BBWAA: Former Major Leaguers who have been active some time during a period of 20 years before and ending five years prior to election and have played in a minimum of 10 seasons. Any player on Major League Baseball's ineligible list is not an eligible candidate. In the event of death of an eligible candidate, the five-year waiting period shall be reduced to six months (this has occurred three times: Lou Gehrig in 1939, Roberto Clemente in 1973 and Thurman Munson in 1979. Gehrig and Clemente
The Hall of Fame Veterans Committee
Membership: The old 15-member Veterans Committee has been replaced by a group comprised of the living members of the Baseball Hall of Fame (60), the living recipients of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award (12), the living recipients of the Ford C. Frick Award (13) and the current Veterans Committee members whose terms have not yet expired (3). This group of 90
increases the size of the existing committee six-fold.
Frequency of Elections: Beginning in 2003, the Veterans Committee will hold its election of players every other year. Also beginning in 2003, the election of managers, umpires and executives will occur every four years.
Eligible candidates: All players who played in at least 10 Major League seasons, including those from the 19th century, who are not on Major League Baseball's ineligible list, and who are not being considered by the BBWAA, are eligible for election by the new Veterans Committee. Managers,umpires and executives with 10 or more years in Baseball are eligible. A Hall of Fame-sponsored study of African-American Baseball, 1860-1960, is under way. The Board will appoint a committee to review the results when they are complete. After this review, a recommendation will be made to the Board concerning how to proceed with respect to Negro leagues candidates.
Screening Committee: Sixty BBWAA members -- two from each Major League city and four from cities with two teams -- will identify 25 candidates for the Players Ballot and 15 candidates for the Composite Ballot (managers, umpires and executives). In addition, the Hall of Fame Board of Directors will appoint an independent Screening Committee of six Hall of Fame members
to identify five candidates for the Players Ballot. The final ballot will contain 25-30 names, depending on duplicate results. In compiling its list of candidates, the Screening Committee shall call upon resources of organizations such as the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician of Major League Baseball since the 1920s, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library.
Voting: Voting will continue to be based upon the individual's record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the game of Baseball. All candidates receiving votes on at least 75 percent of ballots cast will earn election.
Schedule and Method of Voting: Veterans Committee members will receive ballots and supporting material -- prepared by the Hall of Fame -- in January prior to induction. The vote will be completed by mail and counted in the presence of Ernst & Young and a Hall of Fame representative. Results will be announced in February.
This Day in Baseball History:
March 29, 1973 > Orange baseballs -- an invention of colorful Oakland A's owner Charlie Finley -- are used in an exhibition game between the A's and the Cleveland Indians. Afterwards, players on both teams complain that the orange baseballs are more slippery than regulation balls, and the experiment is nipped in the bud.