Baseball fans are getting in their last purchases before heading back home. Attendance at this year’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was low, but there were many factors that could have played into it. The ceremony was postponed from a weekend in July to a weekday in September. It also took place around the same time school went back in session, and during a time when virus transmission rates are high. Frank Albertine is the Chief Operating Officer at Seventh Inning Stretch. He believes COVID did make a difference in the overall presentation.
"COVID made the difference obviously…you know and Jeter had mentioned it himself…losing the Hall of Famers. You know it wasn’t as kind of… I don’t want to say big because it was still big. It was still important. It was still nostalgic and everything you wanted it to be, but it would have just been probably just a little bit more … just more in general if we were able to do it in 2020."\
Anna Negron has worked in retail at the Factory Store for the past 17 years, and didn’t think the pandemic was to blame for the lull in fans.
"People are tired of staying home, and this was an event that people were waiting for for seven years, and they were coming anyway, so I don’t think it really played a part in it."
Even though Otsego County is still considered a high COVID transmission area, out-of-towners like Virginia Baseball Fan Dennis Bodenstein seemed comfortable with the safety protocols in place.
"It’s been going on long enough that I think everybody who needs to be vaccinated or needs to wear a mask is still following up on it, and I think those who are healthy and have been dealing with it for this amount of time have probably building up an immunity and are working through society as most things will."
There’s no way of telling how much the threat of COVID kept people away, but Kevin and Dan Sheridan took the proper precautions to prevent spreading the virus.
"Always concerns about COVID. We have our masks. Yeah we have our masks in our pockets. Our wives are always like you got your mask on every time you’re inside, so… yeah we’ve been wearing them around town and inside. I think for the ceremony, taking pictures and stuff of ourselves we had them off, but we’re very aware that it’s still around."
If all goes well, the plan is to go back to an in-person July Induction Ceremony next year.