Hall of Fame Modern Era voting FAQ

Committee will weigh in on 10 candidates this year

December 8th, 2017

When the 16 members of the Modern Era Committee meet for much of the day on Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., they will have the tough job of deciding the Hall of Fame fate of the 10 candidates on this year's ballot.

The candidates on the player side are Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons, Luis Tiant and Alan Trammell.

Marvin Miller, the union leader who already was passed over three times by various iterations of the Veterans Committee, is also on the ballot. Any candidates who receive votes on 75 percent of ballots cast by the 16-member Modern Era committee will earn election to the Hall of Fame.

Complete Hall of Fame coverage

The vote is slated to be announced by Hall president Jeff Idelson this Sunday on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET as the Winter Meetings open. Any electees will be introduced at a news conference there the next day.

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the process.

What is the Modern Era Committee?

In 2016, the National Baseball Hall of Fame Board of Directors again redesigned the Veterans Committee format with an eye toward trying to elect players passed over during the Baseball Writers' Association of America process. It evaluates the Hall of Fame candidacies of managers, executives, umpires and long-retired players.

There are now four committees representing distinct baseball eras: The Today's Game Committee judging those whose careers began in 1988 to the present; the Modern Era Committee covering 1970-87; the Golden Days Committee from 1950-69, and the Early Baseball Committee, prior to 1950, including Negro League stars.

When do these four Committees meet?

The emphasis now is on finding applicable modern players. The Today's Game and Modern Era Committees each meet twice in a five-year period. The Golden Days Committee is slated to meet in 2020 and again in 2025. The Early Baseball Committee also meets in 2020, but not again until 2030. Next up is the Today's Game in 2018 and a reprise of the Modern Era in 2019.

How were the nominees on the Modern Era Ballot decided?

The ballot was composed by the BBWAA's Historical Overview Committee, an 11-member panel of veteran writers and historians.

Who votes on the ballot?

Each year's Committee is different and is selected by the Hall Board of Directors. This year's panel includes six Hall of Fame players: George Brett, Rod Carew, Dennis Eckersley, Don Sutton, Dave Winfield and Robin Yount in addition to Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox and Hall of Fame executive John Schuerholz, both of the Braves.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, former Blue Jays president Paul Beeston, Reds president Bob Castellini, Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt, Royals chairman David Glass, veteran BBWAA members Bob Elliott and Jayson Stark and historian Steve Hirdt of the Elias Sport Bureau make up the remainder of the group.

How do they decide?

The 16 members, a group that played or worked during that era, are provided in advance of the Sunday morning meeting with basic materials about the candidates and members of the committee hold multiple discussions on each candidate.

How is the vote determined?

The 16 members of the Committee can vote for a maximum of four of the 10 candidates. As in any Hall of Fame vote, a candidate needs to appear on 75 percent of the ballots cast to be elected. In this case, his name must appear on at least 12 of the 16 ballots. The process is difficult. A maximum of five of the 10 candidates could be elected.

When the meeting concludes, each are given a ballot. Individual votes are private, although the Hall announces a compiled tally.

When will they be inducted?

On July 29, the class of 2018, including any inductees from the BBWAA ballot -- which is currently under consideration and whose results will be announced on Jan. 24 on MLB Network and MLB.com -- will be inducted into Cooperstown.

First-time candidates Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel, plus returnees Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero, are the top candidates. Hoffman missed by five votes and Guerrero by 15 on last year's ballot.

Since Joe Gordon was elected in 2009, only two players have been enshrined through the Veterans Committee process: Cubs third baseman Ron Santo in 2012, and Deacon White, a 19th century catcher who played with no equipment, in '13.

This is the third time for Garvey, John and Simmons on these kinds of ballots. It's the second for Parker.

Eight of the nine players this year on the Modern Era ballot were on the BBWAA ballot for 15 years without being elected. Simmons didn't get to the 5 percent threshold to qualify for his second year.

The BBWAA votes only for players on a ballot that is culled each year by a panel of their members. Those players now have a 10-year tenure on that ballot, beginning five years after retirement. They must at least attain a 5 percent threshold to carry over to the next ballot. Managers, executives and umpires can only be elected through the Eras process.