Every year about this time, the BBWAA announces the ballot for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Almost immediately, the deluge of articles begins, analyzing individual player's chances, entire position's worthiness, comparing similar players with differently perceived odds of induction, and current player's chances.
Unfortunately, with all the debate over players comes outrage and discussion about the process. It may be one of the most multifaceted issues we see in baseball. There's the issue of writers who do not regularly cover baseball anymore still retaining a vote. Then you have individuals questioning how much advanced statistics should influence a player's candidacy. Further, there's the annoying 10-player maximum that one can have on a ballot. And of course, there is the ever-present steroid issue. New this year is the lower 10-year maximum stay on the ballot, down from the previous max of 15 years.
Often, we as individuals talk about how we would vote if we were given the chance. Well, we now give you our readers a chance to express your opinion. While it will not count for the actual BBWAA vote, we here at Beyond the Box Score have put together the Hall of Fame ballot and linked it below. There, you will have the opportunity to vote for your Hall of Fame class, as well as the chance to express your opinions on a few related Hall of Fame issues. Only your ballot is required, the later questions are not.
The ballot will be open until the New Year (January 1, 2015 at 12:01 AM), after which the results of your votes and answers will be tallied and analyzed. The announcement of the reader vote and Beyond the Box Score writer vote will occur shortly prior to the BBWAA announcment on January 8, 2015.
In order to give you a set of resources to make decisions about the players on the ballot, we have links to Baseball Reference and FanGraphs. We look forward to seeing your choices, and please keep any debate on the subjects of voting civil.