On Saturday, July 23, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced changes to the structure of the veterans committee. There will now be four separate committees, each responsible for a specific baseball era:
-- Early Baseball, 1871-1949. Will vote once every 10 years. -- Golden Days, 1950-1969. Will vote once every five years. -- Modern Baseball, 1970-1987. Will vote twice every five years. -- Today’s Game, 1988-2016. Will vote twice every five years.
This is a strong first step to redress the logjam of recent players who have fallen off the writers' ballot while recognizing that players from baseball's earliest days have been examined for many years now. Of course, the Hall contributed to this logjam by reducing the amount of time a retired player can remain on the writers' ballot from 15 years to 10 years. At least it has recognized that there has been insufficient consideration given to players from the last few decades. An encouraging sign.
ETA: From ESPN: "Today's Game will vote in 2016, '18, '21 and '23; and Modern Baseball in 2017, '19, '21 and '23. Golden Days will vote in 2020 and '25, and Early Baseball in 2020 and '30. The Hall's Historical Overview Committee will decide which committee will consider those players who span eras, based on the time or place of their most indelible impression."