We've tried this a few times in a few forms, but would anyone be interested in conducting a progressive Hall of Fame project? I'm thinking it would be very similar to the project I headed about a year ago in which we had our own mock HoF elections going back to 1979. That worked out pretty well and we regularly had a pretty good turnout. I'm thinking we'd do the same thing but go back much earlier.
If people are interested, I was wonder about some logistics, such as....
- How far back should we start? Should we start at the 1936 election, or perhaps even earlier?
- What about the rules? I'm think we'd just operate as if the current BBWAA rules applied from the first year, as such would make conducting this project a lot easier (as the early BBWAA elections were kind of chaotic in which players were eligible). So there would be a 5 year waiting period, 15 years of eligibility, 75% for election, and 5% dropped. I might modify the 5% rule a little though as at first we might have a number of worthy candidates and I wouldn't want to see anyone dropped due to the overwhelming number, so I'm thinking we'd provide that a person is dropped after being below 5% in two consecutive years, and adopt a lower threshold for one and done (say 2%?). I'd also probably keep the 10 player vote limit, as I think when you open up the ballot, voters could become too liberal with voting, and it makes for some interesting strategy and discussion.
- What to do with all the players at the beginning? For example, if we start say at 1936, do we only include players that retired as far back as 1916, and would we only give them that one year of eligibility since their 15 years would be up? In many ways it would be easier to conduct the elections to just have the bright line 15 years (+5 waiting) from the beginning, but then again, we'd be arbitrarily slighting a number of players that happened to play a little earlier. So to remedy this, we could either have a presumed VC from the beginning (even if we're not actually conducting VC election, though perhaps freakshow would be interested in doing that in conjuction with this as he did last time), and thus just throw everyone that's been retired for more than 20 years into the VC; or do we waive the 15 year requirement at first, and postpone the 15 year limit for 15 years (thus, everyone in the first election, as long as they meet the 5% rule, would have 15 years of eligibility, regardless of when they retired). I'm favoring the latter, but even then I would want a cutoff. In that case I would suggest a 15 year buffer, so if we're starting with the 1936 election, players who retired in 1901-1931 would be eligible for 15 years (5% being met), and players retiring before 1901 would go the imaginary VC. If we were to start at 1936, the dates would work out nicely as 1901 marks the AL's inception, but I wouldn't be adverse to starting at the elections with an earlier year.
So if people are interested, to summarize the format I'm proposing:
- Begin in 1936 (or earlier if people want)
- 5 year waiting period, meaning the first election will not have anyone that retired after 1931 (if we start at 1936)
- 15 year eligibility, waived for 15 years, meaning everyone eligible in the first election will be eligible for 15 years regardless if they retired more than 20 years prior
- Initial eligibility stretching back an extra 15 years to 1901, rather than 1916 (if starting at 1936); everyone retiring before 1901 goes to imaginary VC (unless someone wants to simultaneously conduct that election); players dropped who retired between 1901-1916 (and progressively forward), would immediately be eligible for the VC, so the 15 year eligibility extension would not work against them in this regard
- Limit to 10 votes per election
- 75% for election
- Finishing below 5% in two consecutive years results in dropping. Falling below 2% in initial year results in dropping. This should hopefully keep the initial large number of worthy eligible candidates eligible
So what do you guys think? If people are interested, I'll try to get it running in the next few days, though I'll probably run an initial candidate list by everyone given the extended period at first, and the fact that I'd rather not have the ballot go beyond 40 or 50 players.