Seven players will be enshrined in Cooperstown on Sunday when the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum holds its annual Induction Ceremony. The group of new Hall of Famers is highlighted by three-time World Series champion David Ortiz, who was elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America in his first year on the ballot.
The Red Sox legend will be honored alongside Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso, Gil Hodges, Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil. Here is what you need to know about one of the most special days on the baseball calendar.
Where will the Induction Ceremony be broadcast?
The Induction Ceremony will be televised on MLB Network, beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. A live simulcast of the ceremony will be carried on MLB.com, and on Grupo Corripio in the Dominican Republic.
Where will the ceremony take place?
On the grounds outside of the Clark Sports Center, which is located on lower Susquehanna Avenue -- just one mile south of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Free shuttles will transport fans from the Hall of Fame to the induction site starting at 8 a.m. ET.
The ceremony is expected to last more than three hours. Lawn seating is open to the public and free of charge. As the weather in Cooperstown can be warm in July, it is recommended that visitors bring a cap and sunscreen. The event will be held outdoors, rain or shine, unless severe weather forces the cancellation of the ceremony. Professional interpreters will be provided for the hearing impaired.
How was the Hall’s Class of 2022 selected?
In his first year on the ballot, Ortiz was the only player elected by the BBWAA in January. He had his name checked on 77.9% of submitted ballots, clearing the 75% threshold required for entry. Ortiz is the first solo selection from the BBWAA ballot since Reds shortstop Barry Larkin in 2012.
The other six players were elected to the Hall of Fame via the Era Committee process in December. Hodges, Kaat, Miñoso and Oliva were elected by the Golden Days Era Committee, and Fowler and O’Neil were chosen by the Early Baseball Era Committee.
Which caps will the new Hall of Famers have on their plaques?
No real surprises here. Ortiz's plaque will feature a Red Sox cap. He racked up more than 2,000 hits and 483 home runs over 14 seasons in Boston, where he will be forever remembered for his postseason heroics.
Kaat and Oliva, who played together in Minnesota from 1962-73, will become the fifth and sixth players to enter the Hall of Fame as Twins, joining Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Kirby Puckett and Bert Blyleven. Kaat accumulated 283 wins and 16 Gold Gloves over a 25-year career. Oliva spent his entire 15-year big league career with the Twins, winning three AL batting titles and leading the league in hits five times.
Miñoso's plaque will represent the White Sox, for whom he made nine All-Star teams. He finished inside the top five in American League MVP voting four times and was the runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year in 1951.
Hodges will enter the Hall representing the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was an eight-time All-Star during his 12 seasons in Brooklyn, and his career continued with the Dodgers when they moved to Los Angeles in 1958. He played four years in L.A. and ended his playing career following two seasons with the Mets, whom he managed to a World Series title in 1969.
The plaques of neither Fowler nor O'Neil will feature a cap. Fowler became the first African-American player in professional baseball in 1878 as part of a 30-year career as a pioneer in Black baseball.
O'Neil's baseball life spanned eight decades as a player, coach, manager, scout and executive. He was the first Black coach in AL/NL history and a leading advocate for the importance of Negro Leagues history.
Who are this year’s HOF award winners?
ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian received the BBWAA's Career Excellence Award (formerly the J.G. Taylor Spink Award) for meritorious contributions to baseball writing, while the late Jack Graney was honored with the Ford C. Frick Award for major contributions to baseball broadcasting.
Kurkjian, a two-time Emmy winner, was an award-winning beat writer and magazine journalist before joining ESPN in 1998.
Graney, who played 14 seasons for Cleveland from 1908-22 before embarking on a two-decade career in radio, is widely considered to be the first former big league player to broadcast a Major League game.
How many Hall of Famers are expected to attend?
Fifty-two previously inducted Hall of Fame members, spanning multiple generations, are expected to return to celebrate the class of 2022. That group includes the three players who were inducted last year: Derek Jeter, Larry Walker and Ted Simmons. The most veteran Hall of Famer expected to attend the ceremony is Sandy Koufax (Class of 1972).
Which players are on the Hall horizon next year?
Seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner Scott Rolen had the highest voting percentage last year (63.2%) of any player who is returning to the ballot. He is in his sixth year on the ballot and has seen his support increase by nearly 30 percentage points over the past two voting cycles.
There are two other returning players who received more than 50% of the vote in January: Todd Helton (52.0%) and Billy Wagner (51.0%). Both players still have some time to cross that 75% threshold; this is Helton's fifth year on the ballot, and Wagner's eighth year.
Alex Rodriguez is heading into his second year on the ballot. Although he is one of only four AL/NL hitters with 600-plus homers and 3,000-plus hits, he appeared on only 34.3% of submitted ballots in his first year due to his association with performance-enhancing substances.
Carlos Beltrán is the marquee name among players who will likely be making their debut on the ballot for 2023. The nine-time All-Star is one of only six AL/NL players in the Modern Era who recorded more than 1,500 runs, 1,500 RBIs and 300 stolen bases. That group includes Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Tris Speaker and Ty Cobb.
This winter’s first-time-eligible candidates will likely also include John Lackey, Jered Weaver, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Cain, Jayson Werth and Francisco Rodríguez.