Hall votes to cut vets committee, eligibles

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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) – The Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors voted Saturday to cut the size of the Veterans Committee and the number of players it will consider for enshrinement, and also altered procedures for electing long-retired players, managers, umpires and executives.

Under the new rules, only the 63 living Hall of Famers will cast ballots for players, and a committee of 16 comprised of Hall of Famers, veteran writers, executives and historians will vote for managers and umpires. Previously, winners of the Frick and Spink awards were allowed to cast ballots, raising the number of voters to more than 80.

A Historical Overview Committee appointed by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will narrow the list of players to be considered to 20 instead of 200, and a screening committee of six will identify five players. That slate of 20-25 players, depending on duplicate selections, will be narrowed to just 10 names by the Veterans Committee.

“I don’t think it (the list) was pared down enough,” Hall of Famer Tom Seaver said. “There were just individuals on there that, in my estimation (did not belong). We all have different opinions and we feel very strongly about our opinions. It was almost as if the menu was too big. It makes the Hall of Famers’ job easier to digest.”

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