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  • Football HOF process or Baseball?

    I was just looking at the process used by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and thought we might compare that system with the process used by Cooperstown.

    Here are some interesting features of the process used for Pro Football:
    1. Canton's selection process uses only 39 voters: 1 media member per franchise, plus seven "at large". (I believe Baseball now has more than 500 HOF voters.)
    2. Electors vote in advance to trim the selection list to just 25 candidates, then trim the list again to just 15 semi-finalists
    3. Voters meet face-to-face to make the final selections. (Baseball uses only a mail-in ballot.)
    4. A sponsor makes a presentation in support of each finalist.
    5. After the final 15 candidates have been discussed, the list is cut to ten and finally just six finalists
    6. Each elector votes "yes" or "no" for each of the six finalists. To be elected, a candidate must receive 80% of the votes. If he wishes, a voter may vote "yes" for each of the final six.
    7. AT LEAST THREE of the final six MUST BE SELECTED. (Even if supported by fewer than 80%)
    8. Voters are instucted to consider only what the candidate did ON THE FIELD. Character flaws or off-field incidents should be ignored.

    Which of these features (if any) would you like to see incorporated into the Cooperstown process? You may choose more than one answer.

    If the changes you support were made, would the Baseball Hall of Fame have more members or fewer?
    47
    Fewer voters (One media member per franchise, plus 7 at-large)
    6.38%
    3
    Voters trim the candidate list to 25 and later just 15 finalists
    14.89%
    7
    Committee members meet IN PERSON to make final selections
    17.02%
    8
    A sponsor makes a presentation for each finalist
    6.38%
    3
    After discussion, list is reduced to just six finalists
    10.64%
    5
    Each elector votes "yes" or "no" on each of the six finalists
    10.64%
    5
    At least three of the six finalists must get in
    10.64%
    5
    Voters are to consider only on-field performance (not character flaws, etc.)
    17.02%
    8
    None of the above -- keep baseball's process exactly as is
    6.38%
    3
    Last edited by Appling; 02-03-2006, 05:20 PM.
    Luke

  • #2
    If you go to a smaller group, you've got to be sure that you've a) got a very knowledgeable group, and 2) it can't be dominated by one or two guys. The first is fairly easy to solve, the second is less certain, IMO. Perhaps three per team with 10-15 or so at-large spots? Also, how about those three being one from the media (print or otherwise), one former player of the franchise, and one executive/scout (active or retired) from the franchise?

    One thing you didn't mention about Canton is I don't believe they use time limits like baseball does. That might be a good change for Cooperstown.

    I think it would be a decent idea to have the list pared to 15-25 possibilities each year. I'm open to the method. Let's face it, if you aren't in the top 15-25 in a given year, you're not going to get elected that year, if ever (by now).

    I'm ambivalent about the face to face thing. Face to face meetings increase the chance of a few dominant personalities being able to effectively govern the process. If you go to 70-75 voters or more, though, that issue would diminish.

    I'm don't think I like the idea of a sponsor to present the case in person. Perhaps two members of the hall could work up a pro and a con for each player (one guy on each side) in writing. If the opponents were well matched, the facts would rule the day. However, you wouldn't want a mismatch between the presenters. It might be best if the identity of the presenter for either side is anonymous, both to avoid influencing the group and to protect a presenter arguing the negative side (under this approach, the presenters would be obligated to do their best for the side he or she was asssigned to, regardless of his or her personal sentiments).

    Once you got to the 15-25 cut, I don't think it needs to be pared further.

    I like the up/down vote on each candidate, though perhaps voters could be asked to list their top 10 candidates. I wouldn't change the traditional 75% rule in baseball.

    I can see the idea of a minimum, but I wouldn't go for more than 2 (and would probably be just as happy with one).

    The character rule is one you can argue with, but here's one place I'd leave tradition alone.

    Perhaps my changes would slightly increase the number of inductees, but I don't think it would be a large change.

