Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame

On September 8, 2021, the National Baseball Hall of Fame held its induction ceremony celebrating its class of 2020, which was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Derek Jeter, who played his entire 20-year career from 1995-2014 with the New York Yankees, highlighted the inductee list. Jeter, a lifetime .310 batter, accumulated 3,465 hits in his career and served as Yankees team captain from 2003 until his retirement. A 14-time All-Star, Jeter led the Yankees to five World Series titles (1996-1998, 2000, 2009). His honors include World Series MVP (2000), American Rookie of the Year (1996) as well as five Gold Gloves (2004-2006, 2009-2010) in recognition of his defensive prowess at shortstop. In four consecutive seasons from 2006-2009, Jeter won a Silver Slugger Award, capturing a fifth in 2012. He won the Hank Aaron Award twice, in 2006 and 2009, in honor of his abilities as a hitter and also was named the recipient of the annual Roberto Clemente Award in 2009, recognizing his sportsmanship and community involvement. Jeter’s No. 2 jersey has been retired by the Yankees and he is a Monument Park honoree within Yankee Stadium. He was enshrined within the Baseball Hall of Fame having received 99.75% of the vote, good for the second-highest such percentage in baseball history, trailing only his former teammate, closing pitcher and fellow Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera. Jeter currently works as the chief executive officer of the Miami Marlins and is a minority owner of the team as well.

Larry Walker enjoyed some of the most prolific offensive campaigns in baseball history while a member of the Colorado Rockies from 1995-2004. In 1998, 1999 and 2001, he led all of baseball in batting average, hitting .363, .379 and .350, respectively. Walker was crowned National League MVP in 1997, having posted a .366 batting average to go along with a career-high 49 home runs and 130 RBI. A five-time All-Star (1992, 1997-1999, 2001), Walker also won seven Gold Gloves as an outfielder (1992-1993, 1997-1999, 2001-2002) and three Silver Sluggers for his offensive play (1992, 1997 and 1998). In addition to his time in a Rockies uniform, Walker additionally played for the Montreal Expos (1989-1994) and the St. Louis Cardinals (2004-2005). A native of British Columbia, Canada, Walker is a member of both the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Ted Simmons enjoyed a 21-year professional career, primarily as a catcher, with the St. Louis Cardinals (1968-1980) but also the Milwaukee Brewers (1981-1985) and Atlanta Braves (1986-1988). A member of both the Cardinals Hall of Fame and the Brewers Wall of Honor, Simmons was named to eight All-Star games during his career (1972-1974, 1977-1979, 1981, 1983). Simmons received consideration and votes for National League MVP in five straight years from 1971-1975. In 1975, he batted .332 after notching 18 home runs with 100 RBI, finishing sixth in the MVP voting. Two years later, in 1977, he placed ninth in the MVP voting, posting a .318 average to go along with 21 homers and 95 RBI. Simmons’ .302 batting average in 1980 led all National League catchers, earning him the lone Silver Slugger Award of his career. A lifetime .285 batter, Simmons racked up 2,472 career hits. His No. 23 is retired by the Cardinals.

Marvin Miller (1917-2012) was a legendary labor relations figure in baseball history. After beginning his career by resolving labor-management issues for the International Association of Machinists, United Autoworkers and United Steelworkers in the early 1950s, Miller was elected executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) in 1966. He went on to serve in that position through 1982, during which time he oversaw the MLBPA’s landmark first collective bargaining agreement with league owners in 1968, a deal which saw the average player’s salary increase by nearly 50 percent. Under Miller’s leadership, the process of arbitration in baseball was solidified, granting the ability for owner-player disputes to be settled in front of a committee. When he took over as executive director of the MLBPA in 1966, players on average were earning less than $20,000 per season. By 1982, players were making on average over $300,000 per season.

In addition to the four enshrinees, sportscaster Al Michaels was honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame with the 2021 Ford C. Frick Award, recognizing his excellence in broadcasting. Michaels enters his 16th season as play-by-play man for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, during which time the show has won 30 Sports Emmys. Michaels himself is the recipient of seven Emmys for Outstanding Sports Personality — Play-by-Play. He has covered a record 10 Super Bowls and is the only broadcaster to have called a Super Bowl, World Series, the Stanley Cup Finals and NBA Finals.

Longtime Chicago White Sox broadcaster Ken Harrelson was honored with the 2020 Ford C. Frick Award for his contributions to baseball. Harrelson enjoyed a nine-year MLB playing career from 1963-1971 with the Kansas City Athletics (1963-1966, 1967), Washington Senators (1966-1967), Boston Red Sox (1967-1969) and Cleveland Indians (1969-1971). In 1968, he was named an All-Star after recording a career-best 35 home runs and leading MLB with 109 RBI. After his playing days, he worked in broadcasting briefly with the Red Sox and later the New York Yankees. From 1982-1985 and 1990-2018, he served as an announcer and play-by-play man for the White Sox, winning five Emmys and a pair of Illinois Sportscaster of the Year awards.

Sportswriter Dick Kaegel was named the 2021 recipient of the Career Excellence Award by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Kaegel covered the St. Louis Cardinals from 1968-1979 and the Kansas City Royals from 1988-2014. 2020’s Career Excellence Award winner, Nick Cafardo, was also honored. Cafardo (1956-2019) was a longtime beat writer covering the Boston Red Sox and wrote a number of sports books over the course of his career. David Montgomery was similarly honored as the 2020 winner of the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award. Montgomery spent over five decades working for the Philadelphia Phillies, rising to the position of chief executive officer and later chairman in 2015.Under his leadership, the Phillies won five straight American League East titles, a pair of N.L. pennants and the 2008 World Series.

SportsSpeakers 360 has been providing companies and organizations access to thousands of athletes in all major sports for close to 25 years, including many of the newly inducted Hall of Famers. If you’d like to book Derek Jeter, secure an Al Michaels speaking engagement or a Larry Walker appearance among others, please contact Sports Speakers 360 today!