Cooperstown, NY - The Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony has been held every year since 1961. This weekend should have been the induction ceremony of the 2020 Hall of Fame class. But instead it feels a lot different in Cooperstown.
“Induction Weekend is something our community, businesses, locals everyone looks forward to so it is extremely different this year,” said Ellen Tillapaugh, Mayor of Cooperstown.
The 2019 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony attracted about 55,000 fans to Cooperstown, bringing in millions of dollars in revenue. Something that the Village will be without this year.
I can't speak to individual businesses you know what their bottom line is but I know our businesses have been profoundly impacted,” said Mayor Tillapaugh. “They’ve been impacted all summer long with the cancellation of the sports parks, the cancellation of accompanying activities in the village. All of these things have contributed a greatly reduced year of revenue. The Village itself, we had to quickly readjust our budget. We had sever revenue losses which then precipitated to major cuts in our services.”
Businesses like Tin Bin Alley on Main Street.
“Prior to this year we would pour about 240 pounds of fudge in preparation of induction weekend but this year obviously we're not anywhere near that.,” said Lori Fink, Owner of Tin Bin Alley.
Baseball fans from the region walked Main Street in Cooperstown thinking about what should have been.
“My friends and I, we do come up here every year and we decided to come up regardless of the conditions that are going on. Derek Jeter although I'm a Mets fan is probably the greatest shortstop to ever play the game. I can’t say I’m up here to honor him but I do think he’s well due for this induction,” said Humphrey Stuyvesant.
“We love Cooperstown so we figured it come up anyway and we've never seen Cooperstown this empty which is sad but it's awesome to see. We’re going to enjoy the Hall as best as we can. We have to wait a year, it’s going to be exciting. We want this virus to go away so we can come back here next year,” said Anthony Incampo, Massachusetts resident.
“It's different people are wearing masks but we're still here we're going to the museum and we're still celebrating,” said Kristen Marchiole, Rochester resident.
While we have to wait until next year for the induction ceremony, fans can still celebrate the 2020 class virtually.
“For each of our four members of the class of 2020 we are holding a Facebook live programming and it comes in the form of a round table with other Hall of Fame members,” said Jon Shestakofsky, Baseball Hall of Fame Vice President of Communications and Education.
“On Sunday we're going to wrap it up the day the induction what had taken place with a conversation with class of 2020 Hall of Famer Derek Jeter and his Yankees Hall of Fame to make Mariano Rivera and Joe Torre. Those are all taking place at noon on our Facebook channel, facebook.com/baseballhall, and we’re excited to have that opportunity to share a little bit of conversation around the Class of 2020 during what would have been a really special day under normal circumstances.”
Next year's Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the first since 1949 to combine multiple classes of electees.
The ceremony is set for July 25, 2021.