It is time to take the baseball writers out of the HOF voting process and apply the legal principle of being judged by a “jury of your peers”—only the players know who deserves the honor.
Being chosen for the Hall of Fame is not a matter of life and death—it’s WAY more important than that! When Paul Simon received his Grammy for his transcendent album, GRACELAND, he was asked, if this was his greatest achievement. He said that the only thing he ever wanted to achieve was being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Since it IS that important, let’s take the baseball beat writers out of the Hall of Fame voting process; writing about baseball does not make a person qualified to make the call for the Hall. Many of these chaps are narrow-focused, team homers and, sadly, racially biased. Most significantly, none of them have ever played professional baseball.
In a fair system, each voter is given a ballot, created by the HOF and MLB, with the names of all the players who qualify and the active players and HOF members check YES or NO. Then, let the Veterans’ Committee select from a ballot of players who received less than 5% of the vote, retired players, and non-playing personnel who made their greatest contributions to the sport prior to 1947, called the “Pre-Integration Era” by the Hall. [Wikipedia]
Let’s let the players decide who deserves to have the great honor of entering the Hall of Fame. Here is how to do it:
1. An expanded version of the “Veterans’ Committee” comprised of all living members of the HOF prepare a list of nominees.
2. Every member of each team’s current 40-man roster gets one vote. [1,200 total votes]
3. Every living former MLB player gets one vote.
4. Tabulated votes are reviewed by the “Veterans’ Committee.” They add their “weighted” votes to the process. Let’s give the committee 1,200 votes to be divided equally among the living HOF members. [EX: 60 members would each get 20 votes to cast and these would be added to the total from the current players’ results.]
5. Managers of the previous World Series teams are the managers for the two All-Star teams. They are assigned 100 votes, which are added to the totals.
6. Use the current percentage required for election to the Hall.
7. Update the rules to include Performance Enhancing Substances to say: no person convicted of a felony can be on a HOF ballot.
Fans? The word is a shortened version of “fanatic.” Fans should be fanatical about their teams, but they should not be allowed to vote on HOF inductions; allowed to vote more than once, they have unfairly stuffed the ballot box with players, just because they wear their home town uniforms.
No fans, no baseball writers , no media “experts” should vote on HOF inductions; the guys who played on the green fields of grace and the ones who have earned induction know best who deserves a place in the Cooperstown Pantheon of the greatest game.