A Robust Expansion Era Ballot Could Lead To Economic Bliss For Cooperstown


(from Forbes Magazine, November 6, 2013) The National Baseball Hall of Fame located in Cooperstown, New York, recently presented the 12 finalists who will possibly become the next Hall of Fame inductees.  The ballot is known as the Expansion Era ballot, and it will be discussed and voted upon by the Hall of Fame’s 16 member electorate.  Many of the finalists have large fan bases and a rich history in Major League Baseball.  It would be ideal if these new inductees could help draw a higher attendance to Cooperstown and overcome the recent lack of interest in Cooperstown museums.

Due to the fact that all 12 individuals on the ballot are highly worthy, it will be a difficult process to determine which five are selected.  Two of the candidates, Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner, have been on the ballot before but didn’t collect enough votes.  Maybe this will be the year they are recognized for their fearlessness when challenging the “status quo” and the way they changed baseball for future generations.  Although they sometimes created controversy, both men are thought of as pioneers in the game of baseball.

Three other names on the ballot are Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox, and Joe Torre, each of whom won over 2,000 games during their managerial careers.  Only ten managers in the history of Major League Baseball have won over 2,000 games; the other seven are already Hall of Famers.

This year is especially significant and exciting because the newly aligned electorate more fairly represents the baseball industry as a whole.  Of these voters, eight are Hall of Fame members themselves.  The other eight are represented by four team executives and four historians from the fields of journalism and statistics.  Baseball fans and those in the industry are hopeful that, “Personal feelings and old grudges can be put aside in the process and that all of the candidates can be judged solely on their accomplishments and contributions” during this year’s election process.