Class of 2017 Takes Its Place in Cooperstown
Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Iván Rodríguez, John Schuerholz and Bud Selig Formally Inducted into Hall of Fame
Puerto Rican flags fluttered in the breeze as Rodriguez took the stage, many of which were held by Texas Rangers fans. The 13-time Gold Glove Award winner played 13 of his 21 seasons with the Rangers.
“I was a little kid from Puerto Rico with a big dream,” said Rodriguez, who delivered much of his speech in Spanish and was overcome by emotion several times. “May this moment remind you that destiny is in your hands. Do what makes you happy, and love this great game of ours.”
Raines closed the ceremony with a heartfelt speech that left him teary-eyed as he recalled his path to Cooperstown and his family’s support.
“I’m surely not used to batting fifth,” said Raines, the legendary Expos leadoff man who was referring to the order of Sunday’s speeches. “But I always thought I had the power to do it.
“I want to thank Jeff, Pudge, Bud and John. We’ll be forever linked as the Class of 2017.”
Other highlights from Sunday included:
**Milleta Marie Oldick, a native of nearby Richfield Springs, N.Y., delivered a soaring rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
**During the introduction of returning Hall of Famers, thunderous receptions came for several Hall of Famers, including Nolan Ryan, Craig Biggio and Henry Aaron. The 83-year-old Aaron received an extended standing ovation from the crowd as well as lasting applause from the returning Hall of Famers. Fifty-five Hall of Famers – including the Class of 2017 – took the stage in Cooperstown to participate in the Induction Ceremony. The Ceremony lasted for three hours and 38 minutes.
Transcripts of Sunday’s Induction Ceremony speeches of Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Iván Rodríguez, John Schuerholz and Bud Selig will be available this evening at baseballhall.org/media-info.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2018 Induction Weekend will take place July 27-30, with the Induction Ceremony scheduled for Sunday, July 29. For more information, please visit baseballhall.org/hall-of-famers/future-eligibles.