As the National Baseball Hall of Fame welcomes both the highest and lowest Draft picks to ever be inducted, MLB Network will exclusively televise the ceremony as Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza are enshrined in Cooperstown, New York this Sunday, July 24. Featuring Hall of Fame award-winning writer Peter Gammons, Griffey's former Seattle Mariners teammate Harold Reynolds, Piazza's former New York Mets teammate Al Leiter, and hosts Greg Amsinger and Brian Kenny, MLB Network's live on-site coverage will begin with MLB Tonight on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. ET, followed by the Induction Ceremony at 1:30 p.m. ET.
MLB Network's exclusive live telecast of the ceremony will include the acceptance speeches by Griffey and Piazza, the two electees from the Baseball Writers' Association of America vote in January. The ceremony will also feature the introductions of an expected 50 Hall of Famers, including 2015 inductees and MLB Network analysts Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz. Leading up to the Induction Ceremony, MLB Tonight will include:
- The first glimpse of Griffey's and Piazza's bronze plaques that will hang within the oak walls in the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery. Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor J.K. Simmons, the piece shows the creation of the plaques, from the initial shaping of clay to the final touch-ups of bronze;
- A "sweet swing"-filled feature with current Major Leaguers Mike Trout, Prince Fielder, Josh Donaldson, Eric Hosmer, Robinson Cano, Jose Fernandez, Carlos Beltran, Salvador Perez, Addison Russell, Adam Jones and Xander Bogaerts discussing their idolization of Griffey in their youth;
- An interview with Griffey and Reynolds, who were Mariners teammates for the first five seasons of Griffey's career, and a conversation between former Mets battery mates Piazza and Leiter, who threw to Piazza more than any other pitcher;
- Gammons narrating an essay on Piazza's improbable path from the 62nd-round Draft pick to Hall of Fame immortality;
- An essay penned by MLB Network's Jon Morosi that illustrates the 2016 Hall of Fame Class' contribution to the healing process after 9/11, the heroism of that day, and how baseball and its players helped people across the country following the tragedy. Narrated by retired Battalion Chief of the New York City Fire Department Vin Mavaro, the piece touches on two of the 343 New York City firemen who lost their lives that day and the families who were impacted by the play of Griffey and Piazza alike.
Leading into its live coverage on Sunday, MLB Network will air the 2016 Hall of Fame Awards Presentation at 11:00 a.m. ET. The presentation, which will be held on Saturday, July 23 in Cooperstown and hosted by Greg Amsinger, will honor longtime Boston Globe sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for his meritorious contributions to baseball writing and posthumously grant the Ford C. Frick Award to radio broadcasting pioneer Graham McNamee for his major contributions to the game of baseball.
This Saturday, July 23 at 10:00 a.m. ET, Play Ball, MLB Network's weekly show geared toward kids with one-on-one baseball demonstrations and conversations with some of the top players in the game, will feature a special Hall of Fame-themed episode with Martinez and Smoltz. Following an abbreviated version of the Induction Ceremony at 8:00 p.m. ET, MLB Network's original series MLB Network Presents will re-air Against The Odds: The Mike Piazza Story, which debuted last week during the All-Star break, featuring narration by New York City native and Mets fan Matthew Broderick, Sunday at 10:00 p.m. ET.
MLB Network's live coverage for the Induction Ceremony will be simulcast on MLB.com and BaseballHall.org, and available via MLB.com At Bat. MLB Network will make footage of the ceremony available live via satellite and additional details on the satellite feed will be sent to media from MLB Network. The Hall of Fame's 2016 election results were announced on January 6 live from MLB Network's studios for the eighth consecutive year and aired exclusively on MLB Network and MLB.com.