The Road to Cooperstown

A Critical History of Baseball’s Hall of Fame Selection Process


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SKU: 9780786410125 Categories: ,

About the Book

The selection process for the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York, has been the same for sixty years. Two sets of electors are used, both of which vote each year using subjective criteria that inevitably cause errors of selection and omission. One group, the Baseball Writers Association of America, votes by mail using a pre-selected list of retired players that meet eligibility requirements. The second group of electors is the Veterans Committee, comprised of former players who are Hall of Fame members plus retired baseball executives and sportswriters who meet in Florida during spring training and base their votes on the merits of candidates no longer eligible for the BBWAA ballot. In this work the author combines an irreverent critique of the voting process with an analysis of the biases that have fostered questionable choices in Hall of Fame voting. The result is a comprehensive, statistically founded survey of the factors which influence election.

About the Author(s)

The late James F. Vail was a writer and researcher. He was a member of the Society for American Baseball Research and lived in Phoenix, Arizona.

Bibliographic Details

James F. Vail
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 288
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendix, tables, index
Copyright Date: 2001
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1012-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5096-1
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“clear and objective…[an] eye-opening account, which should add fuel to an already fiery debate”—Booklist; “this volume has much to recommend it…well written”—Choice; “delightful…whether you agree or disagree with Vail, he is the Bill James of the Baseball Hall of Fame. And his book will rally and roil fans of America’s grandest game…fun…highly readable (downright funny in some spots), logical, analytical (…abounds with easy-to-read but pentrating charts)…full of history”—Street & Smith’s; “draws interesting parallels between current and former players”—Baseball America.