Cover image of Building the Ballot: The Baseball Hall of Fame’s Era Committees

Building the Ballot: The Baseball Hall of Fame’s Era Committees

Hosted by Adam Darowski of Baseball Reference, Building the Ballot covers takes a deep dive into candidates for the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Era Committees. The Era Committee process replaced the old Veterans Committee process for the 2011 election. This podcast covers the Early Baseball Era (pre-1950), the Golden Days Era (1950–1969), the Modern Baseball Era (1970–1987), and the Today’s Game Era (since 1988). There is also a deeper focus on the Negro Leagues as it is a shame that Black baseball candidates from the segregated era are not scheduled to be evaluated again until 2032.

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S3E1: Contemporary Era Non-Players and Rule B Candidates with Cooperstown Dave

Today we welcome David Metter, aka Cooperstown Dave, to the show. David is a Baseball Hall of Fame enthusiast and previously ran the Vlad4HOF Twitter account. He has since pivoted the account (due to Vlad’s successful induction) to a general Hall of Fame account. He has recently been tweeting about non-player candidates and “Rule B” candidates (“Those whose careers entailed involvement in multiple categories”). Non-players are not my expertise, and since the upcoming ballot is all about non-players it seemed like a great reason to get Dave on the show. We discuss the current Hall of Fame landscape for managers, umpires, executives, and pioneers as well as the top candidates for this upcoming ballot. Follow Dave on Twitter at @CooperstownDave.

1hr 21mins

20 Feb 2023

Rank #1

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S2E5: This Episode Was Underrated™ with Not Gaetti

Today I’m stepping outside of the Hall of Fame echo chamber to chat with an “old school” baseball guy (or maybe he just plays one on Twitter?). Even if we don’t always see eye-to-eye on things like WAR, I always appreciate remembering some underrated players with Not Gaetti (sorry, that’s the only name I’m at liberty to use). We discuss the Contemporary Baseball Era ballot, the BBWAA ballot, hitters (him) and pitchers (me), and a lot more. Not Gaetti on Twitter: https://twitter.com/notgaetti

1hr 13mins

20 Dec 2022

Rank #2

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S2E4: Fred McGriff Inducted via the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Ballot with Graham Womack

Today Fred McGriff was selected for Hall of Fame induction by the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee. Graham and I discuss the results, what they mean for future elections, and more. Graham Womack on Twitter: https://twitter.com/grahamdude Graham's Website: https://www.sactocontentwriter.com/ Baseball Past and Present: https://baseballpastandpresent.com/


5 Dec 2022

Rank #3

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S2E3: Reacting to the 2023 Contemporary Baseball Era Players Ballot with Graham Womack

Today the Hall of Fame announced the 2023 Contemporary Baseball Era Players Ballot. It is loaded with complicated candidates (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Rafael Palmeiro) and “clean” ones (Dale Murphy, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly). Oh, and Albert Belle. We don’t know how to classify him. To break it all down we are joined by Graham Womack. Graham Womack on Twitter: https://twitter.com/grahamdude Graham's Website: https://www.sactocontentwriter.com/ Baseball Past and Present: https://baseballpastandpresent.com/

1hr 5mins

8 Nov 2022

Rank #4

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S2E2: Contemporary Classics — the Revamped Era Committees with Graham Womack

The Hall of Fame threw us a curveball and announced some new changes to the Era Committee process, effective immediately. We’re joined again by Graham Womack to discuss the new Contemporary Baseball Era and Classic Baseball Era committees. Graham Womack on Twitter: https://twitter.com/grahamdude Graham's Website: https://www.sactocontentwriter.com/ Baseball Past and Present: https://baseballpastandpresent.com/

1hr 5mins

25 Apr 2022

Rank #5

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S2E1: Today’s Game Era Lay of the Land with Graham Womack

After our deep dive into the Early Baseball and Golden Days Eras (including sidebars into Negro League and Latin American Baseball) in Season 1, we finally turn our attention to the 2023 Today’s Game Era Ballot in Season 2. Today we’re joined by Graham Womack to discuss the history of this Committee, who the returning candidates are, and the incredible group of new candidates who are eligible. In all, we cover 50 players and over a dozen non-playing candidates. Graham Womack on Twitter: https://twitter.com/grahamdude Graham's Website: https://www.sactocontentwriter.com/ Baseball Past and Present: https://baseballpastandpresent.com/

1hr 8mins

16 Mar 2022

Rank #6

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S1E17: The Best Players You’ve Never Heard Of — Cuban Baseball with Gary Ashwill of Seamheads

