McDonnell: Hall of Fame voting changes will have a positive effect on 2016 class

From SABR member Wayne McDonnell Jr. at on November 10, 2015:

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has just announced 15 new additions to the ballot for consideration in the upcoming 72nd Baseball Writers’ Association of America election. In total, the achievements and accomplishments of 32 ball players will be carefully vetted by electors over a 20 day period with the formal announcement occurring on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. Ken Griffey, Jr. and Trevor Hoffman lead the pack of first-time candidates on this year’s ballot while several noteworthy names still linger in the Hall of Fame’s version of purgatory.

In recent years, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum elections have been deeply immersed in controversy and rancor. Several electors have used their ballots and powerful voices to loudly proclaim their disdain for the performance enhancing substances epidemic that had stained the game for nearly two decades. Others have taken unconventional positions regarding advanced analytics and some have even punished all ball players who had played during the so-called “steroids era.” For instance, 16 electors chose not to vote for Greg Maddux in 2014 while 15 decided that Randy Johnson was not a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2015. While it is common knowledge that a select few highly regarded electors have willingly decided not to submit ballots in recent years, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum realized they were in the midst of a growing problem that would only become exacerbated with time.

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Originally published: November 12, 2015. Last Updated: November 12, 2015.