Friday, January 4, 2013

Time for A Change in Hall of Fame Voting

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Thanks to Santa, I can now heat my home for the next couple of winters. With the announcement of who, if any, will be inducted this summer into Baseball’s Hall of Fame days away (Jan. 9), I wish to opine about the antiquated system inductees are elected.

This year is the 40th season iconic Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman will spend behind the microphone, 2013 will also be the 64th season for Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. How many Hall of Fame votes do they get? NONE! That goes for any team’s broadcaster - no votes. Even the man I feel would be an outstanding commissioner, Bob Costas, has no vote. Why? Because it’s the writers who decide who gets in and who doesn’t.

From the National Baseball Hall of Fame website:

Electors: Only active and honorary members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, who have been active baseball writers for at least ten (10) years, shall be eligible to vote. They must have been active as baseball writers and members of the Association for a period beginning at least ten (10) years prior to the date of election in which they are voting.

From the BBWAA website:

Why don’t broadcasters or former players get to vote for the Hall of Fame? The board of directors at the Hall of Fame is responsible for choosing the best way to select honorees. Currently, they have decided that the BBWAA is the body best-suited to vote, but the Hall of Fame board is free to make changes as it sees fit. The BBWAA selects players, not managers, executives or umpires. They are chosen by the Veterans’ Committee.

Don’t you think it’s time for a change? This system has been in place since Grantland Rice, Hugh Fullerton and Ring Lardner were hopping trains going from city to city covering baseball for the newspapers they worked for. In 1936, when H.O.F. voting began, it was a great system; the Golden Age of Radio was just beginning and the first televised baseball game was three years away.

Don’t misunderstand me, I feel baseball writers do a tremendous job selecting those to enter the Hall. Hal McCoy, in my opinion, has no equal. I strongly feel it’s time that the Hall of Fame desegregates the writer’s fraternity to include radio and television broadcasters too. Just imagine, with over 100 seasons of combined broadcasting experience, Brennaman and Scully have seen some of the greatest players in baseball history, shouldn’t they or any baseball broadcaster have a say in who gets into the
Baseball Hall of Fame?

You can find Dan on Twitter @DaHermit16.

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