This Sunday, a 16-member committee composed of Hall of Fame players, executives, and media members will meet to debate and vote on the Hall of Fame merits of eight former MLB players.
In their hands these 16 individuals hold the Hall of Fame fates of players such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, and Albert Belle.
For the first time, the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee will meet this Sunday to debate the candidacies of eight former players, all of whom made their primary contributions to major league baseball from 1980 to the present. Back in early November, the eight Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee finalists were announced, as selected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America-appointed Historical Overview Committee. The eight finalists are, in alphabetical order:
- Albert Belle
- Barry Bonds
- Roger Clemens
- Don Mattingly
- Fred McGriff
- Dale Murphy
- Rafael Palmeiro
- Curt Schilling
On Sunday, these 16 former players, executives, and media members will meet to discuss and debate the eight finalists: Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell; major league executives Paul Beeston, Theo Epstein, Arte Moreno, Kim Ng, Dave St. Peter and Ken Williams; and veteran media members/historians Steve Hirdt, LaVelle Neal and Susan Slusser.
The Historical Overview Committee, responsible for selecting the eight finalists, includes Bob Elliott (Canadian Baseball Network), Jim Henneman (formerly Baltimore Sun), Steve Hirdt (Stats Perform), Rick Hummel (formerly St. Louis Post-Dispatch), David O’Brien (The Athletic), Jack O’Connell (BBWAA), Jim Reeves (formerly Fort Worth Star Telegram), Tracy Ringolsby (InsidetheSeams.com); Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle), Susan Slusser (San Francisco Chronicle) and Mark Whicker (Los Angeles News Group).
Similar to the writers’ ballots, any candidate receiving 75% of votes on Sunday will earn induction into the Hall of Fame, as part of the Class of 2023. Ballots for the 2023 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election are being filled out at the moment. 14 players are on that ballot this year, including Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, and Scott Rolen.
The results of the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee voting will be announced on the MLB Network on Sunday night. The results of the BWAA vote will be announced in January.
How might Sunday’s debate, and vote, unfold? We have a tiny bit of insight into how some members of the committee have viewed these eight candidates in the past thanks to Ryan Thibodaux, who tracks Hall of Fame voting.
As you can see here, Slusser has voted for Clemens, Bonds, and Schilling on multiple occasions. She voted for all three as recently as 2021. Neal has also voted for all three in the past, and on multiple occasions. Neal voted for all three in 2021.
Are those prior votes a sign that Clemens, Bonds, and Schilling will get into the Hall of Fame? We will know more on Sunday night.