Hall of Fame project FAQs

The Hall of Fame project I announced this week is going outstandingly. More than 60 people have said they’ll vote, and as I write these words on Friday evening, 12 people have already gone to the virtual polls including Josh Wilker of Cardboard Gods (the first person to vote– two hours after I sent out the ballot), David Pinto of Baseball Musings, and Mark Simon, a researcher for ESPN New York. I’m excited to see where this thing goes, and I invite anyone who’s interested to email me for a ballot. Anyone is eligible to participate. For more information, go here.

I wanted to take a minute and address some questions. A few people have voiced common themes, and I wanted to offer clarification for any like-minded individuals who haven’t spoken up. I think it’s better to deal with these things sooner rather than later.

Here are some FAQs:

I don’t believe there are 50 players who belong in the Hall of Fame. Can I vote for 12? Please vote for 50. This isn’t going to be a list of 50 players who deserve induction, simply the 50 best who aren’t enshrined. If we wind up with 25 players who have no business near Cooperstown, so be it. I actually think it makes for more interesting writing.

Can I vote for current players? No. Please only vote for anyone who hasn’t played past 2005. We’re going with the same five-year waiting period the Baseball Writers Association of America observes for its Hall of Fame voting. Feel free, though, to vote for anyone who’s played before then. There are many 19th century ballplayers and obscure greats on my 300-player super ballot.

You didn’t include (so-and-so) on the ballot. May I vote for him? Absolutely, write-ins are welcome. So far, it’s been pointed out I forgot Tony Taylor, J.R. Richard, and Vic Power, and some of the submitted ballots have included other write-ins. It makes sense. More than 17,000 men have played in the majors and about 300 are in Cooperstown. I almost certainly forgot several deserving players.

Do players need to have played a certain number of years to qualify? No. While Cooperstown generally requires players to have at least 10 years service time for induction, there are no such constraints here. Bo Jackson, eat your heart out.

When do you need this by? Right now, the deadline is December 1 at 9 p.m. PST, but I’m considering extending voting by one week for an awesome reason I can’t disclose yet. But trust me, if it comes through, our project will get even better. More to follow.

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