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Maybe the Hall of Fame will change its voting process after all

Jan 7, 2013, 8:53 AM EDT

So, maybe the writers are the best bet as voters. But one wonders if the Hall of Fame itself will always feel this way. Why? Well …


Fisher goes on to report that the Hall has lost money in eight of the past ten years.

Perhaps this is more a function of changing sports tastes and the fact that the Hall of Fame is about the hardest place to get to this side of Hogwarts, but I’m sure that having an induction ceremony that, thanks to a silly moralizing electorate, will have no one but Deacon White, Jacob Rupert and Hank O’Day this summer won’t do much to help finances.

  1. dcfan4life - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    All the HOF writers hate most of the best players for the last 20 years due to their implicated or sometimes just suspected steroid use. This leaves a hand full of popular guys to vote in like Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr, and Pedro Martinez. Im probably missing some names but not many which will leave upcoming HOF classes lacking for years to come.

  2. paperlions - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    How in the world could the HOF possibly lose over $2M/year? What could it possibly cost to run the place? About the only option seems to be having far too many over-paid, unnecessary administrators….10 administrators with the titled “Director of [something]”, a librarian, 3 senior Directors of something, a VP, a senior VP, and a president…..that smells like a hell of a lot more than $2M in salary….for a non-profit organization?

    • skids003 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      Sounds like the governemnt, don’t it?

      • paperlions - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        …not any different from the private sector.

      • philsieg - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:24 AM

        As a retired individual who spent many years in both the public and private sectors, this idea that the vaunted private sector is some sort of engine of efficiency is horse shit. Riddled with as least as many mid- to high-level factotums whose only concern is covering their asses, the private sector may work even harder at doing that simply because there’s more money at stake. If we were to do a list of most overrated concepts of the past hundred years, the private sector would head the list.

      • phantomspaceman - Jan 7, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        You don’t know what it’s like in the private sector. They expect results!

      • cur68 - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        The private sector expects results? Really? I was under the impression they expect THE APPEARANCE of results. Thus justifying their raises and bonuses and seats on the board. If that load of fat cats who needed all the bailout money were really result oriented they’d not have made crappy, ugly cars for decades or a boatload of bad loans, all the while their smarter more streamlined competitors made far superior products or far more secure loans.

        Government, by contrast, tends to be more results oriented: if the results are poor you don’t get to keep your job. In fact, due to pretty smart government, your nation has turned itself into a super power from a beginning as a religious outpost for zealots. Along the way your economy underpins much of world wide commerce, policies are reflected globally, and people among the most privileged in history. The current economic crises and high unemployment does not erase much commendable government history. In fact, your country has weathered worse crisis and emerged better than previous. From the looks of things the current situation will see you emerge with national health care, restrictions on insurance companies gouging the shit out of ordinary people, and better oversight on big business practices. In spite of this current crisis, even your crime rate has improved; this goes against established thought. When the economy is poor, joblessness is high, the crime rate should soar, right? But that’s not what has been happening. Your national property crime rate has dropped steadily back to 1970 levels over the past 20 years. Your murder rate has also declined steadily and is back to below what it was in 1970, along with your violent crime rate: this over the past 15 years. These are government results. I dare say that your government has been working fairly well the last few decades. Failure in your economy has come from A LACK of government presence in your big business practices, rather than direct government involvement.

      • American of African Descent - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        Calm down, Cur. He was referencing Ghostbusters, one of the greatest movies of all time.

    • American of African Descent - Jan 7, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      “Teldar Paper, Mr. Cromwell, Teldar Paper has 33 different vice presidents each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can’t figure it out. One thing I do know is that our paper company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I’ll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents.”

      • paperlions - Jan 7, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        Exactly. At my university, administrators are so bored that they have to create busy work for themselves. Mostly, they sit in meetings, send out mass emails, and come up with new auditing systems that decrease efficiency by increasing the amount of required paperwork all in the name of “accountability”. Modern universities have adopted the administrative structure of private businesses…and are far worse off for it. If the administration suddenly stopped showing up one day….all people would notice is that their jobs suddenly got much easier.

      • johngaltx - Jan 7, 2013 at 6:06 PM

        A customer of mine told me the other day his wife got a letter in the mail from her insurance company telling her that they were going to send her a letter in the future concerning her insurance!

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      “not any different from the private sector.”

      Paper my friend…if this is truly your opinion I am afraid you have worked for horrible employers.
      If the Government was ran like profitable companies in the the private sector you can bet your ass we would be in the black. After all…the private sector’s lifeblood depends profitability.
      Our Company has been in business for 30 years employing 30 people.
      We owe zero to the banks. The only dept we have is the company credit cards.

      The Government…yeah…not so much. Just borrow…borrow…borrow.

      • philsieg - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:19 PM

        St Looey,

        One of the biggest fallacies out there is that somehow the government should be run as a private business. A private business exists to make a profit. To suggest that the government is comparable is to fundamentally misunderstand the purpose of government. A private business is, in fact, a totalitarian construct, not a democracy. Orders (business plans) come from the top down, while a government functions, if it functions at all, by building consensus. That our current government is dysfunctional cannot be chalked up to not being run as a business.

        As far as your company, one cannot compare an organization of 30 people with shared goals all having some voice in direction and outcome precisely because of the size of the group to attempting to govern an increasingly diverse nation of 310,000,000 people with competing interests. Once again you are trying to extrapolate from anecdotal experience to prescribe a universal solution. Won’t work.

