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"Skinny" Version of my Plausible Reforms List

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  • "Skinny" Version of my Plausible Reforms List

    Reform #1 - Create a Special Committee on Early Baseball, akin to the 2006 Special Committee on the Negro Leagues.
    There are many benefits to this and no drawbacks that I can see. Under the current system, they are reviewed only once every 10 years and must compete for ballot space on a 10-man ballot with those from the first half of the 20th Century. While this would be pitched as a one-time event, there's nothing to prevent the board from reincorporating 19th Century individuals in the future. In the meantime, it would almost certainly improve the representation of this period in Cooperstown for a generation or two. Fans of Doc Adams, Ross Barnes and Bill Dahlen should clamor for this. Does anyone want to contend that the Hall's Negro League membership was better off before 2006?

    Reform #2 - Give managers, executives and umpires their own, separate committee.
    Make it a triennial election, which will play to the board's desire to avoid a repeat of 2008-2010 when there were 7 non-players elected over a three-year span. Managers, executives and umpires must fight with each other for space on the ballot and will be drawn from all eras, making it more competitive than it currently is where there are few other non-players on a given ballot by which to compare apples-to-apples. Three years is enough to keep non-player elections from flooding the Hall, but not far apart enough that it discourages new candidates. An active manager, for example, will see one election pass during his 5-year wait and will be eligible for the next one. The age factor in questions of eligibility also makes it likely that these candidates don't have to wait much longer (if at all) than they currently do. Furthermore, three years is not so far in-between that the committee won't remember its previous discussions, particularly if the Hall stacks this particular committee with more executives and other individuals with first-hand knowledge of the candidates. The primary reason for this change is to benefit player candidates in the era committees, but this maintains the Hall's current position on these non-player candidates without disservicing them.

    Reform #3 - Simplify and shift the responsibilities of the existing era committees.
    The committees are readjusted as follows:

    1901-1960 Classic Baseball
    1961-1984 Expansion Baseball
    1985-Present Modern Baseball

    These are placed on a three-year cycle instead of the current 10-year cycle, greatly simplifying the process for baseball fans to answer "which committee meets this year?" Here is the new cycle:

    Year 1. Classic Baseball, Modern Baseball
    Year 2. Expansion Baseball, Contributors
    Year 3. Expansion Baseball, Modern Baseball

    Here is a 30-year summary of certain eras under the current system versus my proposal:

    Years / Current / Proposed
    Pre-1901 / 3 times in 30 years / 1 (mega) time in 30 years
    1901-1949 / 3 times in 30 years / 10 times in 30 years
    1950-1960 / 6 times in 30 years / 10 times in 30 years
    1961-1969 / 6 times in 30 years / 20 times in 30 years
    1970-1984 / 12 times in 30 years / 20 times in 30 years
    1985-Present / 12 times in 30 years / 20 times in 30 years

    In every single case, players from any era are reviewed more often than under the current system, continuing the practice of giving greater frequency to players since the start of expansion.

    The board may go for something that would (a) reduce the total field of players, (b) reduce the number of era committees, and (c) simplify the system for fans.

    This is also a system that can grow easily with the passage of time. In a generation, we can inch up the Expansion/Modern dividing line from 1984/1985 to something like 1992/1993.

    Summary
    While the board can always make changes to this (or any) system at any time in the future, my proposal would give them less reason to do so in the immediate future than they will have with the current setup, which continues to shortchange players generally.

    I think the board might go for something like this if pitched to them with an appeal towards their interests. These reforms improve the committee selection process as well as we're going to absent different leadership on the board.
    Last edited by Chadwick; 11-05-2019, 04:52 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
    Reform #1 - Create a Special Committee on Early Baseball, akin to the 2006 Special Committee on the Negro Leagues.
    There are many benefits to this and no drawbacks that I can see. Under the current system, they are reviewed only once every 10 years and must compete for ballot space on a 10-man ballot with those from the first half of the 20th Century. While this would be pitched as a one-time event, there's nothing to prevent the board from reincorporating 19th Century individuals in the future. In the meantime, it would almost certainly improve the representation of this period in Cooperstown for a generation or two. Fans of Doc Adams, Ross Barnes and Bill Dahlen should clamor for this. Does anyone want to contend that the Hall's Negro League membership was better off before 2006?

