by the New York Yankees in 1990, Mr. Rivera went on to become a 13-time All-Star and 5-time World Series champion. He is the first player in the history of the sport to be elected unanimously into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
By JENNIFER HILL & JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Induction 2019 was notable for what didn’t happen as much as did.
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.
The 2019 inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame – from left, Harold Baines, Lee Smith, Edgar Martinez, Michael Mussina, Mariano Rivera, and Brandy Halladay, accepting the plaque posthumously on behalf of her husband Roy Halladay – pose for a group photo on the stage following their Induction ceremony earlier today in the field next to the Clark Sports Center. If your eyes were good, you may have even spotted Laurentino Cortizo, right, the President of Panama, who was in the crowd with fellow Panamanians to witness and celebrate their countryman Rivera’s induction. The Hall announced this evening that 55,000 fans attended the ceremony, making it the second-largest, after the Cal Ripken Jr./Tony Gwynn weekend in 2007. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – Panama’s newly elected president, Laurentino Cortizo, will be in Cooperstown this weekend to attend the induction of his countryman, Mariano Rivera, into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, according to reports in Panama’s major newspapers.
Sworn in only on July 1, Cortizo is leaving Panama at 1 p.m. Saturday, will be in New York City by 7 p.m., and is scheduled to arrive in Cooperstown at 7:30 a.m. Sunday to participate in Rivera’s induction into the “Salón de la Fama del pelotero,” according to La Estrella, Panama’s oldest newspaper.
Standing in front of Minnesota Twins infielder Rod Carew’s plaque, Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera reflected on the legacy of the first Panamanian elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him,” he said. “He made it possible for me to follow him.” Rivera, the first player elected to the Hall of Fame with 100 percent of the votes on the ballot, toured the Hall this morning as part of his pre-induction initiation, signing the spot where his plaque will be hung during the July 21 induction and posing with a fan, at right. “If you told me when I got on a plane to the United States at age 20 to play baseball, that after playing 19 years I would be sitting here, I wouldn’t have believed you,” he said. “It’s freezing outside, but being here warms my heart.” (Patrick Wager, AllOTSEGO.com)
In this week’s “Morning Headlines” on WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, Jim Kevlin, editor/publisher of www.AllOTSEGO.com (and Hometown Oneonta & the Freeman’s Journal), reports how the Hall of Fame Induction on July 21, some say, may match or exceed the 83,000 fans brought here by the Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn one in 2007.
COOPERSTOWN – Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson just announced Edgar Martinez, Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina and Mariano Rivera have been elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America as the Class of 2019 and will be inducted into the Hall at the end of July.
Rivera went in with 100 percent support, the first inductee ever to get a unanimous vote.
COOPERSTOWN – The Baseball Hall of Fame’s ballot for next year’s Induction is being mailed this week to the 400 voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. It includes pitcher Mariano Rivera among 20 new candidates.
Others include pitchers Roy Halladay and Andy Pettitte; infielders Todd Helton, Michael Young, Miguel Tejada and Plácido Polanco; and outfielder Juan Pierre will join 15 holdovers from the 2018 balloting
Candidates must be named on 75 percent of ballots cast by selected BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of MLB coverage to gain election.