COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (CBS Chicago/CBSNewYork) — Former White Sox broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson said the choice to cancel the 2020 Hall of Fame induction weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic was “absolutely the right decision.”
“Everyone’s safety — the fans, the Hall of Famers, their families and friends — is the most important concern. We all need to stay safe and healthy,” Harrelson said in a statement. “I do feel badly for the people of Cooperstown and the staff at the Hall of Fame because of what the weekend means to the area, but we all will have fun in July 2021 when we all can join together safely to celebrate two classes on induction weekend.”
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced earlier Wednesday that it has canceled the 2020 induction weekend scheduled for July 24-27 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Harrelson was set to be recognized in the Hall of Fame, after winning the 2020 Ford Frick Award.
In a statement released on the Hall of Fame’s website, Jane Forbes Clark, the Chairman of the Hall, said that the board of directors’ primary concern is the health and safety of the inductees, members and fans.
“In heeding the advice of government officials as well as federal, state and local medical and scientific experts, we chose to act with extraordinary caution in making this decision,” Clark said. “The Board of Directors has decided that the Class of 2020 will be inducted and the 2020 Award Winners will be honored as part of next summer’s Hall of Fame Weekend, taking place July 23-26, 2021.”
The Class of 2020, which was set to consist of Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker, will now be officially inducted into Cooperstown in July 2021, when Harrelson will also be recognized.
According the news release, the Hall has held an induction ceremony every year since 1961. This will be the first time since no new inductees were voted into the Hall in 1960 that there will be no induction weekend. Meanwhile, the combined class next year will mark the first time since 1949 that multiple classes were inducted at the same time.