MLB: Derek Jeter, Larry Walker lead the way into Baseball Hall of Fame
- Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons were also inducted into the Hall of Fame
- Jeter played for New York Yankees for 20 years
- The Hall of Fame ceremony was postponed twice due to COVID
The Baseball Hall of Fame in New York's Cooperstown inducted four veterans of the sport -- Larry Walker, Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons -- on Wednesday. The event was delayed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his highly awaited acceptance speech, Jeter said, "To this day I remember each time I was doubted. I made, and still make, a mental note. I am going to prove doubters wrong. It is what drove me and still drives me today", according to media reports.
Through his Major League Baseball career, which spanned nearly 20 years, Jeter secured multiple top-shelf accolades while remaining true to the New York Yankees. Jeter has won the American League Rookie of the Year honors in 1996, which was also his debut World Series.
Jeter also won the championships in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009.
The deaths of eight Hall of Famers over the past year and a half, including Hank Aaron and Yankees star Whitey Ford, and the lingering pandemic have limited the number of returning Hall of Famers to 31. Two years ago a record 58 showed up, according to an AP report.
47-year-old Jeter, who now owns Miami Marlins said in anticipation of his induction, "I just want to go there and experience it. I’m trying to keep it out of my mind because I do want to go in there with no preconceived notions of what may happen. I want to experience it and try to enjoy it. It's been a long time coming."
The 72-year-old Simmons, a star catcher and first baseman in the 1970s and 1980s for the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers, found a silver lining in the long wait for the induction.
He said, "The wait has been good and bad — bad in that you’ve had to wait an extra year for this thing to kind of come to a head, but good in that it’s extended an additional year", according to AP reports.