There’s one more episode I wanted to do before moving on to the next election cycle. When researching the Negro Leagues, the Pre-Negro Leagues, and Negro League MLEs, something kept coming up—Cuban baseball. It’s hard to talk about the Negro Leagues without including Cuban baseball. Today’s guest, Gary Ashwill of the Seamheads Negro League Database, will share stories about Cuban baseball and some of the major stars who were born in Cuba. We’ll discuss Julián Castillo, Carlos Morán, Regino García, Ramón Bragaña, Lázaro Salazar, José Muñoz, Silvio García, and more. Seamheads Negro League Database: https://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/ Gary’s blog Agate Type: https://agatetype.typepad.com/ Julián Castillo: https://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/player.php?playerID=casti01jul Carlos Morán: https://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/player.php?playerID=moran01car Regino García: https://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/player.php?playerID=garci01reg

1hr 30mins

4 Mar 2022

Rank #7

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S1E16: The Best League Ever with Mark Armour

Mark Armour returns for a chat that focuses on the Golden Days Era—specifically the 1955–1970 National League, which Mark calls “the best league ever.” Stars of the Negro Leagues were integrating the majors, but it was the National League that led the way. This leads to a pretty large disparity of talent between the NL and AL during the first two decades of integration. We look at some players from this era who deserve a longer look because of this. Mark is the President of SABR’s Board of Directors, a Bob Davids Award and Henry Chadwick Award winner, the founder and longtime director of the SABR Bio Project, and an author. Mark’s Website: http://www.mark-armour.net/ Mark Armour on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarkArmour04

1hr 26mins

27 Jan 2022

Rank #8

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S1E15: Bringing the Legends to Life - A Discussion with Graig Kreindler

Today I chat with Graig Kreindler, “The Painter of the National Pastime.” We discussed how he started painting baseball and how that turned into the huge Negro Leagues project (and card set) commissioned by Jay Caldwell for the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues. Then, Graig shared some stories about intersting subjects he’s tackled over the years by constructing a lineup. Graig’s website: https://www.graigkreindler.com/ Graig on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraigKreindler Graig on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/graigkreindler/

1hr 33mins

21 Jan 2022

Rank #9

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S1E14: Gary Gillette, Ted Knorr, and Sean Gibson of 42 for 21

Today we continue to explore the Negro Leagues and Negro League Hall of Fame candidates. We welcome Gary Gillette, Ted Knorr, and Sean Gibson to the podcast. Gillette, Knorr, and Gibson have joined together to form a new committee—named "42 for 21"—to publicize deserving Negro Leagues & Black Baseball candidates for upcoming Hall of Fame elections. We discuss their backgrounds, how the project started, the election that took place, and what comes next for the project. We specifically looked at a handful of candidates that performed very well in the election but don’t rank as highly with Eric Chalek’s Negro League MLEs: Rap Dixon, Newt Allen, Spottswood Poles, John Donaldson, Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe, Oliver “The Ghost” Marcell, and Chet Brewer. Gary Gillette is the founder and current chair of the Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium, a nonprofit that is working to restore the former Negro League ballpark near his home in Detroit. Gillette also served for a decade on the Tiger Stadium Conservancy’s board of directors. He has four decades of baseball research, writing, and editing experience, beginning with his work with Bill James and Project Scoresheet in the mid-1980s. A contributor to six editions of Total Baseball, Gillette later designed and co-edited with Pete Palmer the five editions of the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. Gillette also designed the ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia and served as executive editor for both editions of that reference work. A former member of the Society for American Baseball Research’s (SABR) board of directors, Gillette is a past co-chair of two of SABR’s major research committees—the Business of Baseball Committee and the Ballparks Committee. He was the founder and president of SABR’s Detroit Chapter and is now the chair of SABR’s new Southern Michigan Chapter. Ted Knorr has been a baseball fan since infancy, when his grandma gave him a Brooklyn Dodgers jersey. A few years later, an aunt introduced him to baseball via Ladies Nights at Forbes Field. Later still, a childhood friend—Martha—introduced him to the APBA Major League Baseball Game. Ted has been a SABR member since 1979 and, in 1998, founded and hosted the initial Jerry Malloy Negro League Research Conference. Sean Gibson is the great-grandson of Negro Leagues legend and 1972 National Baseball Hall of Fame player Josh Gibson. Sean has dedicated his life to the preservation of Josh’s legacy and is the Executive Director of the Josh Gibson Foundation, a Pittsburgh-area non-profit organization. The Josh Gibson Foundation was established in 1994 in an effort to keep the memory of Pittsburgh’s beloved Josh Gibson and the entire Negro Leagues alive. The foundation partners with the University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University by matching up college students with elementary and middle school youth for tutoring. With a strong focus on education, the foundation currently serves roughly 300 children and plans to increase those numbers by starting new programs yearly. The foundation also sponsors the Josh Gibson Baseball Academy. 42 for 21: https://www.42for21.org/ The Josh Gibson Foundation: https://www.joshgibson.org/

1hr 37mins

17 Jan 2022

Rank #10