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Hall of Fame
From BR Bullpen
The full name of the Hall of Fame is the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It is located in Cooperstown, New York. The Hall was dedicated in 1939. It is one of the oldest Halls of Fame in the country.
Currently, The Hall of Fame is made up of the museum, where notable baseball memorabilia is on display, the actual Hall of Fame, where plaques of inductees are displayed, and a library.
The Hall is open daily 9 AM to 9 PM in the summer and 9 AM to 5 PM in the off-season. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.
In addition, to inducting players, managers, pioneers, and executives into the Hall of Fame. The Hall also awards the J.G. Taylor Spink Award to newspaper writers and the Ford Frick Award to broadcasters. Winners of these awards are not technically Hall of Famers, but they are recognized as having reached the pinnacle of their profession.
 Rules For Election
There are two avenues to election to the Hall of Fame for players.
 Election by the writers
A player is eligible for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame if satisfies the following criteria:
- The player must have competed in ten seasons. A single game counts as a "season" in the eyes of the Hall.
- The player has been retired for at least five seasons. If a player comes back and plays in the major leagues, the clock restarts. The easiest way to figure out the rule is to add six to the last season the player was active. Therefore, players eligible in 2007 played their last game in 2001.
- A screening committee must approve the player's worthiness. Most players are given a token appearance on the ballot if they meet the ten year rule and they were a regular player for most of that time.
- The player may not be on the ineligible list (banned from baseball).
- If a player dies within the five year span, he is eligible six months after his death provided he meets the above criteria. If an active player dies, he is eligible six months after his death.
- To remain on the ballot, the player must receive at least five percent of the votes for any given year. If a player fails to receive 5%. He falls off the ballot until 21 years after his retirement (see below).
- A player is considered elected if he receives at least 75% of all ballots cast in an election.
 The electors
- Any member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) who has been an active member for ten years is eligible to vote.
- The BBWAA is limited to writers for newspapers. Internet journalists, scholars, and television and radio personalities are not eligible to become BBWAA members and are ineligible to vote.
 Changes in The Voting Process
The requirements to make the ballot for the Hall of Fame have changed throughout the years. In the original 1936 Hall of Fame Election all players, including active players, were eligible for selection. From 1937 through 1945 Hall of Fame Election there was no waiting period, but writers were discouraged from voting for active players, though some still did. In 1946 the BBWAA started a one year waiting period. This would last until the 1954 Hall of Fame Election. The 1955 Hall of Fame Election was the first to use the current five year waiting period.
Rule changes also happened on the other end of the spectrum: how long a player could stay on the ballot. From 1946- 56, the rule was that a player must have been active at some point in the 25 years prior to the election – it was increased to 30 years from 1956-62, and has been 20 since then.
The Veterans Committee has taken on many forms over the course of the last half century. The current construction was established in 2002. All living members of the Hall of Fame, along with living Frick Award and Spink Award winners are eligible voters on the Veterans Committee. They vote in even number years for players and every four years for the "composite ballot".
- All players who competed in 10 seasons at least 21 years before the election and all Negro League players with ten years of total service are eligible for election.
- Members are urged to consider the entire career of the player. For example, Joe Torre will be considered for his 18 years as a player and his career as a manager.
- Managers, umpires, executives, and other personnel are elected every four years on the "composite ballot".
- When a candidate turns 65, he is eligible six months after retirement. This applies to managers, umpires and executives.
- Anyone receiving at least 75% of the vote is considered elected.
 Special Committees
Throughout history, the Commissioner has appointed several special committees for another look at certain groups of players. The Hall has also issued special mandates and modified the rules for certain groups of players. For example, in the late 1990s, the old Veterans Committee was to elect one Negro League player and one 19th century player each year.
 Further Reading
- Thomas Boswell: "The Fourth Dimension: Baseball and Memory", in Why Time Begins on Opening Day, Penguin Books, New York, NY, 1984, pp. 247-262.
- David L. Fleitz: Ghosts in the Gallery at Cooperstown: Sixteen Little-Known Members of the Hall of Fame, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2004.
- David L. Fleitz: More Ghosts in the Gallery: Another Sixteen Little-Known Greats at Cooperstown, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2007.
- Bill James: Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?, Fireside Books, New York, NY, 1994 (also known as The Politics of Glory)
- Zachary Jendro: "Baseball on Exhibit: Museums in the SABR Era", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 40, Number 2 (Fall 2011), pp. 79-83.
- Ron Keurajian: Baseball Hall of Fame Autographs: A Reference Guide, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2012. ISBN 978-0-7864-7050-1
- John McConnell: Cooperstown by the Numbers: An Analysis of Baseball Hall of Fame Elections, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2010.
- Jim Reisler: A Great Day in Cooperstown: The Miraculous and Unlikely Beginning of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York, NY, 2006.
- John C. Skipper: A Biographical Dictionary of the Baseball Hall of Fame, 2nd edition, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2008.
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