Skip to content

Maximum stay on Hall of Fame ballot changed from 15 to 10 years

Jul 26, 2014, 10:32 AM EST

hall of fame

Big news coming out of Cooperstown this morning, as the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced their first changes to the voting process since 1991. The most significant change is that recently-retired players will only be able to stay on the ballot for 10 years as opposed to the current 15.

Three candidates in years 10-15 will be grandfathered into this system and remain eligible for the full 15 years. That group includes Don Mattingly (his 15th and final year on the ballot will be in 2015), Alan Trammell (14th year in 2015), and Lee Smith (13th year in 2015).

This change is clearly aimed at breaking up the current log jam on the ballot, but it indirectly gives players from the steroid era a much tougher time of making it into the Hall of Fame. Or at least kicks the can down the road for the veteran’s committee to figure out. One alternative to breaking up the log jam would be to allow more than 10 players to be named on a ballot, but that doesn’t appear to be a consideration at this time.

Other changes of note:

- Hall of Fame eligible voters will now be required to complete a registration form and sign a code of conduct. Consider this a response to Dan Le Batard, who turned his ballot over to Deadspin readers this year.

- The names of BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) voters will be made public with the election results, but individual ballot results will not be released by the Hall of Fame. Here’s hoping the BBWAA takes the next step.

Here’s part of a press release from the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

“The Board is committed to keeping the policies and voting procedures of the Hall of Fame relevant,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the Board of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “We believe the BBWAA has done an excellent job of honoring the criteria advanced by the Hall of Fame – player’s record, contributions to the teams on which the player played, character, sportsmanship and integrity – to determine individuals who belong in the Hall of Fame by the highest threshold, a 75 percent majority. The Board believes these changes are necessary to ensure the integrity of the voting process moving forward.”

Before you start blaming the BBWAA for today’s changes, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that the BBWAA did not have any input in the process:

Latest Posts
  1. Dodgers release Brian Wilson

    Dec 19, 2014, 9:31 PM EST

    Brian Wilson Getty Getty Images

    Brian Wilson and his beard are back on the free agent market after the Dodgers released him on Friday.

  2. Red Sox sign Craig Breslow to $2 million deal

    Dec 19, 2014, 9:20 PM EST

    Craig Breslow Getty Getty Images

    The Red Sox have brought back lefty Craig Breslow on a one-year deal for $2 million.

  3. Wil Myers could play center field for the Padres

    Dec 19, 2014, 8:15 PM EST

    wil myers getty Getty Images

    The Padres’ outfield should hit a lot of homers in 2015, but they may give back a lot of those runs on defense.

  4. Orioles hire hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh

    Dec 19, 2014, 7:10 PM EST

    orioles logo

    The Orioles have settled on a new hitting coach: Scott Coolbaugh.

  5. Giants acquire Casey McGehee from the Marlins

    Dec 19, 2014, 6:05 PM EST

    casey mcgehee getty Getty Images

    The Giants are looking to solve their third base dilemma with Casey McGehee.

  6. Report: David Ross to sign with the Cubs

    Dec 19, 2014, 5:18 PM EST

    David Ross Getty Images

    Jon Lester now has a personal catcher.

  7. More from the underbelly of the A-Rod Conspiracy Industrial Complex

    Dec 19, 2014, 4:47 PM EST

    Alex Rodriguez Getty Getty Images

    All baseball moves the Yankees make must be construed as pro-A-Rod or anti-A-Rod. There are literally no other reasons the Yankees make baseball moves.

  8. Baseball will lobby to have Congress exempt minor leaguers from the Fair Labor Standards Act

    Dec 19, 2014, 3:25 PM EST

    Minor League baseball

    Minor League Baseball’s top lobbyist wants minor leaguers classified as if they were babysitters and seasonal farm workers.

  9. A’s release Nick Punto, eat $2.75 million

    Dec 19, 2014, 3:10 PM EST

    Nick Punto AP

    He’s owed $2.75 million for 2015.

  10. If you ever wanted to make “Darryl Strawberry money” now you can. Quite literally.

    Dec 19, 2014, 2:30 PM EST

    New York Mets Getty Images

    It’s complicated. But you can bid on his deferred compensation, payable by the Mets.

  11. Pirates sign Corey Hart

    Dec 19, 2014, 2:14 PM EST

    Corey Hart Getty Getty Images

    Hart was one of the best right-handed power hitters in baseball for the Brewers from 2010-2012.

  12. The Padres have given their fans something to talk about. Which is badly needed in San Diego.

    Dec 19, 2014, 1:30 PM EST

    A.J. Preller AP

    The Padres have made a flurry of moves in the past few days. It may help them win some more baseball games. But it will undeniably fire up a fan base that has had nothing to get excited about for years.

  13. Phillies “kicking the tires” on Rafael Furcal

    Dec 19, 2014, 1:13 PM EST

    Rafael Furcal Rafael Furcal

    Furcal is actually a year older than Jimmy Rollins at 37 and hasn’t been healthy since 2012

  14. Bud Selig to be named “Commissioner Emeritus”

    Dec 19, 2014, 1:00 PM EST

    Bud Selig AP

    Bud is still going to be CCd on all the imporant emails, it seems.

  15. Done deal: Phillies trade Jimmy Rollins to Dodgers

    Dec 19, 2014, 12:12 PM EST

    Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

    Rollins waived his no-trade rights to facilitate a move after 15 seasons in Philadelphia.

  16. So, Cole Hamels is next for the Padres, right?

    Dec 19, 2014, 11:31 AM EST

    Cole+Hamels+Atlanta+Braves+v+Philadelphia+64GYsPWwfRzl Getty Images

    File this under “wild speculation” but it makes all kinds of sense.

  17. Rocco Baldelli is the Rays’ new first base coach

    Dec 19, 2014, 11:14 AM EST

    Rocco Baldelli AP

    Baldelli, who’s still just 33 years old, joins 37-year-old rookie manager Kevin Cash’s coaching staff.

Featured video

Cubs shore up rotation with Jon Lester
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. W. Myers (4317)
  2. M. Kemp (3781)
  3. M. Cabrera (3425)
  4. M. Morse (2630)
  5. J. Upton (2560)
  1. J. Kang (2403)
  2. J. Lester (2366)
  3. C. Headley (2260)
  4. A. Rios (2070)
  5. M. Scherzer (1946)