    Reform #2 - Give managers, executives and umpires their own, separate committee.
    Make it a triennial election, which will play to the board's desire to avoid a repeat of 2008-2010 when there were 7 non-players elected over a three-year span. Managers, executives and umpires must fight with each other for space on the ballot and will be drawn from all eras, making it more competitive than it currently is where there are few other non-players on a given ballot by which to compare apples-to-apples. Three years is enough to keep non-player elections from flooding the Hall, but not far apart enough that it discourages new candidates. An active manager, for example, will see one election pass during his 5-year wait and will be eligible for the next one. The age factor in questions of eligibility also makes it likely that these candidates don't have to wait much longer (if at all) than they currently do. Furthermore, three years is not so far in-between that the committee won't remember its previous discussions, particularly if the Hall stacks this particular committee with more executives and other individuals with first-hand knowledge of the candidates. The primary reason for this change is to benefit player candidates in the era committees, but this maintains the Hall's current position on these non-player candidates without disservicing them.

    Reform #3 - Simplify and shift the responsibilities of the existing era committees.
    The committees are readjusted as follows:

    1901-1960 Classic Baseball
    1961-1984 Expansion Baseball
    1985-Present Modern Baseball

    These are placed on a three-year cycle instead of the current 10-year cycle, greatly simplifying the process for baseball fans to answer "which committee meets this year?" Here is the new cycle:

    Year 1: Classic Baseball, Contributors
    Year 2: Expansion Baseball, Modern Baseball
    Year 3: Expansion Baseball, Modern Baseball

    Here is a 30-year summary of certain eras under the current system versus my proposal:

    Years / Current / Proposed
    Pre-1901 / 3 times in 30 years / 1 (mega) time in 30 years
    1901-1949 / 3 times in 30 years / 10 times in 30 years
    1950-1960 / 6 times in 30 years / 10 times in 30 years
    1961-1969 / 6 times in 30 years / 20 times in 30 years
    1970-1984 / 12 times in 30 years / 20 times in 30 years
    1985-Present / 12 times in 30 years / 20 times in 30 years

    In every single case, players from any era are reviewed more often than under the current system, continuing the practice of giving greater frequency to players since the start of expansion.

    The board may go for something that would (a) reduce the total field of players, (b) reduce the number of era committees, and (c) simplify the system for fans.

    This is also a system that can grow easily with the passage of time. In a generation, we can inch up the Expansion/Modern dividing line from 1984/1985 to something like 1992/1993.

    Summary
    While the board can always make changes to this (or any) system at any time in the future, my proposal would give them less reason to do so in the immediate future than they will have with the current setup, which continues to shortchange players generally.

    I think the board might go for something like this if pitched to them with an appeal towards their interests. These reforms improve the committee selection process as well as we're going to absent different leadership on the board.
    These are fantastic, Brad. Three really good, important, necessary proposals that in a better timeline would be adopted immediately.

    I suppose in #3, I might tweak the years on your committees a little; 1901-1920 feels a little orphaned. But there's really no perfect way to draw the dividing lines; yours are probably as good as any others.

    Also, having Classic & Contributors the same year in the cycle could lead to the HOF having a year where they're inducting only the long dead from one, and "suits" from another, who are also going to be older if not dead, and who are probably less likely to draw throngs of fans. The Cooperstown tourist board would push you to stagger them.

    Year 1. Classic Baseball, Modern Baseball
    Year 2. Expansion Baseball, Contributors
    Year 3. Expansion Baseball, Modern Baseball

    Comment


    • #3
      Great point. I suppose my mind was telling me it was time for bed when I wrote that. Ha! I heartily endorse your timeline and have adjusted the OP to reflect it.
      "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 looked very hard at the potential effects of various reforms, gave priority to those with the greater potential impact on the outcome of the election, and discarded those with little or no chance of being adopted. That's how I whittled it down to the above three suggestions.

        It should be obvious that the most impactful change the board could adopt would be to change who does the voting and/or who does the screening for the ballot. Unfortunately, neither of those is going to happen with this board.
        "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
          Reforms 1 and 2 are absolutely spot on.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes, I love these ideas.

            Comment

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