April 29 (UPI) -- The Baseball Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that it has canceled this year's induction ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Induction Weekend is a celebration of our national pastime and its greatest legends, and while we are disappointed to cancel this incredibly special event, the board of directors' overriding concern is the health and well-being of our new inductees, our Hall of Fame members, our wonderful fans and the hundreds of staff it takes to present the weekend's events in all of its many facets," Jane Forbes Clark, chairperson for the Hall, said in a statement.
"In heeding the advice of government officials as well as federal, state and local medical and scientific experts, we chose to act with extraordinary caution in making this decision."
This year's induction ceremony was scheduled for July 26. Instead, the 2020 class will be included at the 2021 induction festivities, along with any additional inductees. If anyone new is elected to the Hall next year, it would be the first ceremony since 1949 to combine multiple classes.
This will be the first year without an induction ceremony since 1960. The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum temporarily shut its doors in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.