(July 31, 2017)
Cooperstown, N.Y. - With the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony just one day away, many of the inductees have reflected on their respective careers and accomplishments at the Clark Sports Center on Saturday.
“It’s special to go in, period,” said former Montreal Expo, Tim Raines, who will be going into the hall on his last year of eligibility. Raines has been primarily known as a base stealer throughout his career in the MLB, however he can now trade those speedy spikes in for a plaque at baseball’s most prestigious galler
Other HOFers also touched upon the idea of being symbolized together in history, simply by being a part of the same hall of fame class.
“It's very special, you know, Mr. Schuerholz and Selig, well respected, and then Tim Raines, Bagwell and myself, I mean it's great, they are good friends of mine,” said Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, who was voted into the hall on his first year of eligibility, a feat that has only been accomplished 52 times. Rodriguez will be wearing a Texas Rangers cap into the hall, a place he spent 11 years playing, including 10 all-star appearances and gold gloves, and the 1999 American League MVP award.
While Raines and Rodriguez expressed their excitement to be able to enter the Hall of Fame together, a former commissioner in the league also had a say.
“It makes me very happy, it really does. I've spoken about John Schuerholz already and that it's really ironic in so many ways because of the personal relationship that we've had so I'm thrilled,” Selig said. “As for Pudge, Tim and Jeff, I'll say it in my speech tomorrow, I'm proud to be associated with them. I'm proud we're going in together, it's terrific."
The five members of the 2017 class will make their anticipated speeches, Sunday afternoon, and watch their bronze plaques turn from dream to reality.
Each inductee will have a different story to tell, but the main theme has been shared; each of these members are excited to go in together.