MLB

Should the BBWAA Still Choose HOF Members?

24 Jul 2000:  A general view of the exterior of Doubleday Field, located next to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.Mandatory Credit: Ezra O. Shaw  /Allsport
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Benjamin upchurchContributor IIJanuary 6, 2010

People have always questioned the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) selections for the Hall of Fame. Do these writers truly deserve to choose who is inducted into Cooperstown?

 

In the 1930s the BBWAA was very different. Reporters traveled with teams on buses and trains, they attended at least 140 to 150 games a year, and they spent years watching games from press boxes behind home plate.

 

They had watched every player on the ballot game after game, year after year.  They were the perfect choice.

 

I'm sure today's reporters go to every home game as well as some occasional away games, but it's doubtful they attend half the away games.  If you've rarely been to a stadium, could you really judge how the environment affects a players career?

 

The presentation in articles has changed as well from then to now. Back then, recaps and interviews had a first-hand feel. Today it feels like they watched five to six minutes of highlights and then copy and pasted together an article.

 

It's not a closed ballot system either. Before the results are even released you can view the choices made by many reporters on ESPN.com or SI.com. Sadly, their reasons normally call more into question their expertise. It feels like the majority of professional writers today do not understand the different stats.

 

There is an alternative to the BBWAA. Major league scouts could provide what the BBWAA is no longer able to.

 

Their job is to provide unbiased and correct assessments of a player's skills. They are constantly going to games and they understand well the different playing conditions you can find across the country. They are true observers of the game.

 

So why does Cooperstown not switch to a group with better qualifications?


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