Larry Walker will have to wait a little longer before he is officially inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to run its course across the globe, many industries have been forced to alter their methods of operation, including the sports world. It has been over 50 days since a major sporting event was held in North America, and a return is not in sight.
Due to the circumstances, the Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors voted to cancel the 2020 induction ceremony, which was initially scheduled for July 26. The 2020 class will now be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside the class of 2021.
Jane Forbes, the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Chairman, issued a statement regarding the news, saying:
“Induction Weekend is a celebration of our National Pastime and its greatest legends, and while we are disappointed to cancel this incredibly special event, the Board of Directors’ overriding concern is the health and well-being of our new inductees, our Hall of Fame members, our wonderful fans and the hundreds of staff it takes to present the weekend’s events in all of its many facets. We care deeply about every single person who visits Cooperstown.”
Walker is the first member of the Rockies organization to be elected to Cooperstown. The Canadian won seven Gold Glove Awards, three Silver Sluggers, three batting titles, and was named to five All-Star teams in his 17-year playing career.
#33 played 10 years in Colorado, accumulating a .334 batting average, 258 home runs and 848 RBI in 1170 games played with the Rockies.
Walker will be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside New York Yankees icon Derek Jeter as well as Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons.
While the postponement of the ceremony is unfortunate, Walker told the Denver Post he believes it was the right decision.
“I think it’s the correct move,” Walker said. “It’s hard to imagine going ahead with the ceremony when they are expecting 80,000 people or so. And with social distancing laws, it would be a difficult situation. It’s too hard to predict what things will be like come July 26, and so much has to be done in order for HOF weekend to happen.”
All in all, the decision to postpone the event is disappointing, but necessary given the times. Once the virus is defeated, Walker and Rockies fans will have their day to celebrate. Until then, the fight against the coronavirus lives on.