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

  • David Whitlock

The website Deadspin.com, 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 Deadspin.com 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 Deadspin.com is making this up to cause a witch hunt amongst the BBWAA brass.  Either way, Deadspin.com 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 Deadspin.com lying?

– David Whitlock

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David Whitlock

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David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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