    I'm not going to vote, because I've rarely bought into the options exactly as presented.

    Anybody know what basketball's process is--they might have some ideas to incorporate.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 02-03-2006, 06:27 PM.
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

    Comment


    • #3
      Proposed changes based on football model:

      - Smaller voting bloc. Expand eligibility to all baseball media (not just BBWAA members), but limit number of voters to 100. Create a screening method whereby the 100 most qualified/knowledgeable voters are those with an actual vote.

      - The ballot is prepared, not by the BBWAA, but by a panel of baseball historians/scholars/researchers, who prepare a "portfolio" on each candidate to accompany the ballot.

      - The ballot itself is limited to the top 20 vote-getters from the previous election and the top 5 newcomers.

      - All candidates on ballot receive a "yes" or "no" vote. (Don't limit voters to 10 choices.)

      - Adopt a run-off system (again) wherein, if no one is elected, the top 10 vote-getters are placed on a run-off ballot and a second round of voting is held wherein the top vote-getter in the second election is inducted.
      "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
      "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
      "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
      "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

      Comment


      • #4
        I would just like to see the justifactions for the way they vote to see if they even know what the hell is going on.
        "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
        Carl Yastrzemski

        Comment


        • #5
          I think baseabll fans should be proud that our HOF is the most treasured HOF in any sport because it is so hard to get into. The process just needs to slightly tweeked, not revamped. Accountability will help with this. Make the writers accountable for their votes. This can be done with the justifications runningshoes53 suggested. Why not have the veterans committee oversee this process?

          Comment


          • #6
            All good suggestions. One big difference between football and baseball, as far as judging the merits of players, are stats. In baseball, they are a record of what that player accomplished. While not the sole criteria, it's hard to deny a ceratin level of success or reward failure. But in football, there aren't stats to judge how good an offensive lineman was or to fairly judge defensive players, since great defensive lineman are double-teamed or teams will avoid throwing against great defensive backs.

            The big problem with the baseball HOF is that it is an in or out proposition, not having different levels of greatness to consider players. From my favorite team, the Cardinals, here are a few of the HOF members: Musial, Hornsby, Gibson, Frisch, Dean, Ozzie Smith, Slaughter, Medwick, Schoendienst, Brock. I think it's clear than Stan, Rajah and Gibby were the best of the group and a legitimate case could be made that they were among the very best all-time at their respective positions. The others were all very good players, perennial all-stars, with significant accomplishments over their careers, worthy of recognition. So, I'd like to see one level that the truly greatest of all are recognized and another for the very good.
            It Might Be? It Could Be?? It Is!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 64Cards
              The big problem with the baseball HOF is that it is an in or out proposition, not having different levels of greatness to consider players. ..

              So, I'd like to see one level that the truly greatest of all are recognized and another for the very good.
              I agree this is a weakness. That is probably why so much attention is paid to the "unofficial" distinction between three levels of HOF player-members:
              1. First Ballot HOFers
              2. Other players chosen by the BBWAA
              3. Players selected by Veteran's Committee or other special groups

              In my mind, every player chosen by the BBWAA is deserving, while many selected by other means are "suspect" or worse. In fact, 90% of the players voted in by BBWAA are more deserving than even the "best" chosen by the Veteran's Committee. This two groups could easily be identified in the official listing of HOF members.
              Luke

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              • #8
                I think its time we let the fans decide who should be in the hall. I mean, why not?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by kckid2599
                  I think its time we let the fans decide who should be in the hall. I mean, why not?
                  You know the answer to that question.
                  "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
                  Carl Yastrzemski

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kckid2599
                    I think its time we let the fans decide who should be in the hall. I mean, why not?
                    The fans did an excellent job picking the All-Century Team. I remember the Indians fans doing an outstanding job choosing the Indians All-Century Team.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wamby
                      The fans did an excellent job picking the All-Century Team.
                      This is in jest, right? h
                      "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                      "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                      "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                      "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                      Comment

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