Changing the Hall Vote

On this, the 100th Anniversary of the opening of World War I, I note that the Hall of Fame just announced that it is changing the voting for election to the Hall. I was going to do something akin to what I did for 28 June, but decided to go another way.

Currently players receiving a minimum vote can remain on the Hall ballot for 15 years. Beginning with the next election that will change to a maximum of 10 years. As I seem to be on a Hall of Fame kick anyway, here’s some thoughts on the change.

1. I’m glad to see they’ve grandfathered in Don Mattingly, Lee Smith, and Alan Trammel. They are the only people currently on the ballot who have been there for more than 10 years. I think if you’ve passed the 10 year limit and were expecting to get 15, you should get the 15.

2. I wonder how much it will affect guys who are close to 10, but not there yet. Tim Raines now has three years left, not eight. I’ll be interested to see if his vote total, and others like him, takes a significant jump based on writers who weren’t voting for him (or others)  on the idea that they had plenty of time left to get inducted.

3. I like the change that makes the list of voters public. I wish they’d gone a step further and forced the ballot to become public.

4. Making the writers sign a pledge to do their own voting rather than foist if off on others (Hello, Dan LeBetard) is also a good idea. I just wish they’d cut out some of the deadwood writers who haven’t covered baseball in eons.

5. It will make it certain that a decision on the PED boys will occur quicker. Mark McGwire now has two years left, not seven. Sosa has eight, not 13. Ditto for guys like Clemens and Bonds. It will be interesting to see if any of them takes a sudden jump in vote totals because of this. On a personal note, my best guess here is that the writers will kick them down the road to the Veteran’s Committees and let them make the hard choices.

6. They still didn’t change the 10 person vote limit. A writer still only gets 10 votes per ballot.

Would be interested to hear other comments on the changes, either in comments below or on your own blog. If you do comment on your own blog, be sure to let me know.

And finally, congrats to the newest inductees.


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6 Responses to “Changing the Hall Vote”

  1. William Miller Says:

    I like the change to a ten-year limit. Too many writers have kicked the can down the road for years on too many players. If someone really belongs in The Hall, ten years should be more than enough to recognize that.

  2. wkkortas Says:

    I’m a bit ambivalent on changing the 15 years to 10–there were deserving Hall of Famers who spent more than 10 years on the ballot (Blyleven and Kiner spring immediately to mind for me), but you don’t know if those guys would have languished on the ballot if they hadn’t those last five years. I think one thing the BBWAA needs to do is to streamline the ballot–it’s time to get the J.T. Snows and the Eric Gagnes and the Mike Freakin’ Timlins of the world off the ballot. If you tightened up the standards of who gets on the ballot–maybe have a pre-election to determine who gets on, with the top 20 or 25 finishers in and everyone else off–perhaps you could dispense with the ten-vote limit and be left with 20 guys who you check either “yes” or “no”.

    • verdun2 Says:

      My son and I talked about this before I published this piece. Both of us decided we liked the NFL system of a preliminary vote then a second vote by a smaller, select committee to create an induction class. Might work for baseball if they worked hard at figuring out exactly how to do it.

  3. Gary Trujillo Says:

    Don’t know if you heard, but LaRussa made a case today for steroid users to get in the Hall.

    • verdun2 Says:

      Makes sense. He managed enough of them and seems to have never noticed.

    • glenrussellslater Says:

      What do you expect from a DRUNK DRIVER. And driving while intoxicated is as dangerous as steroids, but just in a different way.

      I think that the Hall of Fame should start holding players accountable for what they’ve done OFF the field, as well.

      It’s too late to take Ty Cobb or Tony LaRussa out, or other jerks who were great on the field but dreadful off the field.

      Tony LaRussa passed the bar long before he became a manager. He passed the bar EXAM, that is, but apparently never passed a BAR.

      Seriously, though, I really believe that there should be more taken in account for the misdeeds that a player did OFF of the field before putting him in the Hall of Fame.


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