Tomorrow’s the day of baseball’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the biggest event on the museum’s calendar.
So of course they put out a press release announcing a dumb voting rules change this morning.
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Board of Directors today announced changes to the rules for election for recently retired players, reducing the length of stay on the ballot for players from a maximum of 15 to 10 years, while installing a new balloting and registration process for Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting members. (read the full press release at the Hall of Fame’s website)
In an era where ballots are already getting clogged with players who deserve Hall of Fame consideration, let’s reduce the length of time they can appear on the ballot. Way to make a flawed voting process worse, folks.
But then again, museum board chair Jane Forbes Clark thinks the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) has been doing a great job.
“We believe the BBWAA has done an excellent job of honoring the criteria advanced by the Hall of Fame – player’s record, contributions to the teams on which the player played, character, sportsmanship and integrity – to determine individuals who belong in the Hall of Fame by the highest threshold, a 75 percent majority. The Board believes these changes are necessary to ensure the integrity of the voting process moving forward.”
Members of the BBWAA will have to register to vote in 2015 and future elections, and they will have to sign an unspecified “code of conduct.”
I wonder what that is going to look like.
4 thoughts on “Hall of Fame directors announce voting procedure change”
Somehow, my first attempt at posting ended up in the ether somewhere. So, let’s try it again…
The BBWAA has largely gotten it right. Yes, they screwed up the 2013 election by punishing Biggio for the sins of a handful of others on the ballot. It was the Veterans’ Committee, especially when Frankie Frisch was running it, who screwed up the HOF to a fare-thee-well, inducting his contemporaries who were very good players but not great ones (Bottomley, Haines, Lindstrom, Bancroft, etc.)
Ten years? Fifteen? Who cares? The HOF should be a one vote, yea or nay deal as the consideration of who is or isn’t a HOFer should be akin to former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s definition of p-orn-ography. (Paraphrasing) ‘I can’t define it, but I’ll know it when I see it.’ If you have to think about whether or not someone belongs, he probably doesn’t. Additionally, who else is on the ballot shouldn’t determine the qualifications of a candidate.
I’d be ok with a one year eligibility rule, as long as the guys currently on the ballot had a shot at a special election first & weren’t lumped in with the new class. You really should know who is a Hall of Famer and who isn’t without needing years of reflection, and that change would stop the nonsense of writers refusing to vote for people they think should be in the Hall of Fame just because they don’t want them to have “first ballot” status. Changing from 15 to 10 years solves no problems and makes things worse for current candidates.
Ah, that’s why it didn’t get posted the first two times. I used a legal but apparently very verboten word that began with “p.” And it wasn’t of the four letter variety.
I had a problem with spam links using that word a few years ago & added it to the comment blacklist – sorry that it caused a legitimate comment to get lost in the aether.
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