Wednesday afternoon, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will enshrine its latest class, which includes Yankees legend Derek Jeter. The Jeter-led group is formally the 2020 class, and the group is getting its due after last year's ceremony was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was no 2021 class, as the BBWAA didn't induct any player in January and there was no veteran committee meeting in December, as the winter meetings were virtual.
- The 2020 class includes Larry Walker and Jeter (BBWAA vote), Ted Simmons (player via veteran committee vote) and Marvin Miller (former union boss via veteran committee vote).
- The 2021 class is empty.
Here's how you can watch the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
2021 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony
For those looking for a last-minute trip, reserved seating can be purchased from the Hall of Fame's official website here. Lawn seating is free and "virtually unlimited."
Now here is what you need to know about the four inductees.
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For the second-straight ceremony, a Yankees icon who flew into the Hall with relative ease is the headliner. Jeter didn't hit 100 percent of the vote like Mariano Rivera did, but he got 99.7 percent. The Hall of Fame is a roughly 3 1/2 hour drive from Yankee Stadium and there are plenty of Yankees fans in upstate New York, so expect Jeter to have the most fanfare.
The 14-time All-Star won the Rookie of the Year, five Silver Sluggers, five Gold Gloves, five World Series rings, an All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP. A career .310 hitter, he's sixth all-time in hits at 3,465.
Opposite of Jeter, Walker had to wait until his 10th and final time on the ballot to get in. His vote percentage jumped from 34.1 to 54.6 to 76.6 in his final three years. Walker played his first six seasons for the Montreal Expos, culminating with a monster season for the beloved 1994 Expos, who had a shot to win the World Series cut down by the strike.
Walker might have some pretty solid fanfare at the ceremony. Montreal isn't too far from Cooperstown and he is the first-ever Rockies player inducted with parts of 10 seasons there.
Walker is a career .313/.400/.565 hitter with 2,160 hits, 383 homers, 230 stolen bases, 1,300 plus RBI and runs apiece and 154 career outfield assists. He was a true five-tool player. The five-time All-Star won three batting titles, seven Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers and the 1997 NL MVP.
A long-overdue admission, Simmons has finally made it. His career spanned 21 years, during which time he made eight All-Star Games. His 2,472 career hits are second all-time among primary catchers, trailing only Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez. His 1,389 RBI rank second to Hall of Famer Yogi Berra. A .285/.348/.437 career hitter, his 118 OPS+ rates out very well among Hall-eligible catchers and he walked 161 more times than he struck out. He ranks 16th all-time in games caught.
Unfortunately, this honor is posthumous. Miller passed away in 2012. He was executive director of the MLB Players Association from 1966-82. During that span, it grew into one of the strongest unions in the country while Major League Baseball grew exponentially. The system of arbitration and modern free agency were born on Miller's watch, as he counseled Curt Flood during his Supreme Court case on the reserve clause. On Miller's Hall of Fame page, it notes the following:
Free agency began in earnest following the 1976 season, when the average major league player was making $50,000 per year. When Miller retired in 1982, the average salary was $241,497.
As with Simmons, though in a completely different form, this honor for Miller was long overdue. He's one of the most influential baseball figures in the history of the game.
Derek Jeter Hall of Fame memorabilia, jerseys now available
Derek Jeter will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Get Jeter Hall of Fame memorabilia, including induction jerseys, now. Shop here.
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