COOPERSTOWN -- The Hall of Fame announced changes to its voting procedure on Saturday, including reducing the length of time a retired player can stay on the ballot to a maximum of 10 years.
The current length is 15 years. In the new format, after 10 years the players would move to the Era Committee system for review in perpetuity.
Players who already have passed the 10 years mark will be grandfathered in on the ballot, meaning Don Mattingly (15th year in 2015), Alan Trammell (14th) and Lee Smith (13th) will all be allowed to stay for 15 years.
In another change, Hall of Fame voters will be required to register and sign a “code of conduct” form. Names of all voters will now he made public by the Hall of Fame. The voters will not, however, be required to reveal their votes. The Baseball Writers Association of America will continue to elect players, and those with 10 years of membership will still be eligible to vote.
The last rules change came in 1991, when the Hall of Fame announced anyone on baseball’s ineligible list would not be an eligible candidate. The rule ensured that all-time hits leader Pete Rose would not be voted in after being given a lifetime ban for gambling.
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