The Baseball Hall of Fame will elect its next class this week, but many fans have a similar question — who gets to make these decisions?
While former players to get to make the call in some cases, as there are committees specifically devoted to course correcting the writers, the BBWAA decides who makes the Hall of Fame on a yearly basis.
Getting a BBWAA card is no easy feat, as writers must cover a team for a specific length of time be decidedly impartial to receive a Hall of Fame vote. However, once given that power, it comes with great responsibility that those who cover the game for a living take very seriously.
Who votes for the Baseball Hall of Fame?
Per the Hall of Fame website, “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.” In order to receive a vote, a writer must have been a member of the BBWAA for at least a decade as well.
Full list of Baseball Hall of Fame voters
A full list of Baseball Hall of Fame voters can be found here, via the BBWAA website. It includes writers from across the country, all of whom have been covering respective teams for at least 10 years, and been BBWAA members for at least a decade as well. A Hall of Fame vote is not easy to receive, as the process is incredibly selective.
Who is eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame?
In order to be eligible for Hall of Fame voting, a player “must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning fifteen (15) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election,” per the HOF website. A player can only remain on the ballot for 10 years.
What is the Contemporary Baseball Era committee?
The contemporary baseball era committee is made up of retired MLB players, managers, umpires, executives and writers. They can elect players or executives who were passed over by the BBWAA once their 10 years on the ballot has passed.
Baseball Hall of Fame history
The first Hall of Fame class was elected in 1936, with Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner, and Babe Ruth all being inducted. The museum itself opened up in 1939.