The voting procedures for the Baseball Hall of Fame are in desperate need of significant changes.
Let’s start with the absurd 10-player limit. The fact there’s even a limit to begin with is beyond basic comprehension. If there are 15 players a voter deems are Hall of Fame worthy, there’s no reason why that voter shouldn’t be able to check the boxes for those 15 players. Under the current system, a voter will have to sacrifice some names in order to ensure others have a place on their ballot.
The 10-years of eligibility rule is a positive step from the old 15-year rule, but it’s still nine years too many. Either a player is Hall of Fame worthy or they aren’t. It’s ridiculous to think that voters refuse to include certain players because they don’t deem that player “first ballot” worthy.
Every player should have one year on the ballot, and not a day more. The fact that a player isn’t Hall of Fame worthy one year and is another makes zero sense. For example, after hitting the most home runs ever for a catcher, Mike Piazza received 57.8 percent of the vote after his first year of eligibility in 2013. In 2016, Piazza received 83 percent of the vote, exceeding the 75 percent needed.
The statistics don’t change or get better, yet the longer you remain on the ballot under the current system, the more votes a player typically gets as the years go by. There’s no justification for that.
Here’s how the voting should go. After five years of retirement, a player gets one crack at the Hall of Fame and voters have the ability to vote for as many players they deem worthy of enshrinement.
If a player gets the required 75 percent, they’re in. If not, their Hall of Fame quest ends after one year. The Hall of Fame is meant to honor the greatest players the game has ever seen, and if you have to think twice about whether someone deserves to be in, they probably don’t deserve it.