The 2021 Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony will now take place on Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 1:30 p.m. ET, the Hall announced on Wednesday.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 ceremony was canceled. It was the first time the city of Cooperstown didn't host a Hall of Fame ceremony since 1960. Though the 2021 Hall of Fame class is technically empty -- no one was inducted via the BBWAA vote and there was no veteran committee vote -- the 2020 holdovers Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and the late Marvin Miller are still to be honored.
The pivot to September now is to allow for fans to attend. Via the Hall of Fame website:
Lawn seating at the Induction Ceremony will be free, but unlike past years when seating was open, tickets will be required. Beginning at 11 a.m. ET on Monday, July 12, a limited number of tickets will be made available to fans exclusively here. At this time, seating areas will be designated for vaccinated and unvaccinated ticket holders.
"On behalf of our Board of Directors and our Staff, we are thrilled to be able to welcome our Hall of Famers – the living legends – and fans back to Cooperstown to celebrate the Induction of the Class of 2020," Hall of Fame chairperson Jane Forbes Clark said in a statement. "Returning the Induction Ceremony to an outdoor event will provide the baseball community with the opportunity to visit Cooperstown and celebrate the Induction of four of the game's Greats."
Back in February, the Hall of Fame announced that it remained committed to the July 25 ceremony date, but that it would be held without any fans. That would have been quite the loss for the city of Cooperstown, as an estimated 55,000 people attended the 2019 ceremony.
The bottom line is this is good news for Cooperstown and the inductees. The local economy will get a jolt -- even if smaller than in years' past -- while Jeter, Simmons, Walker and the family of Miller will get to experience the deserved fanfare from making the Hall of Fame, even if it's well over a year late.