(July 28, 2017)
COOPERSTOWN - Five new members will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. A total of 35,000 people are expected for the weekend’s festivities.
The class of 2017 inductees include Ivan Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines Sr., John Schuerholz and Bud Selig.
Ivan "Pudge" Rodríguez was in Cooperstown for his official visit back in early February. Joined by his wife Patricia, he toured the museum while reliving some of his fondest memories.
When Rodriguez was asked about his induction speech that he will be delivering Sunday, he said he will be ready and it will be given in English and Spanish. Rodriguez will be inducted as a Texas Ranger on his plaque.
Jeff Bagwell took his tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame and museum back in March. The former Houston Astro took some pictures with fans, walked around the plaque gallery and even saw where his plaque will go after the induction this weekend.
Bagwell was voted into the Hall of Fame on his seventh ballot, with an 86.2 percent vote.
“You don't think about that, you think about being in the World Series, getting that base hit or hitting a home run to win the World Series and stuff like that,” Bagwell said back in March. “You don't think about, ‘I know I’m going to be a Hall of Fame player.’ I mean, just to get to the big leagues is hard enough. Just to get drafted is hard enough. To be in the company with this crowd that's in here is, it's pretty neat. I still don't know if I totally realize it yet but I imagine in July I will."
Bagwell will be inducted as a Houston Astro.
Tim Raines Sr. took his orientation tour of the Hall of Fame and museum back in April where he saw some of the most prized artifacts in the game and took a look at where his plaque will be, placing him into baseball immortality.
Raines made it into the hall of fame this year on his tenth and final ballot, receiving 86 percent of the vote to top the 75 percent threshold.
“It's kind of unbelievable, I was here a couple of times for teammates when they got in and I never thought when I was here for them that it would happen for me,” he said. “But now going through it and realizing now that I’m here, it's very special, very special."
Raines will appear on the plaque wearing an Expos hat this weekend.
Former commissioner Bud Selig and executive John Schuerholz were voted in by today's game-era committee.
Selig became defacto commissioner in 1992 after Fay Vincent was ousted, and the owners removed the interim tag in 1998. During his tenure he grew baseball annual revenue by nearly $8 billion. He left office in 2015.
Schuerholz became the first general manager to lead teams from the American and National league to a World Series title – the Kansas City Royals in the 80's and the Atlanta Braves in the 90's.
For more information about the 2017 Hall of Fame inductees, click here.