Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Baseball Hall of Fame: Three Executives Deserve Enshrinement

Voting is now underway for the 2017 candidates to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Under rules amended two years ago, players are now considered for 10 years. 

Those who are not elected pass into the “Era” committees, formerly known as the “Veteran’s Committee”, for future consideration.

The current committees include “Today’s Game”, which evaluates from 1988 – present. “Modern Baseball” looks at 1970 – 1987. “Golden Days” votes on 1950 – 1969. “Early Baseball” examines 1871-1949.

These committees will select individuals on a rotating basis. For the upcoming 2017 Hall of Fame class as well as for 2019, the “Today’s Game” committee will do the evaluating. “Modern Baseball” will go in 2018 and 2020. “Golden Days” and “Early Baseball” will take their turns together for 2021.

The “Today’s Game Era” committee working this year includes 16 members selected by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors. They will do their voting at the upcoming Winter Meetings. 

Each of the other committees who will do their selecting in future years have the same membership size They are selected in the same manner as well.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Per the Baseball Hall of Fame website, the following are the eligibility requirements for nomination and election by an Era Committee:
(A) Eligible candidates must be selected from managers, umpires, executives and players. They must meet the below criteria related to their classification.
• Players who played in at least 10 major league seasons. They must not be on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list. They must have been retired for 15 or more seasons;
• Managers and umpires with 10 or more years in baseball and retired for at least five years. Candidates who are 65 years or older are eligible six months following retirement;
• Executives retired for at least five years. Active executives 70 years or older are eligible for consideration.
(B) Those whose careers entailed involvement in multiple categories will be considered for their overall contribution to the game of Baseball. However, the specific category in which these individuals shall be considered will be determined by the role in which they were most prominent. There are instances when a candidate is prominent as both a player and as a manager, executive or umpire. In those, the BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee shall determine that individual’s category as a player, as a manager or as an umpire or as an executive/pioneer. Those designated as players must fulfill the requirements of 6 (A).
(C) Any person designated by the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball as ineligible shall not be an eligible candidate.

THE 2017 “TODAY’S GAME” BALLOT

The 2017 ballot being considered by the “Today’s Game” committee includes five former players who are no longer eligible under the normal 10-year vote. There are also two managers, as well as a trio of baseball executives.
Players nominated this time around are Mark McGwireOrel HershiserHarold BainesAlbert Belle, and Will Clark. The managerial nominees are Lou Piniella and Davey Johnson.
All are worthy of consideration, and valid positions can be put together for their cause. But it is my opinion that only the three executives should be enshrined at this time.
Former Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves executive John Schuerholz is one of these men. The colorful and controversial late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is another. And the former Milwaukee Brewers owner and Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig is the third.

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