The good news from the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s annnouncement about restructuring their Era Committees is that the new Classic Baseball Era Committee will meet every 3 years starting In December of 2024 (for the Class of 2025). This means that Doc Adams is now eligible to be considered for the Class of 2025. That’s great news. However, as if the compositon of the Historical Overview Committees that develop the ballots, a lack of appropriate attention focused on early pioneers of the game, and additional hurdles chronicled by others, aren’t enough, buried in the details of the restructuring announcement are aspects that will undoubtedly make it even more challenging for Doc to get elected.
- The Early Baseball Era Committee considered individuals whose primary contributions occurred prior to 1950. The new Classic Baseball Era Committee time covered will be expanded to include the period up to 1980. That represents an increased timeframe of about 30%. With the additional years of 1951-1979, the number of eligible candidates will be increased by an even greater percentage and unlike the Contemporary Baseball Era Committees, both players and non-players will be considered together.
- The size of the ballot will be reduced by 20% from 10 to 8.
- The maximum number of individuals each Committee member can vote for on their ballot will be reduced by 25% from 4 to 3.
Some quick, rough math (which therefore may be off a bit) seems to show, all things being equal, the odds be being elected by the Classic Baseball Era Committee will be about half of those for the former Early Baseball Era Committee..
So, although it is exciting that the cycle has changed for the better and Doc will only have to wait another 2+ years before he will be eligible to appear on the ballot, it seems that the mountain he needs to climb has grown.
So we will continue our efforts, count on the Committee to do its homework objectively and without bias and continue to hope that Doc will finally (sooner rather than later) receive his LONG, LONG overdue recognition as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.