The rules of election to the Hall of Fame

We leave the las rules from choice to the Living room of the Fame (Hall of Fame) of the Big leagues.

Since 2014

In 2014, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum amended the election rules. Moving forward, the maximum years of consideration for a player who meets that criteria is now 10 years. The candidates would then go to the Age Committee system for review.


The names of the members who vote for the Hall of Fame are made public with the election results; however, the Hall of Fame will not release an individual’s ballot.


By authorization of the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame and the National Baseball Museum, Inc., the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) is authorized to hold elections each year for the purpose of electing members to the Hall of Fame. National Baseball Fame from the ranks of retired baseball players.


Only active and honorary members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, who have been active baseball writers for at least ten (10) years, will be eligible to vote. They must have been active as baseball writers and members of the Association for a period beginning at least ten (10) years prior to the date of the election in which they are voting.

Eligible candidates

  • Candidates to be eligible must meet the following requirements:
  • A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some point during a period beginning fifteen (15) years prior and ending five (5) years prior to the election.
  • Player must have played in each of the ten (10) major league championship seasons, part of which must have been within the period described above.
  • The player will have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years prior to the election, but may be related to baseball.
  • In the event of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five (5) full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible will be eligible in the next regular elections to be held at least six ( 6) months after the date of death or after the end of the five (5) year period, whichever occurs first.
  • Any player on the Baseball ineligible list will not be an eligible candidate.

Choice method

  • BBWAA Selection Committee: The BBWAA will appoint a Selection Committee made up of baseball writers. This Selection Committee will be composed of six members, two of whom will be elected at each Annual Meeting for a period of three years. The duty of the Selection Committee shall be to prepare a list of ballots in alphabetical order of the eligible candidates who (1) received a vote in a minimum of five percent (5%) of the ballots cast in the previous election or (2) are eligible for the first time and are nominated by two of the six members of the BBWAA Selection Committee.
  • An elector shall vote for no more than ten (10) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election. Written votes are not allowed.
  • Any candidate who receives votes over seventy-five percent (75%) of the votes cast will be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.


Voting will be based on the player’s track record, playability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team (s) the player played for.

Automatic elections

Automatic elections based on performances such as a batting average of .400 or higher for one (1) year, pitching a perfect game, or similar outstanding achievements will not be allowed.

Moment of choice

Ballots will be prepared, dated, and mailed by duly authorized BBWAA representatives to each voter during the latter part of November. The voter will sign and return the complete ballot no later than December 31. The vote will be tabulated by the duly authorized representatives of the BBWAA.

Certification of the election results

The results of the election will be certified by a representative of the Baseball Writers Association of America and an official from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. The results will be transmitted to the Commissioner of Baseball. The BBWAA and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. will jointly publish the results for publication.


The Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. reserves the right to revoke, alter, or amend these rules at any time.

With information from the Hall of Fame.

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The rules of election to the Hall of Fame