Class of 2011 inductees already planning to return next year; Class of 2012 will take shape this fall
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – The question caught Bert Blyleven off guard, but the answer was never in doubt.
Before he even left Cooperstown following his induction to the Hall of Fame, Blyleven was already planning his return trip for Hall of Fame Weekend 2012.
"Somebody asked me if I was coming back next year. Do I even need to answer?" Blyleven said. "I'm coming back every year! It has been a fantastic experience."
Blyleven's sentiments were echoed by fellow Class of 2011 inductees Roberto Alomar and Pat Gillick, who are already excited about returning to Cooperstown as seasoned veterans. The 2012 Hall of Fame Weekend will be held July 20-23 of next year, with the Induction Ceremony scheduled for July 22.
The Class of 2012 will take shape this December, when the Golden Era Committee meets at Baseball's Winter Meetings in Dallas on Dec. 5-8. The Golden Era Committee will consider managers, umpires, executives and players retired for more than 21 seasons whose contributions came between 1947 and 1972.
The final ballot of 10 players will be constructed by the Baseball Writers' Association of America's Historical Overview Committee and released this fall.
The 16-person Golden Era Committee will also be named in the fall.
Any candidate who receives at least 75 percent of the vote (12 votes) will be elected to the Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2012. A list of rules for the Golden Era Committee election is located here.
Also during the fall, the BBWAA will announce the members of the 2012 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot. Fourteen candidates from the 2011 BBWAA ballot will return to this year's ballot after receiving at least five percent of the vote (among those not elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011) a year ago.
The 14 candidates who will return to the 2012 BBWAA ballot are: Barry Larkin (who received 62.1 percent of the BBWAA vote in 2011, the most of any player who was not elected); Jack Morris (53.5%); Lee Smith (45.3%); Jeff Bagwell (41.7%), Tim Raines (37.5%); Edgar Martinez (32.9%); Alan Trammell (24.3%); Larry Walker (20.3%); Mark McGwire (19.8%); Fred McGriff (17.9%); Don Mattingly (13.6%); Dale Murphy (12.6%); Rafael Palmeiro (11.0%); and Juan Gonzalez (5.2%).
Candidates who are eligible to debut on the BBWAA ballot this fall include Javy Lopez, Tim Salmon, Ruben Sierra and Bernie Williams. A list of more players who are eligible for the BBWAA ballot for the first time this year is located here.
Results of the 2012 BBWAA Hall of Fame election will be announced Jan. 9. Any candidate who receives at least 75 percent of the BBWAA vote will be elected to the Hall of Fame, joining any Golden Era Committee electees as the Class of 2012.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum