Hall of Fame Restructures Era Committee, Frick Award Voting
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Board of Directors today announced the restructuring of its Era Committee elections along with changes to the Ford C. Frick Award balloting and election processes.
Changes Made to Era Committees
Effective immediately, the Board has made changes to the Era Committee system that provide 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 consolidation of eras into two timeframes – 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 will 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.
Each of these three Era Committees – the Contemporary Baseball Era player ballot, the Contemporary Baseball Era non-player ballot, and the Classic Baseball Era composite ballot – will rotate on an annual basis, with each ballot consisting of eight candidates.
Effective beginning in January 2023, eligible players must have been retired for 16 or more seasons, equal to a one-year waiting period following their final potential year of eligibility on the BBWAA ballot.
Eras considered for yearly election are as follows: December 2022 (for Class of 2023) – Contemporary Baseball/Players; December 2023 (for Class of 2024) – Contemporary Baseball/Managers-Umpires-Executives; December 2024 (for Class of 2025) – Classic Baseball. This cycle will repeat every three years, with Contemporary Baseball/Players eligible for consideration again in December 2025 for the Class of 2026.
Voting Procedures Modified for Ford C. Frick Award
A number of changes have also been made to the annual Ford C. Frick Award elections, presented annually to a preeminent baseball broadcaster since 1978. A ballot of 10 candidates will now be set, up from eight in the previous voting system. There will now be a requirement that at least one candidate be a foreign language broadcaster.
A new election cycle has been established, with a composite ballot featuring local and national voices in four consecutive years, followed by a fifth year featuring a ballot of candidates whose broadcasting careers concluded prior to the advent of the Wild Card Era in 1994. The new cycle will begin with the 2023 Frick Award, with composite ballots of local and national voices continuing with the Awards in 2024, 2025 and 2026 before the pre-Wild Card Era ballot is considered for the 2027 Award. The cycle then repeats every five years.
“At a meeting in Orlando earlier this week, the Board of Directors held comprehensive conversations about a number of topics core to the Hall of Fame’s mission,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “With these updates to the Era Committee process, we are upholding our commitment to the very high standard of excellence that has always been required for Hall of Fame election. Changes made to the prestigious Ford C. Frick Award selection process will ensure that one of our game’s most cherished and honored voices will be recognized each year in Cooperstown.”