The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Board of Directors yesterday voted to restructure the Committee on Baseball Veterans and its procedures for electing long-retired players, managers, umpires and executives. The changes, effective immediately, alter the voting process, becoming three separate ballots -- players, managers/umpires, and executives -- reviewed by three separate electorates. In addition, a special committee will review the candidacies of players whose careers began prior to 1943.
The changes come in the wake of three consecutive Veteran Committee votes in which no player, manager, umpire, or executive was elected to the Hall.
"Historically, the Veterans Committee has continually evolved since its inception in 1936," said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the board for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. "These newest changes uphold our belief that players should have a Veterans Committee review, while also recognizing the unique analysis needed for managers, executives and umpires. We believe that these new procedures and restructured committees will allow for more open dialogue among those who vote, promoting a more intensive study of player candidacies. The Board has always maintained that the standards for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame must remain very high."
The Hall of Fame's Board of Directors includes:
Jane Forbes Clark (chairman), Joe Morgan (vice chairman), David D. Glass, Brooks C. Robinson, Edward W. Stack, Leland S. MacPhail Jr., Frank Robinson, George M. Steinbrenner III, Paul Beeston, John J. McHale, Timothy J. Russert, William O. DeWitt Jr., Kevin S. Moore, G. Thomas Seaver, William L. Gladstone, Robin E. Roberts, and Allan H. "Bud" Selig.
Highlights of the new Veterans Committee procedures for the three ballots include:
Electorate: The living Hall of Fame members (63) will review a ballot of players. A Board-appointed committee of 16 electors, comprised of Hall of Fame members, executives, veteran writers, and historians will review a ballot of managers and umpires. A Board-appointed committee, comprised of Hall of Fame members, executives and veteran writers will review of ballot of executives.
Frequency of Elections: Beginning in 2008, the Veterans Committee will hold its election for managers and umpires every other year. Details for executives will be forthcoming. Beginning in 2009, the election of long-retired players will occur every other year; thus, an election will be held each year.
Eligible candidates: All players who played in at least 10 major league seasons, whose careers began in 1943 or later, who are not on Major League Baseball's ineligible list, and who are not being considered by the BBWAA, are eligible for election on the Players Ballot. Managers and umpires with 10 or more years in Baseball are eligible. Managers and umpires must be retired. Details for executives will be forthcoming.
Player Ballot Screening Process: A BBWAA-appointed historical overview committee will narrow the list of eligible candidates to 20. Simultaneously, a Board-appoint independent Screening Committee of six Hall of Fame members will identify five players. That slate of 20-25 candidates, depending on duplicate results, will then be screened by all the living Hall of Fame members, who will narrow the list down to a ballot of 10 finalists.
Managers/Umpires Ballot: A BBWAA-appointed historical overview committee will narrow the list of eligible candidates to 10 candidates.
Voting on Player Ballot and Manager/Umpire Ballot: Voting will continue to be based upon the individual's record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the game of Baseball. All candidates receiving votes on at least 75 percent of ballots cast will earn election.
Schedule and Method of Voting for Players Ballot: Veterans Committee members will receive ballots and supporting material -- prepared by the Hall of Fame -- in November prior to the induction year and cast their votes by mail. Results will be announced at Baseball's Winter Meetings in December.
Schedule and Method of Voting for Managers/Umpires Ballot: Veterans Committee members will meet face-to-face at Baseball's Winter Meetings in December prior to the induction year. Electors will vote by paper ballot on the second day of meetings. Results will be announced immediately.
Additionally, the Veterans Committee will review the candidacies of all players who played in at least 10 major league seasons, whose careers began in 1942 or earlier, and who are not on Major League Baseball's ineligible list, are eligible for election. Beginning in 2009, they will have their careers reviewed every five years by a committee of 12 Hall of Famers, historians and writers, to be appointed by the Board of Directors.