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Hall of Fame Approves Election Process for Negro L

Sep 18, 2005

Hall of Fame Approves Election Process for Negro Leagues
and Pre-Negro Leagues Candidates

July 26, 2005

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.: The National Baseball Hall of Fame and
Museum's Board of Directors approved holding a special
election of Negro leagues and pre-Negro leagues candidates
to the Hall of Fame in 2006. The announcement comes on the
heels of the completion of a landmark study on the history
of African Americans in Baseball, from 1860-1960. Based on
the results of that important study, the Board of Directors
felt it was the right time to hold a special election.

"The record of the African-American contribution to our
National Pastime was largely missing until recently," said
Hall of Fame Chairman Jane Forbes Clark. "With extensive
research and a statistical analysis now complete, the Board
felt it was the right time to review Negro Leagues and
pre-Negro leagues individuals with regards to Hall of Fame
election. The guidelines adopted will allow for any worthy
candidates to have another chance at election in 2006."

Earlier this month, the Board appointed screening and
voting committees. Under the guidelines established, a
Screening Committee will construct ballots and a Voting
Committee will meet to vote on the ballots. Former Major
League Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent will serve as the
non-voting chairman of both committees. Frank Robinson, a
Hall of Famer and Board member, has been asked to offer his
advice and assistance to Vincent and both committees. Any
candidates elected by the Voting Committee in February 2006
would be inducted in Cooperstown during Hall of Fame
Weekend in July 2006.

Written recommendations for inclusion on the ballots from
fans, and historians not a part of the committees, will be
accepted through the month of October. Recommendations can
be sent by e-mail to info@baseballhalloffame.org, or can be
submitted by mail to: Committee on African-American
Baseball, 25 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326. A letter
or e-mail of receipt will acknowledge all proposals. All
proposals will be made available to the Screening Committee
and a final set will be kept for archival purposes.

The five-member Screening Committee appointed by the Board
of Directors will meet in November to develop two ballots:
One ballot of Negro leagues players, managers, umpires,
executives; and one ballot of candidates who preceded the
formation of Negro leagues. The Screening Committee will
use the statistics and narrative from the landmark study to
determine the ballots. The Screening Committee members
include Adrian Burgos, Dick Clark, Larry Hogan, Larry
Lester and Jim Overmyer, each of whom contributed to the
reports and have a deep knowledge of the subject matter.
Complete biographies of the five committee members can be
found at www.baseballhalloffame.org.

A 12-member Voting Committee, inclusive of the Screening
Committee, appointed by the Board of Directors, will meet
in February 2006 to review the final ballots of candidates.
After open discussions over two days, committee members
will cast paper ballots and vote "yes" or "no" for each
candidate. Any candidate with "yes" votes on at least 75%
of ballots cast will earn election to the Hall of Fame. The
twelve voting committee members and their areas of
expertise in African-American baseball history include:

Todd Bolton, Latin America
Larry Hogan, overall knowledge

Greg Bond, 19th Century
Neil Lanctot, Negro leagues eastern teams

Adrian Burgos, Latin America
Larry Lester, Negro leagues

Dick Clark, Negro leagues
Sammy Miller, Eastern and Western teams

Ray Doswell, overall knowledge
Jim Overmyer, Eastern teams and 19th Century

Leslie Heaphy, women's history, Negro leagues
Robert Peterson, overall knowledge

In July 2000, the Baseball Hall of Fame was granted
$250,000 from Major League Baseball in order to initiate a
comprehensive study on the history of African Americans in
Baseball, from 1860-1960. The funds were to allow the
Museum to expand the scope and depth of its knowledge and
historical collection on this aspect of Baseball and
American culture.

In February 2001, the Board selected "The Negro Leagues
Researchers/Authors Group" research team, led by Dr. Hogan
of Union County College (NJ), Dick Clark, and Larry Lester,
to conduct the comprehensive study. The three historians
led a diverse group of more than 50 other authors,
researcher and historians in this first-of-its-kind
academic study.

The research resulted in a raw narrative and bibliography
of nearly 800 pages and a statistical database, which
includes 3,000 day-by-day records, league leaders and
all-time leaders. The research was culled from box scores
from 128 newspapers of sanctioned league games played from

With the research now complete, the study includes
sanctioned league game box scores from almost 100% of games
played in the 1920s, in excess of 90% of the box scores
from games played in the 1930s and box scores from 50-70%
of games played in the 1940s and 50s, during which time the
various leagues began to disband and newspapers ceased to
report game information. The end result is the most
comprehensive compilation of statistics on the Negro
leagues that have ever been accumulated.