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Baseball Hall of Fame narrows eligibility window

Baseball Hall Of Fame Narrows Eligibility Window

As if getting into baseball's Hall of Fame wasn't hard enough already - players now have only 10 years to be considered for the honor rather than 15.

Along with the decreased eligibility time, the Hall of Fame says voters will now be required to register and sign a code of conduct. In a display of transparency, who's voting will also be made public.

More likely than not, the code of conduct for voters is likely a result of a Hall of Fame controversy last year. That's when ESPN's Dan LeBetard handed his ballot over to Deadspin, essentially breaking an unwritten rule of secrecy among voters.

Voting takes place very year. The Baseball Writers Association of America along with three committees of the sport's veterans all cast ballots for former coaches and players.

So, why make the change now? National Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson explains.

From MLB: "It's become clearly evident ... that after 10 years the likelihood of election is incredibly minimal. So that the idea of making it more relevant was attractive to the board."

While that's all the Hall of Fame would officially say on the matter, the decision has some questioning if the change wasn't made for another, more cynical reason.

​Jon Morosi of FOX Sports notes that "Hall of Fame voting changes, just announced today, will make it even harder for Steroid Era candidates to earn election."

The "steroid era" Morosi refers to is the period of MLB history stretching roughly between the late 80s and late 2000s, during which numerous players are believed to have used steroids to enhance their performance.

Affected by the narrowed eligibility window at the Hall are star athletes like Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire - the last of which will have only two years left to enter the Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame denied the idea that they lowered the ballot time to keep out these stars, but that hasn't stopped sites from speculating.

A writer at the San Jose Mercury News notes that even with the denial, "several members of the Baseball Writers Association of America said that the practical effect is that there will be no more toeing the line when it comes to the controversial candidacy of players."

Bleacher Report says either way, the change makes practical sense: "There's no need for a retired player who has been sitting on the couch five years to wait potentially 20 years after playing his last game to make it to the Hall of Fame."

The changes are the first to be made since 1991 and only the second time Hall of Fame rules have been altered since 1985.

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eric July 26 2014 at 10:11 PM

Locking out the steroid users from the HOF was the first thing that came to mind. I've always thought these were bogus records. This is better than putting an asterisk after their names.

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1 reply
trebob711 eric July 27 2014 at 4:44 PM

I agree....look at that monkey berry bonds...was a nice looking young man with above average ability and a year or two later his head size doubled.....whew....wonder what crap he was shooting? All of a sudden he ws hitting the ball twiceas far as he ever did......JUNKIES Hall of Fame for berry.

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gdmn2find July 26 2014 at 9:43 PM

Hmm as much as no one wants to admit it, you will never get me to believe that coaches, managers, trainers, owners and league officials had NO CLUE that players were using steroids. THAT is what I find to be BS. More so than players were using. Keep in mind, that before those players started using steroids, MLB was in a major slump with attendance. It was after that last baseball strike, and I don't mean a pitch. Hardly anyone was going to games because they were pissed that the players and owners couldn't come to an agreement. Once they did, hardly any showed. So what happens? McGuire, Bonds Sosa get in a home run hitting contest during the season, Aaron's home run record is now threatened and fans are filling the stands in the hopes of seeing another record broken. No way McGuire and Bonds came from the stick figure players they started out as to become the massive homerun hitters they ended up as that season without using some kind of medical assistance. and Managers were clueless?

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10 replies
petpetdon July 26 2014 at 11:09 PM

Sports writers should be the ones electing players into the Hall Of Fame. It should be done by the players, the people that actually know and have played baseball. It like the fans voting for the All Stars. It is a popularity contest and deserving players don't always make it.

Babe Ruth, Roger Maris and Hank Aaron will ALWAYS be the home run champs in my mind.

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7 replies
Frank July 27 2014 at 3:11 AM

If you were found guilty for the use of PED's you don't belong in the Hall of Fame

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3 replies
kyoung1501 July 26 2014 at 11:28 PM

The fact that Bonds, McGwire, et al, are even considered for induction amazes me. And real players of the same era, like Alan Trammell, barely get a nod.

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BUZO JOE July 26 2014 at 11:27 PM

Steroids are irrelevant; for every superstar who used them, a hundred more ball players 'juiced' but never skyrocketed to the top. You can't inject talent. I wish sports fanatics would come back to reality and accept this controversy as a crock of ....

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5 replies
tuxnbud July 27 2014 at 8:18 AM

when Clemens threw the broken bat AT Mike P in the world series, that showed what kind of first class douche bag this guy is ( he then claimed he thought he was throwing the ball -as if that would be OK)

he should never even be considered- never mind get in... ever

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1 reply
PAT tuxnbud July 27 2014 at 3:12 PM


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Peter July 26 2014 at 11:32 PM

i will never go to the hall of fame again nor will my kids,and my friends i hope support my reasons ,some of the best players of all time, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire -are denid for the rules that where made for todays players, what ever they did was not aganist the rules until most where no longer playing, babe ruth drank played drunk during the fortys and fiftys,players would chew on coco leaves not always for pain and chewing tobacco a lot of times was spiked with pain meds why do we puinsh for what was not illegal,Mark McGwire could have played one more year and walked with ten million ,but he new he could not play at that level as the pro he was he walked away and retired like a man

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10 replies
Joan July 27 2014 at 5:09 AM

When money and fame trump integrity, no more needs to be debated.

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richardpdick July 26 2014 at 11:18 PM

I have been to the Hall, one question, Pete Rose is not allowed in but 80% of the artifacts I seen belong to him? hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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1 reply
salmo60 richardpdick July 27 2014 at 7:56 AM

Enough with the Pete Rose isn't in the BHOF. Rose bet on baseball. Rose signed an agreement (August 24, 1989) with then Commissioner Bart Giamatti to accept a permanent ban from baseball. That ban ended his chance to possibly get elected to the HOF. Nothing in that signed agreement allowed for Rose to be reinstated into baseball.
Pete Rose has spent the last 25 years whining about not being in the HOF. He willingly signed his banishment, so man up and take your punishment.

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