2019 Hall of Fame Election
The results of the 2019 Hall of Fame Election are to be announced in January 2019. Before that, the Veterans Committee voted on nominees from the "Today's Game" era of baseball (1998-present). The results were announced during the annual Winter Meetings on December 9, 2018, resulting in the election of Lee Smith and Harold Baines.
Eligible members of the Baseball Writers Association of America will vote on a ballot comprising holdover candidates from the 2018 Hall of Fame Election and players who played their last major league game in 2013, for a total of 35 names. The composition of the ballot was announced on November 19, 2018.
See Category:Eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2019 for a list of the players on the ballot.
The Veterans Committee, consisting of 16 members, voted on players and officials from the "Today's Game" era (from 1988 to the present). The ballot consisted of ten candidates: Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Joe Carter, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel, Lou Piniella, Lee Smith and George Steinbrenner. Baines, Belle, Carter, Clark, Hershiser and Smith were nominated as players; Johnson, Manuel and Piniella as managers and Steinbrenner as an executive.
The results of the vote were announced at the winter meeting in Las Vegas, NV on December 9th. Smith was elected unanimously, being picked by all 16 voters. He was joined by Baines, who was selected on 12 of the 16 ballots. Piniella missed election by only one vote, finishing with 11. All other received fewer than 5 votes and their exact total was not revealed, as is the committee's practice. While Smith's election was widely anticipated, that of Baines came as a surprise, given he had done rather poorly in the BBWAA voting, topping out at 6.1%. There was some speculation that the presence on the committee of Jerry Reinsdorf, Chicago White Sox owner who had previously said that Baines was his favorite player, may have had particular influence on the voting.
The committee was composed of the following 16 members: Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Pat Gillick, Tony LaRussa, Greg Maddux, Joe Morgan, John Schuerholz, Ozzie Smith and Joe Torre; major-league executives Al Avila, Paul Beeston, Andy MacPhail and Reinsdorf; and veteran media members/historians Steve Hirdt, Tim Kurkjian and Claire Smith.
The winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious service in baseball reporting was Jayson Stark, who made his reputation as a writer for ESPN. The winner of the Ford Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting was Al Helfer, who was honored posthumously.
- Richard Justice: "Mariano, Doc among '19 Hall ballot newcomers: All-time saves leader a lock for enshrinement; late pitching ace has strong case", mlb.com, January 24, 2018. 
- Richard Justice: "Lee Smith, Baines earn election to Hall of Fame: Premier closer (478 saves), six-time All-Star (2,866 hits) get call via Today's Game ballot", mlb.com, December 9, 2018. 
- Matt Kelly: "See who's new on the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot", mlb.com, November 19, 2018. 
- Daniel Kramer: "10 named to Today's Game Era ballot for Hall", mlb.com, November 5, 2018. 
- Bob Nightengale: "Baseball's Hall of Fame opens its doors to DH's, closers for the future", USA Today, December 9, 2018. 
- Noah Trister (Associated Press): "Rivera, Halladay set to headline 2019 Hall of Fame ballot", USA Today Sports, January 25, 2018. 
- Jesse Yomtov: "2019 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot: Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay among top newcomers", USA Today, November 19, 2018.