Hall of Fame Makes Series of Announcements
Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith Elected to Board of Directors; Era Committees Restructured; Voting Procedures Modified for Ford C. Frick Award
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Board of Directors today announced that Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith has been named to the Board, along with the restructuring of the Era Committee’s elections, and changes to the Ford C. Frick Award balloting and election processes.
Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith Named to Board of Directors
Ozzie Smith becomes the 16th member of the current Board of Directors. The others are Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark, Vice Chairman Joe Morgan, Treasurer Kevin Moore, Paul Beeston, Bill DeWitt, Bill Gladstone, David Glass, Rob Manfred, Phil Niekro, Jerry Reinsdorf, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Harvey Schiller, Ed Stack and Thomas Tull. Complete bios on board members can be found at www.baseballhall.org/museum/board-of-directors.
“We are so happy to welcome Ozzie Smith to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Board of Directors,” said Clark. “From the moment he was inducted in Cooperstown in 2002, Ozzie has actively engaged in the Museum’s initiatives. His commitment to the Hall of Fame is very strong. As the institution’s first Education Ambassador, he has lent his support and participation annually to the Hall of Fame Classic and his own PLAY Ball program, which have both educated countless fans about our National Pastime and also brought them closer to the Hall of Fame’s mission of preserving history, honoring excellence, and connecting generations.”
“I take what the Hall of Fame does seriously, and I am honored to join its Board,” said Smith.
On Friday, Smith hosted the 15th annual PLAY Ball with Ozzie Smith event to start Hall of Fame Weekend. This program has raised nearly $200,000 to support the Hall of Fame’s educational programs and Ozzie Smith Diversity Scholarships for the Museum’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Development since its inception at Hall of Fame Weekend 2002.
A native of Mobile, Ala., Smith was named to 15 All-Star teams during his 19-year Major League career with the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals. His 13 Gold Glove Awards are the most ever for a shortstop.
Changes Made to Era Committees
Effective immediately, the Board has made changes to the Era Committee system, which provides an avenue for Hall of Fame consideration to managers, umpires and executives, as well as players retired for more than 15 seasons.
Highlighting these changes is a restructuring of the timeframes to be considered, with a much greater emphasis on modern eras. Additionally, those major league players, managers, umpires and executives who excelled before 1950, as well Negro Leagues stars, will still have an opportunity to have their careers reviewed, but with less frequency.
Electorates: 16 member committees
Election Eras: Pre-Integration Era (1871-1946), Golden Era (1947-1972), Expansion Era (1973-2016)
Ballot Size: Pre-Integration Era (10/managers, umps, execs), Golden Era (10/managers, umps, execs), Expansion Era (12/managers, umps, execs)
Waiting Period after Falling off BBWAA ballot: One year
Frequency: Pre-Integration Era (once every 3 years), Golden Era (once every 3 years), Expansion Era (once every 3 years)
Electorates: 16 member committees
Election Eras: Golden Days (1950-1969), Modern Baseball (1970-1987), Today’s Game (1988-2016), Early Baseball (1871-1949)
Ballot Size: Golden Days (10/players, managers, umps, execs), Modern Baseball (10/players, managers, umps, execs), Today’s Game (10/players, managers, umps, execs), Early Baseball (10/players, managers, umps, execs) Negro Leagues (players, managers, umps, execs)
Waiting Period after Falling off BBWAA ballot: No wait
Frequency: Today’s Game (twice every 5 years), Modern Baseball (twice every 5 years), Golden Days (once every 5 years), Early Baseball (once every 10 years)
Eras considered for yearly election are as follows: 2016 – Today’s Game; 2017 – Modern Baseball; 2018 – Today’s Game; 2019 – Modern Baseball; 2020 – Both Golden Days and Early Baseball; 2021 – Today’s Game; 2022 – Modern Baseball; 2023 – Today’s Game; 2024 – Modern Baseball; 2025 – Golden Days. The Early Baseball era returns to the ballot in 2030.
“Notably, there are twice as many players in the Hall of Fame who debuted before 1950 as compared to afterward, and yet there are nearly double the eligible candidates after 1950 than prior,” said Clark. “Those who served the game long ago and have been evaluated many times on past ballots will now be reviewed less frequently.”
Additionally, the Board has modified the criteria for which active executives can be considered for enshrinement. All active executives age 70 or older may now have their careers reviewed as part of the Era Committee balloting process, regardless of the position they hold in an organization, and regardless of whether their body of work has been completed.
Previously, active executives 65 years or older were eligible for consideration.
Voting Procedures Modified for Ford C. Frick Award
Various changes have also been made to the annual Ford C. Frick Award elections, presented annually to a preeminent baseball broadcaster since 1978. New criteria for selection is as follows: “Commitment to excellence, quality of broadcasting abilities, reverence within the game, popularity with fans, and recognition by peers.”
Additionally, a ballot of eight candidates will now be set, down from 10 in years past. The three ballot slots previously determined by fan voting on Facebook will now be filled by a committee of historians.
A new election cycle has been established, rotating annually between Current Major League Markets (team-specific announcers) with the 2017 Frick Award; National Voices (broadcasters whose contributions were realized on a national level) with the 2018 Frick Award; and Broadcasting Beginnings (early team voices and pioneers of baseball broadcasting) with the 2019 Frick Award. This cycle will repeat every three years.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an independent not-for-profit educational institution, dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of baseball and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our National Pastime. Opening its doors for the first time on June 12, 1939, the Hall of Fame has stood as the definitive repository of the game’s treasures and as a symbol of the most profound individual honor bestowed on an athlete. It is every fan’s "Field of Dreams," with its stories, legends and magic shared from generation to generation.