Goldman: Emptying the Hall of Fame

From SABR member Steven Goldman at Baseball Prospectus on May 14, 2020:

At the end of April, the Hall of Fame was still trying to figure out if it should hold this year’s induction ceremonies given the risks posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Originally scheduled for July 26, this edition of the annual celebration would have seen Derek Jeter, Ted Simmons, Larry Walker, and the late Marvin Miller officially added to the gallery. The question was how to manage it without risking the health of attendees, whether in the audience or on the dais. To put it succinctly, Johnny Bench is 72 years old. 

Induction day is, obviously, a huge day for the museum and Cooperstown itself, both in terms of publicity and revenues. No doubt all the enterprises associated with it were anticipating a bumper crowd due to Jeter’s popularity. To induct him and the others without the ceremony would honor history to whatever extent the Hall of Fame gallery is about doing that (in reality, it’s the opposite), but it would severely damage the local economy.

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Originally published: May 15, 2020. Last Updated: May 15, 2020.