The main events of the Hall of Fame Weekend at the Baseball Hall of Fame were the inductions of a pair of former stars from National League Central Division clubs – ex-Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin and the late Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo.
More than 40 Hall of Fame members were present in Cooperstown, New York for the Induction Ceremony of the Class of 2012 that began at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon, July 22. The proceedings were televised live on MLB Network, broadcast nationally on Sirius XM Radio, Sirius 209 and XM 89, and were available via a webcast at www.baseballhall.org.
Yet one would never know the ceremonies were underway by looking at the competing activity that was going on elsewhere across Major League Baseball on Sunday afternoon.
At the time of the start of the Hall inductions, eight MLB games were underway with at least three more having first pitches scheduled during the ceremony. In other words, it was a business-as-usual Sunday.
Sadly, those games included Santo’s beloved Cubs, who were playing the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Reds were also on the road, playing the Brewers in Milwaukee during Larkin’s acceptance speech.
As I flipped my channel back and forth between the Cooperstown proceedings and the Cubs-Cardinals game, undoubtedly missing good parts of each, I wondered why it was necessary.
Why does MLB show so little respect to its rich history by holding games during its own Hall inductions each July?
I know DVRs and delayed replays can help, but they shouldn’t be needed. It just doesn’t seem right.
In my opinion, an ideal approach would be for all clubs to take induction Sunday off, focusing all eyes on Cooperstown. Realistically, due to the revenue hit associated with 15 clubs losing a prime mid-summer Sunday home date, that proposal seems unlikely to occur.
A more reasonable alternative would be to simply shift all induction day games to the evening.
That wouldn’t be difficult at all. So why doesn’t MLB do it?