Contemporary Baseball Era Committee Player Candidates Announced
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum today announced the eight-player ballot that will be considered by its Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee for Hall of Fame election for the Class of 2023. The Contemporary Era Committee will meet on Dec. 4 at baseball’s Winter Meetings in San Diego, Calif.
Six batters and two pitchers comprise the eight-name Contemporary Baseball Era player ballot, which features candidates whose primary contribution to the game came since 1980.
The Contemporary Baseball Era player ballot includes Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling. All candidates are living.
The results of the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee vote will be announced live on MLB Network’s “MLB Tonight” at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 4.
Any candidate who receives votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the committee will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 23, 2023, along with any electees who emerge from the 2023 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on Jan. 24, 2023.
The Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee is one of three groups eligible for consideration as part of the Era Committee process, which provides an avenue for Hall of Fame consideration to managers, umpires and executives, as well as players retired for more than 15 seasons. The Contemporary Baseball Era features two distinct ballots: One for players (considered this fall) and one for managers, executives and umpires (considered in the fall of 2023).
Following the restructuring of the Era Committee process in the spring of 2022, the two Contemporary Baseball Era ballots were instituted, along with the Classic Baseball Era, which includes all candidates whose primary contribution to the game came prior to 1980. The Classic Baseball Era Committee will meet for the first time in the fall of 2024.
The eight Contemporary Baseball Era player finalists were selected by the BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee from all eligible candidates among players whose most significant career impact was realized since 1980. Eligible candidates include players who played in at least 10 major league seasons and have been retired for 15 or more seasons. All candidates must not be on Baseball’s Ineligible List.
The Contemporary Baseball Era player ballot was determined this fall by the Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran historians: Bob Elliott (Canadian Baseball Network); Jim Henneman (formerly Baltimore Sun); Steve Hirdt (Stats Perform); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); David O’Brien (The Athletic); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA); Jim Reeves (formerly Fort Worth Star-Telegram); Tracy Ringolsby (InsideTheSeams.com); Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle); Susan Slusser (San Francisco Chronicle); and Mark Whicker (Los Angeles News Group).
The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorates charged with the review of the Contemporary Baseball Era player ballot will be announced later this fall. The Committee will meet to discuss and review the candidacies of the eight finalists as part of baseball’s Winter Meetings on Dec. 4 in San Diego, Calif.
The eight candidates for Contemporary Baseball Era Committee consideration for the Class of 2023:
• Albert Belle played 12 seasons with the Indians, White Sox and Orioles before a hip injury cut short his career. A five-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger Award winner, Belle was three-time American League RBI champion who finished second or third in the league’s Most Valuable Player balloting in each season from 1994-96. He remains the only player in history to post a 50 home run/50 double season, having done so in 1995.
• Barry Bonds played 22 seasons with the Pirates and Giants, winning seven National League Most Valuable Player Awards and eight Gold Glove Awards in the outfield. MLB’s all-time home run leader with 762, Bonds set single-season records for home runs (73 in 2001) and walks (232 in 2004). He led the NL in on-base percentage 10 times and paced the league in batting average twice.
• Roger Clemens pitched 24 seasons for the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees and Astros, winning seven Cy Young Awards. Clemens was named the 1986 AL Most Valuable Player and earned All-Star Game berths in 11 seasons. A two-time World Series champion with the Yankees (1999-2000), Clemens led his league in earned-run average seven times and was a five-time 20-game winner.
• Don Mattingly played 14 big league seasons – all with the Yankees – and compiled a .307 batting average while earning six All-Star Game selections, nine Gold Glove Awards at first base and the 1985 American League Most Valuable Player Award. A three-time Silver Slugger Award winner and the 1984 AL batting champion, Mattingly has managed in the big leagues for 12 seasons and was named the 2020 National League Manager of the Year.
• Fred McGriff totaled 493 home runs over 19 seasons with the Blue Jays, Padres, Braves, Devil Rays, Cubs and Dodgers that included eight 100-RBI campaigns and six years where he finished in the Top 10 of his league’s MVP voting. The 1994 All-Star Game MVP and one of the leaders of the 1995 Braves team that won the World Series, McGriff led his league in homers twice while compiling a .377 career on-base percentage.
• Dale Murphy earned back-to-back NL Most Valuable Player Awards with the Braves in 1982-83 during a five-year stretch where he won five Gold Glove Awards in center field and four Silver Slugger Awards. A seven-time All-Star who played 18 seasons with the Braves, Phillies and Rockies, Murphy led the league in home runs twice, RBI twice and slugging percentage twice while posting a 30 homer/30 steal season in 1983.
• Rafael Palmeiro totaled 3,020 hits, 569 homers and 1,835 RBI over 20 big league seasons with the Cubs, Rangers and Orioles, earning four All-Star Game selections, three Gold Glove Awards at first base and two Silver Slugger Awards. He posted 10 seasons with at least 100 RBI and 10 seasons with at least 30 home runs while finishing his career with more walks (1,353) than strikeouts (1,348).
• Curt Schilling is one of only four retired pitchers with at least 3,000 strikeouts and fewer than 1,000 walks. Schilling was named the 2001 World Series co-MVP and owns an 11-2 mark with a 2.23 ERA in 19 career Postseason appearances. He won 216 regular season games over 20 seasons with the Orioles, Astros, Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox and was named to six All-Star Games.
More information on each candidate is available by visiting www.baseballhall.org/discover/contemporary-era-player-ballot-2023.
About the Era Committees
The Era Committees consist of three different electorates: The Contemporary Baseball Era, consisting of the period from 1980 to present day, and the Classic Baseball Era, consisting of the period prior to 1980 and including Negro Leagues and pre-Negro Leagues stars. The Contemporary Baseball Era is split into two separate ballots – one ballot to consider only players who made their greatest impact on the game since 1980, and another composite ballot consisting of managers, executives and umpires whose greatest contributions to the game have come since 1980.
Eras considered for yearly induction over the upcoming years are as follows: 2023 – Contemporary Baseball Player; 2024 – Contemporary Baseball Manager/Executive/Umpire; 2025 – Classic Baseball; 2026 – Contemporary Baseball Player; 2027 – Contemporary Baseball Manager/Executive/Umpire; 2028 – Classic Baseball.
Both the ballot and electorate are created anew with each cycle for consideration.