Hall implements change for BBWAA voters
Active card or active status within last 10 years requisite for eligibility
The criteria to be a Baseball Hall of Fame voter are changing.
Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) members still will earn the right to vote by maintaining 10 consecutive years on the baseball beat. But the Hall's board of directors announced on Tuesday that voters must either hold an active BBWAA card or have held active status within the last 10 years. BBWAA members who previously were voters but are more than 10 years removed from active status still will be able to apply for annual reinstatement, based on their coverage of the game in the preceding year.
"The board of directors strongly believes the BBWAA has done an excellent job at reviewing candidates for election each year since 1936," said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the board of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in a statement. "The board feels that the changes enacted over the last two years ensure that the highest levels of integrity are maintained in the voting process, with the most active electorate possible considering candidates for Hall of Fame election."
Beginning in late August, each voter must register online in order to be considered for participation in the 2016 voting process.
Last year, the Hall of Fame made the first changes to the voting process since 1991, reducing the maximum length of a player's stay on the ballot from 15 to 10 years, and requiring eligible voters to complete a registration form and sign a code of conduct. Names of the members casting ballots also were made public with the election results, though those names were not attached to individual ballots.
Those eligible to vote for 2016 will receive their ballot in early November. The election results will be announced on Jan. 6, 2016. New names on the ballot will include Ken Griffey, Jr. and Trevor Hoffman, who will join holdovers such as Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell.