Baseball Hall of Fame changes voting rules for veterans

The baseball Hall of Fame has changed the way that managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players will be considered for election.

Candidates will be reviewed in three eras: Pre-Integration (1871-1946), Golden (1947-1972) and Expansion (starting in 1973).

One composite ballot will be considered in each era. The Expansion Era ballot will include 12 candidates, while the Golden and Pre-Integration era ballots each will have 10.

The changes were announced Monday. The first election in the Expansion category will be held in December during the winter meetings in Orlando, Fla. The Golden election will take place in 2011 and the Pre-Integration vote will be held in 2012.

"The board feels this change will allow for an equal review of all eligible candidates," Hall chairman Jane Forbes Clark said in a statement.

Manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey were enshrined in the Hall on Sunday.

A voting committee of 16 members for each era will be appointed annually by the Hall's board of directors. Each committee will be comprised of Hall of Fame members, major league executives, and historians/veteran media members. Any candidate who receives at least 75 percent of ballots cast will earn election.

Those eligible for consideration include: players who played in at least 10 major league seasons who are not on Major League Baseball's ineligible list and have been retired for 21 or more seasons; and managers and umpires with 10 or more years in baseball and retired for at least five years.

Candidates who are 65 years or older are eligible six months following retirement, and executives retired for at least five years and active executives 65 years or older also are eligible.