Baseball Writers' Association of America

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The organizational logo for the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) is a professional association for baseball journalists writing for daily newspapers, magazines and qualifying Web sites.

Early years[edit]

The BBWAA was founded on October 14, 1908,[1] to improve working conditions for sportswriters in the early part of the 20th century; It also sought to promote uniformity of scoring methods, and to professionalize the press box, such that access was limited only to working reporters, telegraphers, and others who had a reason to be there. The forty-three founding members of the Baseball Writers Association first met in mid-October 1908.[2] They included Joe S. Jackson, who became the association's first president. At that time, Jackson was the sporting editor (today called sports editor) of the Detroit Free Press. Also selected as officers were Irving E. Sanborn of the Chicago Tribune, syndicated columnist Hugh Fullerton, and Boston Globe baseball writer Tim Murnane[3] A second meeting was held in New York City in December; Sanborn decided he could not serve as an officer at that time, and he was replaced by William Weart of the Philadelphia Times. The slate of officers was ratified, and anyone who wrote about baseball in major league cities was eligible for membership. This policy changed, however, in December 1913, at which time it was decided that minor league baseball writers could also become members.[4] Then, Jackson became a dominant force in the early years of the baseball writers, being elected as president of the association during nine consecutive terms.[5] Jackson finally retired in 1919, while Sanborn returned to assume the position of president. After that, Jackson became a member of the BBWAA Board of Directors.[6]

Mission[edit]

The organization's primary function is to work with Major League Baseball and individual teams to assure clubhouse and press-box access for BBWAA members. In addition, BBWAA members also elect players to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which is the organization's most public function. All writers with 10 years of membership in the BBWAA are eligible to vote for the Hall of Fame. The BBWAA also votes annually for the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Most Valuable Player Award, Cy Young Award, Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award, and Manager of the Year Award in each of the two major leagues. The Hall of Fame also empowers the BBWAA's Historical Overview Committee, made up of 11 or 12 veteran BBWAA members, to formulate the annual ballot for the Veterans Committee.

Considering the ready availability of television broadcasts for the majority of baseball games, plus instant access to information through the Internet, some have called into question why the BBWAA has not broadened its membership rules to include broadcasters and researchers.[7] (Similar arguments were made for the inclusion of Web-based journalists, before the BBWAA added Web writers to its ranks in December, 2007.[8]

Others have openly questioned why the BBWAA is involved in the award and Hall of Fame voting processes at all,[9] citing in some cases journalistic integrity and the need to remain unbiased in their coverage of newsworthy events.[10]

Awards voting[edit]

The BBWAA's most public function is to annually vote on candidates for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

In addition, the BBWAA is responsible for voting on several annual awards in each major league, including:

In or about 2000, the BBWAA took over the voting responsibility for the Edgar Martínez Award, given each year to the outstanding designated hitter in the American League.

From 1953 to 1962, the BBWAA presented a "Sophomore of the Year Award" in each league.[11]

In 1997, a 36-member BBWAA panel selected the Major League Baseball All-Time Team.

Awards display[edit]

Replicas of various BBWAA awards and lists of past winners are displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in the Records Room, which also has other exhibits, including charts showing active and all-time leaders in various baseball statistical categories.

J. G. Taylor Spink Award[edit]

The annual J. G. Taylor Spink Award is the highest award given by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) to its members.

Web membership[edit]

In 2007, the BBWAA opened its membership to web-based writers employed on a full-time basis by "websites that are credentialed by MLB for post-season coverage."[8]

Chapter awards[edit]

New York chapter[edit]

See footnote[12] and Red Foley (past chairman)

Other chapters[edit]

Presidents[edit]

During the 2012 World Series, the Association elected its first female president, Susan Slusser, of the San Francisco Chronicle.[21]

List of current members[edit]

Names of members are followed by the name of the organization for whom they write.[22]

Note: New York Times, Washington Post[23] and Baltimore Sun[24] writers have stated that they are no longer permitted to vote by their employers. The Los Angeles Times has a similar policy,[25] though it appears to be negotiable.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Base Ball Writers Association of America". BaseballLibrary.com. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  2. ^ "Baseball Writers Have Formally Organized." Duluth News-Tribune, 10 December 1908, p. 12.
  3. ^ "Baseball Writers Unite," Washington Post, 15 October 1908, p. 9.
  4. ^ "Mike Lynch Gets Jess Baker and Danny Shea for Spokane." Seattle Daily Times, 10 December 1913, p. 19.
  5. ^ "Joe Jackson To Head Baseball Writers for Ninth Straight Term." Seattle Times, 14 February 1918, p. 19.
  6. ^ "Majors and Minors Rupture Relations." Omaha (NE) World-Herald, 17 January 1919, p. 6.
  7. ^ "ESPN.com: Page 2 : Hall voting remains archaic". Proxy.espn.go.com. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  8. ^ a b Lederer, Rich (2007-12-06). "BBWAA Opens Up Its Membership to Web-Based Writers". The Baseball Analysts. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  9. ^ a b "I’m not sure reporters should vote in Hall of Fame elections. | SportsJustice | a Chron.com blog". Blogs.chron.com. 2007-01-10. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  10. ^ The Dallas Morning News (2006-12-06). "APSE | Associated Press Sports Editors". Apse.dallasnews.com. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  11. ^ Mondout, Patrick, Sophomore of the Year Award Winners. BaseballChronology.com. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
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  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i DiComo, Anthony (January 28, 2008). "Murcer honored for rousing recovery: Ex-Yankee's emotional acceptance punctuates BBWAA Awards". MLB Advanced Media, LP (MLB.com). Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g "Rodriguez chokes up during speech". ESPN.com (ESPN). Associated Press. January 24, 2010. Retrieved 2011-10-21. "A-Rod picked up the hardware at the 87th annual New York baseball writers' dinner Saturday night." 
  15. ^ Rumberg, Howie (January 25, 2010). "Alex Rodriguez is left speechless when accepting playoffs MVP from New York baseball writers". Associated Press (at Star Tribune, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN). Retrieved 2010-01-30. [dead link]
  16. ^ For a brief biographical sketch about BBWAA past president Sid Mercer, see: Honor Rolls of Baseball#Writers.
  17. ^ The Slocum Award is presented by the New York Baseball Writers Association. Slocum Award. Baseball-Almanac. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  18. ^ For a brief biographical sketch about William J. "Bill" Slocum, see: Honor Rolls of Baseball#Writers.
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  20. ^ "Terry Ryan Award". Play Ball! Minnesota official website. Minnesota Twins Community Fund. Retrieved 2011-11-03. "The winner is presented with the [Terry Ryan Award] at the annual Baseball Writers Association of America Diamond Awards along with many other prestigious Twins awards." 
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  23. ^ a b Boswell, Thomas (2007-01-06). "Taking a Pass On McGwire". The Washington Post. 
  24. ^ "The Schmuck Stops Here: Cooperstown awaits - Baltimore Sun Ravens, Orioles: Sports news and opinion from Peter Schmuck - baltimoresun.com". Weblogs.baltimoresun.com. 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
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  66. ^ Jenkins, Bruce (2011-01-06). "HALL OF FAME / Spare the morality play: McGwire deserves induction". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
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"Baseball Writers Unite." Washington Post, October 15, 1908, p. 9.

Further reading[edit]

  • "Red Foley Dies at 79; Scorer in 10 World Series". New York Times. The Associated Press. July 16, 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-19. "He served for many years as an officer of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and was chairman of the New York chapter in 1969-70." 

External links[edit]