Sluggers Chipper Jones and Jim Thome, first-ballot electees, headline a class that also includes Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman and former Detroit Tigers teammates Jack Morris and Alan Trammell.
Jones spoke first because his wife Taylor is due to give birth to a son on Monday or earlier. They've made plans to have the delivery at the local hospital if she goes into labor and have already selected the name Cooper in honor of the special day.
With the six new inductees, a record 57 living Hall of Famers were on the stage. Among those who watched from the front row is Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the top prospect of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The family arranged for him to get the day off before the season. He'll report to Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday in a promotion that comes as no surprise.