About the Baseball Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame:

The National Baseball Hall of Fame, located in Cooperstown, NY, consists of 297 elected members. This 297 includes 207 former major league players, 27 executives, 35 Negro leaguers, 19 managers and nine umpires. The Baseball Writers' Association of America has elected 112 candidates to the HOF while the Committees on managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players have chosen 159 candidates. The now-defunct "Committee on Negro Baseball Leagues" selected nine men between 1971-77 and the Special Committee on Negro Leagues in 2006, elected 17 Negro Leaguers. There are currently 65 living members of the Hall of Fame.  By position, the HOF is comprised of: 72 pitchers, 32 executives, 24 shortstops, 24 right fielders, 23 center fielders, 21 left fielders, 21 first basemen, 20 second basemen, 20 managers, 16 catchers, 15 third basemen, and 9 umpires.

Basic Rules for Election:

  1. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) is authorized to hold an election every year for the purpose of electing members to the National Baseball Hall of Fame from the list of retired baseball players.
  2. Electors who are eligible to vote can only be active and honorary members of the BBWAA, who have been active baseball writers for at least ten years. They must have been active baseball writers and members of the BBWAA for at least ten years prior to the date of election in which they are voting.
  3. Eligible candidates must meet the following requirements:
    1. The baseball players must have been an active player of the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning 20 years before and ending five years prior to election.
    2. Player must have played in each of ten Major League seasons.
    3. Player has to have stopped being an active member of the Major Leagues at least five years prior to election. (They may be connected to baseball in other ways.)
    4. In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible shall be eligible in the next regular election held at least six months after the date of death or after the end of the five year period, whichever occurs first.
    5. Any player on baseball's ineligible list is not an eligible candidate for the Hall of Fame.
    6. Method of Election:
      1. The BBWAA Screening Committee will be appointed by the BBWAA. The Screening Committee will consist of six members, with two members being elected at each annual meeting for a three-year term. The Screening Committee duties include preparing a ballot listing eligible candidates in alphabetical order who 1. Received a vote on a minimum of 5% of the preceding election or 2. Are eligible for the first time and are nominated by any two of the six members of the Screening Committee.
      2. Electors may vote for as few as 0 candidates and as many as 10. Write in votes are not permitted.
      3. Any candidates receiving 75% of votes on ballots shall be elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
      4. Voting should be placed upon the player's record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contribution to the team(s) on which they played.
      5. No automatic elections based on outstanding performances are permitted.
      6. Authorized representatives of the BBWAA shall prepare, date, and mail ballots to each elector no later than the 15th of January in each year the election is held. The elector has 20 days to sign and return the completed ballot. The votes will be tabulated by the authorized reps of the BBWAA.
      7. The results of the election shall be certified by a representative of the BBWAA and an officer of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. The results will be sent to the Commissioner of Baseball and the BBWAA and National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. will jointly release the results of the vote for publication.
      8.  The Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. reserves the right to revoke, alter or amend these rules at any time.

Source: National Baseball Hall of Fame