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REPORT: Deadspin “buys” Hall of Fame vote from BBWAA member 79

The website, known for pushing the edge on sports coverage, claims it has “bought” a Hall of Fame vote from one of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) voting members.  The goal, according to an article on their site claiming as much, is to allow their readers (presumably the “every day fan” a vote for this years very stocked, but slightly juiced Hall of Fame Class).

…we can happily announce that we have a vote. A member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America thought our plan sounded like a pretty damn good idea and sold us his/her vote, making a stand against the idea that a somewhat random subsection of the baseball press should maintain the power to confer what is, regrettably, the game’s most prestigious honor. For obvious reasons, the voter will remain anonymous for now, but he/she will be filling out his/her ballot on behalf of Deadspin readers, who will be polled in binding elections. The voter will announce his/her name and motivations once his/her vote has been officially cast.

Baseball Hall of Fame image

Credit: National Baseball Hall of Fame

The site notes that they will happily negotiate for more votes, email them if interested.  There are somewhere between 550 – 600 voters (members of the BBWAA for 10+ years), so the block is somewhere around 0.17% (that’s an order of magnitude less than 1%).  75% is needed for election, so this is not likely to sway a candidates fortunes.  But it brings up a lot of questions and discussion.

I see this one of two ways.  There’s a writer out there, and the BBWAA voters are known to be a bit stodgy when it comes to this process, who doesn’t mind shaking things up and maybe really doesn’t feel that they should vote because of PEDs or because they just don’t care.  Or is making this up to cause a witch hunt amongst the BBWAA brass.  Either way, wins, shaking up the norm and bringing attention to the process.  And if it is real, the seller (whose membership with the BBWAA will probably terminate within minutes) will reveal themselves.

What do you think? Should fans get a vote? Should writers be able to sell their vote? Is lying?

– David Whitlock

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