On Monday, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced that the elections for the Golden Days Era and Early Era have been delayed to 2021 due to uncertainty involving COVID-19. The elections, which were scheduled for this winter will instead take place in the winter of 2021.
Each 16-person committee is responsible for considering 10 candidates. The Golden Days Era includes players whose primary contributions came between 1950 and 1969. Notable players prevously included on the Golden Days Era ballot are Dick Allen, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, and Jim Kaat. The Early Baseball Era includes players who played before 1950.
That the elections cannot be held remotely is a bit puzzling. In the announcement, Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, said “The Era Committee process... requires an open, yet confidential conversation and an in-person dialogue involving the members of the 16-person voting committee.”
The veterans committees also decided that Harold Baines deserved enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, so saying that these conversations require more depth and nuance than could possibly be conveyed over Zoom is a little laughable.
Normal Hall of Fame voting will still happen this winter, of course, as that is always done remotely. Ryan Thibodaux tweeted an unofficial ballot yesterday which includes newcomers Mark Buerhle, Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter, Barry Zito, and LaTroy Hawkins among others.
Here's a corrected version. My apologies to Mr. Abreu and his supporters for my overzealous cuting/pasting. pic.twitter.com/39lD0wbTDr— Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) August 24, 2020
My guess is there probably aren’t any first ballot candidates entering the Hall this year. Buerhle has the strongest case, but I imagine it will take him a few years. The players who received the most votes without getting in last year were Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens, and each of those three come with plenty of baggage. No one will be in their 10th and final year, so it wouldn’t surprise me if no one got voted in this winter.
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