Hall of Fame Weekend to Feature Inductions of Class of 2020 July 24-27 in Cooperstown
(COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.) – Three players with enough hardware to fill a warehouse and a labor leader who changed the game’s economic model will receive the National Pastime’s highest honor in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame Weekend 2020, July 24-27, as the eyes of the baseball world focus on Cooperstown.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2020 Induction Ceremony will feature Baseball Writers’ Association of America electees Derek Jeter and Larry Walker along with Modern Baseball Era electees Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons. The Class of 2020 will be formally inducted during the event beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 26 on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, which will feature speeches representing each new Hall of Famer. The 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be shown live exclusively on MLB Network.
Hall of Fame Weekend 2020 will also feature the Saturday, July 25 Awards Presentation, when Ford C. Frick Award winner Ken Harrelson and J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Nick Cafardo will each be honored. The Weekend will include many family programs, including the July 25 Parade of Legends and a July 27 Legends of the Game Roundtable discussion event with the new living electees.
More than 50 Hall of Famers are expected to return for Hall of Fame Weekend, with the full list of returnees to be announced in early July, to honor the Class of 2020 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Becoming a Museum Member is the best way to experience Hall of Fame Weekend, as Members are afforded special perks during Hall of Fame Weekend. Museum Members play a major role in preserving baseball history and ensure that generations of fans will always have a home to celebrate the history of baseball. Members always enjoy a great lineup of benefits, including Memories and Dreams magazine, a Hall of Fame Yearbook and free admission to the Museum year-round. To learn more about the program and its many benefits, please click here.
Additional Hall of Fame Weekend Privileges for Members
• Free admission to the Museum throughout the year
• A special members-only entrance to the Hall of Fame to avoid long lines
• Exclusive early access to the Museum on Saturday, Sunday and Monday
• Reserved seating for the Induction Ceremony for Contributor, President’s Circle and Benefactor Members
• Reserved seating for the Awards Presentation for Contributor, President’s Circle and Benefactor Members
• A complimentary copy of the Commemorative Hall of Fame Weekend Program
• Priority access to the Legends of the Game Roundtable program on Monday
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has teamed up with Sports Travel and Tours to offer baseball fans a one-stop opportunity to purchase Hall of Fame Weekend travel packages. For more information or to plan a trip to Cooperstown, please call 1-888-310-HALL (4255). Membership participants receive a 5% discount on all their baseball travel packages.
The Sunday, July 26 Induction Ceremony will take place on the grounds outside of the Clark Sports Center, which is located on lower Susquehanna Avenue, just one mile south of the Hall of Fame. The Ceremony is held rain or shine, unless severe weather forces the cancellation of the event. Professional interpreters will be provided for the hearing impaired. The Induction Ceremony historically lasts two-to-three hours. Lawn seating for the event is unlimited and free of charge. A blanket or lawn chair is recommended for comfortable viewing. As the weather in Cooperstown can be warm in July, it is recommended that visitors bring a cap and sunscreen. Merchandise, including the 2020 Induction Program, and Museum membership packages are available for purchase at the Induction site. Refreshments are sold at the site. For information on reserved seating options granted to Museum members, please call 607-547-0397.
The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 25 at Doubleday Field and will feature the presentation of the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters to Ken Harrelson and the posthumous honoring of J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Nick Cafardo. The Awards Presentation will be immediately followed by the Parade of Legends, as Hall of Fame members ride down Main Street in trucks provided by Ford Motor Company at 6 p.m., concluding with a red carpet arrival on the Museum steps as Hall of Famers make their way to the Museum for a private reception.
The Class of 2020 features three players and one executive who left indelible marks on the game.
Derek Jeter played 20 seasons, all for the Yankees, and led New York to five World Series titles, winning World Series MVP honors in 2000. He was named 1996 American League Rookie of the Year after hitting .314, scoring 104 runs and helping the Yankees win their first Fall Classic title in 18 seasons. A 14-time All-Star who finished in the Top 10 of the AL Most Valuable Player voting eight times, Jeter was named 2000 All-Star Game Most Valuable Player. A five-time Gold Glove Award winner, Jeter never played a position other than shortstop in his 2,674 games in the field, which ranks second all-time among shortstops. Jeter was named the eighth captain in Yankees history in 2003. Over a record 158 Postseason games, Jeter hit .308 with 111 runs scored, 200 hits, 32 doubles, 20 homers, 61 RBI and 66 walks.
Marvin Miller was named the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1966 and quickly turned the union into a powerhouse. By 1968, he had negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement between the owners and players and increased the minimum salary by more than 40 percent. By 1970, he had secured the right to independent arbitration to resolve player grievances. Through that arbitration process, Miller won free agency for the players when Dave McNally and Andy Messersmith played out their contracts following the 1975 season. By the time Miller retired in 1982, the average player salary was approximately 20 times what it was when he took over. Miller passed away on Nov. 27, 2012.
Ted Simmons played for 21 seasons for the Cardinals, Brewers and Braves, totaling a .285 batting average, 2,472 hits, 483 doubles, 248 home runs and 1,389 RBI. An eight-time All-Star, he garnered MVP votes seven times in his career and finished among his league’s top 10 players in batting average six times. His 193 hits in 1975 are the most of any catcher who caught at least 150 games in a season, and his 192 hits in 1973 rank second on that same list. Among those who played at least 50 percent of their games at catcher, Simmons ranks second in hits, second in doubles, second in RBI and fifth in runs scored. Simmons is one of only six catchers to catch at least 150 games in two-or-more seasons, and Simmons ranked eighth all-time in games caught (1,771) at the time of his retirement.