      • paperlions - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:23 PM

        There are plenty of huge corporations that are far too top heavy and that do not make money and continue to pay out huge bonuses to their top administrators. Corporations are not run for the profit of the company but for the benefit of those in charge (see Hostess or US auto industry as recent clear cut examples).

      • 18thstreet - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        The private sector doesn’t borrow money? Huh.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        Paper stated “no different than the private sector.” I call b.s.
        My company is private. We make money. We don’t borrow. We pay our bills. We give out Christmas bonuses (this year was the first Christmas bonus in 4 years).
        Of course a 30 person company can’t be compared to a 300 person company.
        But this comment is what I took exception with… “no different than the private sector.”
        Again…I call b.s.

        Of course private business borrow money. Was only referring to mine.
        When people make open ended statements…or statements that appear all inclusive I take exception. That is really it. There are no cookie cutter responses.
        Private businesses aren’t all bad. It is okay to make money.
        Had we not made money this year I would not have given out the Christmas bonuses.
        If you guys don’t mind…I will leave you now as I have a street to occupy.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        No one said private businesses are all bad.

        Don’t speak in generalities. That’s what people do in Russia. (– Bart Simpson)

  3. thebigtim2012 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Location location location. While Cooperstown has significant historical implications its not exactly a destination city. I could never convince my wife to go up there, now if it was near south beach or some other tropical type locale that’s another story

    • indaburg - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      Compromise, compromise, compromise. It’s 4 hours from NYC. Call it a trip to NYC with a detour. Get her tickets to that Broadway thing she’s been wanting to see. Promise a shopping spree and a spa day. There are also some lovely, quaint, and romantic bed and breakfasts in Cooperstown and like raysfan mentioned, it is actually a beautiful area of NY state. Where there is a will, there’s a way.

    • jarathen - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      It is also the city where they will begin to brew Game of Thrones-themed beer. There are now TWO reasons to go to Cooperstown.

  4. raysfan1 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    The museum complex is quite large, and I expect the overhead is quite high, so a $2M deficit isn’t really that surprising. Also, to anyone who hasn’t been to the finger lakes region of NY, it is quite lovely and well worth a trip even without the Hall. However, if they do not do something to increase revenues–ie more visitors, then it will ultimately impact their efforts to preserve and restore historical artifacts of the game.

  5. shanabartels - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    I understand why the Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown (because baseball was invented in Hoboken, so like, Cooperstown it is), but I agree that the location itself can’t possibly be helping the draw. I’m from Central Jersey and it’s probably about a 4-hour drive to Cooperstown, but as much as I’d love to see the museum, it’s really hard to justify using up at least a full tank of gas on just that one stop. Cooperstown is not on the way to anything else, and nothing else is on the way to Cooperstown. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually, but it’s only even remotely convenient if you’re one of the three or so residents of the Oneonta area.

    • woodenulykteneau - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      “Cooperstown is not on the way to anything else”

      Well, except: Albany, Springfield, Worcester, and Boston headed towards MA; Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo heading west; Brattleboro, Claremont, and Burlington, heading towards VT/NH; Binghamton, Scranton, and Harrisburg heading towards PA.

  6. makeham98 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    The insurance they must have to carry is probably outrageous, a lot of the museum displays are loaned. And like above, the quaintness of Cooperstown does not make up for its remoteness.

    Tell the wife to go visit the farm museum, mine did.

  7. stex52 - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    I have no idea what their overall budget. But I see a picture of a big brick building with well-manicured lawns. An old building at that. Think heating, cooling, regular cleaning, (crowds of people are dirty) lawn maintenance, repairs, salt damage (it snows up there) advertising, property insurance, records keeping, exhibit maintenance and insurance (can you imagine the value lost if that place burned down?)
    and yes, administration. I could see the bill as rather substantial. If MLB likes the HOF so much as a marketing tool, they may end up having to partially subsidize it.

    • nukeladouche - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      I visited the HOF this summer and was mildly surprised that the cost of admission was pretty reasonable (IIRC, less than $50 for a family of 4, including 2 children). Maybe they should increase the admission price a tiny bit to make up some of that $2M. . . .

  8. natslady - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Never been to the HoF and don’t think I ever will But, I live in a city of museums, and I wonder how much the HoF has been brought up to date. Do they have interactive exhibits, quizzes for the little ones, etc. I brought my nephew to museums and he got really involved because he could press buttons and guess answers.

  9. bostonfreeparty - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    It is a lovely area and a great day trip for any baseball fan. Its remoteness isn’t the only issue, but it definitely plays a big role in it. Oneonta is the closest neighbor to Cooperstown and that’s a good 45 minutes away. Even worse is that the closest airports to the museum are each two hours away (Albany and Syracuse). It’s worth the long drive, but no matter where you’re from the trip will require hours on the road.

    MLB donates artifacts and some highlights for multimedia production but it’s largely unaffiliated with the museum. It’s probably better for both sides to join together. That way MLB can subsidize it since the sport is making tons in TV revenue.

    Keep in mind that the museum is open-year round, but the majority of their visitors comes during the summer. If they want to attract more visitors, the writers can no longer control all the votes. People come when their favorite players from their favorite team are inducted. Since the writers are too busy playing PED guessing games, it’s hard to see those players outside of a few receive the honors. Change the vote, give ACTIVE baseball writers/media some % of votes, and an appointed committee the rest. It’s not the perfect system, but it’s better than putting the responsibility solely up to the writers.

  10. hsven1887 - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    HOF is losing money, so they could do with some more sources of revenue, right?

    Make a vote-in TV show: America’s Got Talent meets Survivor meets HOF. Lots of publicity, lots of revenue, lots of interest in Baseball created. Everybody wins.

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