Hall of Fame Voting

Tomorrow marks the announcement by the baseball veterans committee of the results of their Hall of Fame vote. The veterans committee elections occur every other year for players and every four years for composite balloting. The veterans committee is made up of elected members of the Hall of Fame including players, Frick Award and Spink Award winners. One reason for this vote is to right any wrongs or injustices where deserving players are overlooked by the baseball writers. The role of the Veterans Committee will increase in importance as time goes one and players become eligible who played during the steroid era. As we saw this year, the baseball writers made an example of Mark McGwire based on speculation. If this bias continues for others who become eligible it will fall on the shoulders of the Veterans Committee to elect those who deserve induction. The question becomes, will they?

The past few Veterans Committee votes have not resulted in anyone being elected into the Hall of Fame. Many of the voting members like the exclusivity that they are awarded with when they are elected and they don’t really want to share that limelight or dilute how special their club is. This doesn’t bode well for players on this year’s ballot such as Ron Santo, Gil Hodges, Curt Flood, or Roger Maris. They may very well be on the outside looking in when the announcement is made. The Hall of Fame voting seems to be broken. Currently a player’s fate lies either with the media who seem to have their own agenda or with the Veteran’s Committee who seem to not want anyone new move into their neighborhood. I don’t know that either of these is the right answer. I’d like to think that the fans would have something to say about it but after watching the annual debacle around All-Star balloting I am not sure we can leave this in the hands of misguided fans intent on making it a popularity contest. Perhaps a hybrid solution can be found which makes up a committee of media (not just written word but all media), former players, current Hall of Fame members, and fan representation. The fan representation could be in the form of a group which is voted upon annually. This would perhaps give a more open and objective review of who is hall eligible and who is not.

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