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My Reform Lite Proposal for the Hall of Fame

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  • My Reform Lite Proposal for the Hall of Fame

    Hall of Fame Reforms

    The following proposals use the existing system as a starting point and represent (to my mind) effective reform with minimal transition. I am not asking the board of directors to alter the composition of the electorate (which would be the least likely change they might entertain). What follows would create a more orderly system, more easily understood by fans, whose interest in the process and outcome would be substantially increased by these changes.

    I humbly submit the following:

    General Reforms
    1. Primacy/Equity of Voters Opinions. Any voter may vote for as few or as many candidates on the ballot as he deems worthy of election. The collective opinion of the electorate reigns supreme and no one voter’s opinion counts for more (or less) than another’s.
    2. Transparency Fosters Integrity. When election results are announced, the full count vote count for every candidate will be released. Sometime thereafter, the complete ballot of every voter will be made available to the public.
    3. Expanding Participation in the Electoral Process. Fans, particularly those with expertise in baseball history, merit inclusion in the process. Including them will vest fans with a greater interest in the election results and the museum itself. Both the BBWAA screening committee and the Historical Overview Committee (which screens the era committees) shall be eliminated and replaced (see below).
    4. Apples-to-apples. It is counterproductive and nonsensical to include non-players (managers, executives and umpires) on a ballot with players, confusing the examination and retarding the electability of both. Non-players shall be reviewed by a special Contributors Committee instead of the current system.
    5. Reducing Voter Conflict-of-Interest. By disconnecting the electorates from either screening process, the ballots will be free of the biases to which they are currently hostage. A better election result begins with a better ballot, one free of the self-interest that currently permeates the Historical Overview Committee.

    BBWAA Reforms
    1. Eliminate the 5 percent rule. The new method of screening candidates will ensure that weak first-time candidates will be replaced with previous candidates who are more deserving of consideration.
    2. Restore candidate eligibility to 15 years. This was the historic norm, lasting roughly half a century, and it worked fine. The move to 10 years was a politically inspired move which has some obvious and unfortunate collateral damage.
    3. Replace the screening committee with a fan vote. The top 30 finishers in the fan vote would be placed on that fall’s ballot.

    Era Committee Reforms
    1. Changes for all committees. Each committee will meet annually, to not lose momentum. Each ballot will be constructed by a poll of SABR members, collectively a group of actual “historians”. Each ballot will consist of 12 candidates.
    2. Expand the jurisdiction of the Early Baseball Committee. It will swallow the Golden Days era and will now include any player whose greatest accomplishments came prior to 1969. This covers the first century of professional baseball.
    3. Expand the jurisdiction of the Modern Baseball Committee. It will swallow the Today’s Game era and will now include any player whose greatest accomplishment came after 1968, but who retired before 2000 (for the 2020 election).
    4. Create a Contributors Committee for non-players. It will include managers, executives and umpires from all of baseball history.
    5. Variant Rule. If deemed necessary, the Early Baseball and Contributor committees could be restricted to no more than one inductee each per election.

    Sample Ballots for 2020

    BBWAA Ballot
    Bobby Abreu
    Albert Belle
    Lance Berkman
    Barry Bonds
    Roger Clemens
    David Cone
    Jim Edmonds
    Todd Helton
    Orel Hershiser
    Derek Jeter
    Andruw Jones
    Jeff Kent
    Kenny Lofton
    Fred McGriff
    Mark McGwire
    Mike Mussina
    Rafael Palmeiro
    Jorge Posada
    Andy Pettitte
    Manny Ramirez
    Scott Rolen
    Bret Saberhagen
    Johan Santana
    Curt Schilling
    Gary Sheffield
    Sammy Sosa
    Omar Vizquel
    Billy Wagner
    Larry Walker
    Bernie Williams

    Other possibilities includes Kevin Appier, Kevin Brown, Will Clark, Carlos Delgado, Chuck Finley, Nomar Garciaparra, Jason Giambi, John Olerud, Roy Oswalt, Miguel Tejada, Robin Ventura, etc.

