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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best
Sunday, February 15, 2004
Should we change eligibility for Negro Leaguers?
This comment from OCF inspired this thread:
“Too late now, but this is another case in which in might have been nice, when this project was set up in the first place, to have eligibility keyed to a certain fixed age (like 45) rather than five years after retirement. We are right now discussing outfielders of the aughts. We’ve elected Flick, we’re debating Sheckard, and Magee will be on the ballot soon. Hill’s career started in the same year as Crawford, and Crawford will be eligible before Hill is. These are Hill’s contemporaries.”
I don’t think it’s too late OCF. I think Negro Leaguers should be eligible either 5 years after they retire, or the election that would be for their age 45 season, whichever comes first.
Partially because the top-to-bottom quality of the Negro Leagues was not quite at major league level (though the stars were surely as great as their white counterparts), many Negro Leaguers played well into their 40s.
I think this is a very reasonable ‘tweak’ to the system. Thoughts?
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