January 10, 2014 in Sports

Hall of Fame: Up to BBWAA to propose vote changes

Ronald Blum Associated Press
 

NEW YORK – The Hall of Fame says it’s up to baseball writers to propose any changes in the selection process.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America has voted on Hall of Fame candidates since 1936, and elections have become more controversial in recent years as stars tainted by accusations of steroids use have fallen well short of the 75 percent needed for entry to Cooperstown.

Writers are limited to a maximum 10 votes, and some say there’s a logjam as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire remain on the ballot at a time new players are added.

The Hall electorate includes anyone who has been a BBWAA member for 10 consecutive years at any point. Some say the voting group should be expanded beyond writers.

“We’re happy,” Hall chairman Jane Forbes Clark said Thursday after a news conference to introduce 2014 electees Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. “We’re in an age where everyone does want to be heard, but we really see this as an issue that needs to be dealt with by the BBWAA.”

BBWAA Secretary-Treasurer Jack O’Connell said ballots averaged 8.4 players this year and just over half of the 571 voters used all 10 picks.

“I don’t think that in any situation one needs to react to a one-off and change an entire process,” Clark said.

The BBWAA decided last month to form a committee to study whether the 10-man limit should be altered. The committee is expected to report back to membership in July.

While the BBWAA long was limited to reporters for newspapers and news agencies, a small number of website writers have been allowed to join in recent years. MLB.com reporters and broadcasters are excluded.

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