Larry Walker played 17 seasons for the Expos, Rockies and Cardinals. A seven-time Gold Glove Award winner in right field and a five-time All-Star, Walker won three National League batting titles and led the NL in on-base percentage twice and slugging percentage twice. Walker’s .565 career mark ranks 12th all-time and his career OPS of .965 ranks 15th all-time. Walker won 1997 National League Most Valuable Player Award, hitting .366 with NL-leading totals in home runs (49), total bases (409, the 18th-best single-season total in history), on-base percentage (.452) and slugging percentage (.720). Walker is one of four players in history – along with Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, George Brett and Willie Mays – with at least a .300 career batting average, 300 home runs and 200 stolen bases.
There are now 333 Hall of Fame members, 82 of whom are living.
The 2020 award winners will be honored during the Awards Presentation on July 25 at 4:30 p.m. at Doubleday Field.
Ken Harrelson, who became a Chicago icon while calling White Sox games for 34 of his 43 years behind the mic, is the 44th winner of the Ford C. Frick Award. Harrelson was a star amateur athlete in several sports before signing with the Kansas City Athletics in 1959 following a heated bidding war. In 1968, Harrelson had his best season, hitting 35 home runs to go with an AL-best 109 RBI for the Red Sox during the Year of the Pitcher. A broken leg in Spring Training of 1970 hastened the end of his playing career, and, after a stint as a pro golfer, Harrelson turned to broadcasting. He called games on television and radio for the Red Sox from 1975-81, then moved to the White Sox in 1982. He was hired as the White Sox’s general manager following the 1985 campaign, and after one season in the front office returned to the broadcast booth with the Yankees in 1987. Harrelson rejoined the White Sox’s booth in 1989, remaining with the team for the next three decades before retiring after the 2018 season.
Nick Cafardo, whose tireless reporting and discerning writing brought Red Sox baseball to millions of New Englanders, is the 71st winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which is presented by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. A Weymouth Mass., native and Suffolk University graduate, Cafardo joined the Boston Globe as baseball columnist in 1989 and took over the Globe’s venerable Sunday notes column. The author of four baseball books and the winner of the Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year Award in 2014, Cafardo passed away on Feb. 21, 2019.
Throughout the Weekend, the Hall of Fame will host a series of educational programs and fan-friendly experiences designed to connect generations of all ages in activities and events featuring baseball luminaries in the timeless and pastoral village of Cooperstown. Additional programming will be announced soon. Full details of new events and schedule changes will be announced at the Hall of Fame’s website.
Planned activities for Hall of Fame Weekend 2020 include:
Friday, July 24 PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith & special guests (Hall of Famers TBA) 8-11 a.m.
Plaque Gallery and On Field
Saturday, July 25 Hall of Fame Awards Presentation, Doubleday Field 4:30 p.m.
Hall of Fame Parade of Legends, Main Street 6 p.m.
Sunday, July 26 Induction Ceremony, Clark Sports Center 1:30 p.m.
Monday, July 27 Legends of the Game Roundtable: Clark Sports Center 10:30 a.m.
Featuring Derek Jeter, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker
PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith: Join a dream team that could only come together in Cooperstown, with Ozzie Smith and Hall of Famer guests hosting a morning experience in a fundraiser for the Hall of Fame’s educational programs. For the 19th year, PLAY Ball returns as Players, Legends And You with an interactive meet and greet starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, July 24 during Hall of Fame Weekend 2020.
PLAY Ball features over two hours of non-stop interaction, including personalized instruction and the chance to turn double plays. Each participant receives time on the field with these baseball legends, as well as personalized photo and special mementos of the occasion. Prior to the on-field activity, participants and Hall of Famers will share a special breakfast in the Hall of Fame’s Plaque Gallery. This event is open to fans of all ages. Registration for this Museum fundraiser is $750 for participants in the Hall of Fame’s Membership Program, $1,000 for non-Members. Space is limited. For questions or to sign up call 607-547-0385. Additional Hall of Famers will be announced soon. Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, 8 a.m., Friday.
Parade of Legends: Join the pageantry and excitement as the Hall of Famers ride in trucks provided by Ford Motor Company down Main Street on their way to a private reception at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Fans are encouraged to attend the Awards Presentation prior to making their way to the Parade. Main Street, 6 p.m., Saturday.
Legends of the Game Roundtable: The Hall of Fame’s newest members will participate in a Legends of the Game Roundtable event. Tickets to this event will be available for purchase to Museum Members starting Monday, June 1 by visiting the Membership desk in the Museum or by calling 607-547-0397. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12. Grounds of Clark Sports Center, 10:30 a.m., Monday.
The Museum maintains the following Hall of Fame Weekend hours: Friday: 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Monday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Advance tickets are not necessary but are available here. For Hall of Fame Members, doors open at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and at 8 a.m. on Monday. As always, Hall of Fame Members receive free admission. A special Members’ only entrance eliminates the need to wait in line. Interested parties may enroll in the membership program in advance here, by calling 607-547-0397 or at the Museum.