By Dan Schlossberg
Though most of the baseball headlines this fall will concern the progress of labor negotiations forced by the Dec. 1 expiration of the Basic Agreement between owners and players, the Baseball Hall of Fame promises to gets its share of attention too.
It will make four separate announcements concerning players and personalities who would join members of the Class of 2022 elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America [BBWAA] in January.
The Golden Days Era Committee and the Early Baseball Era Committee will consider candidates on separate 10-member ballots, while single winners of the Ford C. Frick Award for outstanding broadcasting and the BBWAA Career Excellence Award (formerly the J.G. Taylor Spink Award) for journalistic achievement will all be announced at the Baseball Winter Meetings in early December.
Golden Days candidates — including umpires, executives, and managers as well as players — must have made an impact from 1950-69, while the Early Baseball nominees must have been prominent before 1950. Negro Leagues players will be considered.
To win election, candidates must receive at least 12 votes from 16-member panels of journalists and historians. That 75 per cent of the vote is the same required for players when they are up for election.
The three finalists for the BBWAA Career Excellence awards are the late Marty Noble of Newsday, Baseball America founder Allan Simpson, and ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian.
This year’s Frick award will go to one of eight nominees in the “Broadcast Beginnings” category. One of them, former Cincinnati Reds radio announcer Waite Hoyt, is already in the Hall of Fame gallery as a pitcher for the New York Yankees.
Eras Committee ballots have yet to be determined.
A boomlet for former Brooklyn Dodgers star Gil Hodges, who qualifies as a Golden Days candidate, would hardly be a shocker — he’s been widely regarded as one of the most overlooked players in voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
All winners will be announced at Disney Swan & Dolphin Hotel, site of the winter meetings, and enshrined during 2022 Induction Weekend in Cooperstown on July 24.
Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ covers the game for forbes.com, USA TODAY Sports Weekly, Sports Collectors Digest, Ball Nine, Here’s The Pitch, and Latino Sports. E.mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.