    Early Baseball Ballot
    Dick Allen
    Ross Barnes
    Ken Boyer
    Bill Dahlen
    Wes Ferrell
    Jack Glasscock
    Home Run Grant
    Paul Hines
    Bob Johnson
    Sherry Magee
    Billy Pierce
    Wally Schang

    Modern Baseball Ballot
    Dwight Evans
    Bobby Grich
    Keith Hernandez
    Tommy John
    Thurman Munson
    Dale Murphy
    Graig Nettles
    Ted Simmons
    Reggie Smith
    Dave Stieb
    Luis Tiant
    Lou Whitaker

    Contributors Ballot
    Doc Adams
    Dusty Baker
    Buzzie Bavasi
    Sam Breadon
    Harry Dalton
    Bob Howsam
    Davey Johnson
    Jim Leyland
    Billy Martin
    Marvin Miller
    Lou Piniella
    George Steinbrenner
    Last edited by Chadwick; 01-06-2019, 04:20 AM.
    "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

  • #2
    Originally posted by Chadwick View Post
    Hall of Fame Reforms[*]Expanding Participation in the Electoral Process. Fans, particularly those with expertise in baseball history, merit inclusion in the process.
    Who decides whether or not a fan is an expert?

    Comment


    • #3
      If you assume Rivera and Martinez are elected this year, that makes 35 worthies by my count who retired from 2000 to 2014 and would not yet be in the HOF. I'd up the ballot size to 50 to account for borderline cases and popular unworthies.

      PS: Whence Mr. November...? ;-)
      *** Submit your personal HOF as your ballot for the Single Ballot BBF Hall of Fame! *** Also: Buck the Fraves!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SavoyBG View Post
        Who decides whether or not a fan is an expert?
        SABR members would be polled for the historical selections as they have a deeper level of knowledge, on average, than fans in general. Fans at-large would be polled for the contemporary players as they can't do a worse job than the BBWAA screening committee. In both cases, you are giving fans a say in the process and removing BBWAA voters from screening the ballot for their own (and the era committee) elections.

        Feed two birds with one scone, so to speak.
        "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


        • #5
          Originally posted by Chadwick View Post
          SABR members would be polled for the historical selections as they have a deeper level of knowledge, on average, than fans in general. Fans at-large would be polled for the contemporary players as they can't do a worse job than the BBWAA screening committee. In both cases, you are giving fans a say in the process and removing BBWAA voters from screening the ballot for their own (and the era committee) elections.

          Feed two birds with one scone, so to speak.
          What's to stop anyone from joining SABR though?
          *** Submit your personal HOF as your ballot for the Single Ballot BBF Hall of Fame! *** Also: Buck the Fraves!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Nerdlinger View Post
            If you assume Rivera and Martinez are elected this year, that makes 35 worthies by my count who retired from 2000 to 2014 and would not yet be in the HOF. I'd up the ballot size to 50 to account for borderline cases and popular unworthies.
            Not an issue at all for me though I think you would see that number (35) drop over the next half-dozen elections, making 50 feel excessive somewhat. Still, better to be too inclusive on the ballot than the opposite.

            Thanks for the Jeter catch. What can I say, his greatness sometimes escapes the reach of my mind like batted balls escaped his reach in the field.
            "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


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nerdlinger View Post
              What's to stop anyone from joining SABR though?
              Do you think doubling the organization's membership overnight would be bad for SABR or, more importantly, bad for baseball?

              First of all, only baseball history junkies, like us, would think to do that. Secondly, so what? It's not as though there is a....I dunno....Greg Luzinski cult out there with enough adherents (and free cash) to take over a substantial minority of SABR membership. I don't see the problem here.

              People who join SABR are not, by-and-large statheads, but rather history buffs. Nor are baseball's most knowledgeable fans restricted exclusively to SABR members, but the average SABR member is much better informed about baseball history than the average non-SABR fan. That's the point, it's just an easy way to identify more knowledgeable fans (without administering a baseball I.Q. test as some have suggested).

              Is there any question that the general membership of SABR couldn't do a better job of assembling the best candidates on the ballot than a dozen senior BBWAA voters?
              "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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