Everything to know about 2023 Hall Induction ceremony

July 23rd, 2023

Tens of thousands will gather today in the small, bucolic village of Cooperstown, N.Y., to watch two baseball greats receive the sport's highest honor. That's when and will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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 live exclusively on MLB Network, beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET, and will be simulcast on MLB.com.

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. The Induction Ceremony historically lasts two to three hours. Lawn seating for the event is unlimited 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 2023 selected?

Rolen was the only player elected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America in January. He had his name checked on 76.3% of submitted ballots, clearing the 75% threshold required for entry in his sixth year of eligibility. He will be just the 18th third baseman inducted into the Hall, the fewest of any non-DH position group.

McGriff, who fell off the writers' ballot in 2020, was unanimously elected in December by the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee, appearing on all 16 ballots cast.

Which caps will the new Hall of Famers have on their plaques?

Rolen will become the 12th player to feature a Cardinals cap on their Hall of Fame plaque. He spent six of his 17 seasons in St. Louis, achieving four All-Star selections and three Gold Gloves during his time there. A member of the Cardinals' 2006 World Series championship team, Rolen had the most productive season of his career two years earlier. He slashed .314/.409/.598 with 34 home runs for St. Louis during its pennant-winning 2004 campaign. He finished fourth in the National League MVP voting.

McGriff has decided to have no team's logo on his plaque. He played for six clubs over 19 seasons, including five years each with the Blue Jays, Braves and Rays. He produced a 30-homer season for five of his six teams. He led the American League with 36 home runs for Toronto in 1989 and then did the trick in the NL with 35 dingers for the Padres in 1992. He had 34 home runs and a 1.012 OPS for  Atlanta during the strike-shortened 1994 season before starring in the team's run to a championship in '95.

Who are this year’s HOF award winners?

Former pitcher Carl Erskine, longtime Tigers beat writer John Lowe and Cubs radio broadcaster Pat Hughes were also honored during the weekend in Cooperstown.

Erskine was honored with the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual's extraordinary efforts to enhance baseball’s positive impact on society. His son Gary accepted the award on his behalf. After playing 12 seasons with the Dodgers from 1948-59, Erskine's post-baseball life has included spending four decades as a volunteer for the Special Olympics. He was also a charter member of the Baseball Assistance Team, a charitable organization founded to "confidentially help members of the Baseball Family who were in need of assistance with nowhere else to turn."

Lowe was the winner of the BBWAA’s Career Excellence Award, presented annually to a journalist for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. Lowe spent 36 years as a baseball writer and covered the Tigers for the Detroit Free Press from 1987 through 2014. He also created the quality start statistic.

Hughes was the recipient of the 2023 Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually to a broadcaster for major contributions to baseball. Hughes, now in his 28th season behind the mic in the Cubs' radio booth, joins Jack Brickhouse (1983) and Harry Caray (1989) on the Cubs' list of Frick Award winners.

How many Hall of Famers are expected to attend?

Fifty current Hall of Famers are expected to welcome in the class of 2023. That group includes the three living players who were inducted last year: Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva and David Ortiz. The most veteran Hall of Famer expected to attend the ceremony is Juan Marichal (Class of 1983).

Which players are on the Hall horizon next year?

Four-time Silver Slugger Todd Helton is on track to reach the Hall in his sixth year on the ballot after falling just short of the 75% threshold this year. The best offensive player in Rockies history was listed on 72.2% of ballots, a 20-point jump from his 2022 level of support.

Billy Wagner, one of eight pitchers with at least 400 career saves, is close to becoming the ninth reliever inducted in Cooperstown. He had his name checked on 68.1% of submitted 2023 ballots and still has two years of eligibility remaining.

Andruw Jones’ Hall of Fame case has gained tremendous traction over the past few years. In 2019, he sat with a mere 7.5% of support in his second year on the ballot. In 2023, he jumped up to 58.1%. Entering his seventh year of eligibility, Jones could become the fifth Hall of Fame outfielder with at least 10 Gold Gloves, joining Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, Al Kaline and Ken Griffey Jr.

Gary Sheffield needs a Helton-like leap in order to make it to Cooperstown in his 10th and final year on the BBWAA ballot. A nine-time All-Star and member of the 500 home run club, Sheffield was marked on 55% of ballots this year, a 15-point leap from his 2022 total.

Among the players expected to debut on the ballot for 2024, Adrián Beltré has the best case for immediate induction. The owner of five Gold Gloves and 477 home runs, Beltré compiled 93.5 bWAR during his 21-year career. Only two primary third basemen finished with a higher WAR: Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt (106.8) and Eddie Mathews (96.0).

Other marquee players expected to be on the forthcoming ballot include three-time American League batting champion Joe Mauer, seven-time All-Star David Wright and six-time All-Star Chase Utley.