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Rick Zamperin: Baseball Hall of Fame process is broken

Fans walk outside the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on Friday, July 25, 2014, in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Fans walk outside the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on Friday, July 25, 2014, in Cooperstown, N.Y. AP Photo)

The Baseball Hall of Fame induction process is broken. But what may be even more troubling is that no one is going to fix it.

When the class of 2018 is announced Wednesday evening there will be much fanfare for the newest inductees.

And there should be.

READ MORE: Rick Zamperin: Joe Morgan’s Hall of Fame plea falls short of a home run

Expect first-time eligible players Chipper Jones and Jim Thome to be elected to Cooperstown along with holdovers Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman.

They will join veterans committee inductees Jack Morris and Alan Trammell at the July 29 ceremony.

And yes, once again, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, the two highest-profile baseball stars linked to performance-enhancing drugs are still on the list of eligible players.

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READ MORE: Tim Raines officially a member of the baseball Hall of Fame

However, they are running out of time when it comes to Hall of Fame ballots submitted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Both players are about 20 percentage points below the required 75 per cent of BBWWA votes to gain induction, even though both men have made some gains in the half-dozen years since they were first eligible for induction.

Here’s where the process breaks down.

Hall of Fame voters can vote for a maximum 10 players in any given year, leaving many Hall of Fame-worthy players off their ballot.

READ MORE: The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is expanding

And when, like this year, there’s a long list of great players, some just don’t get the votes — like Jack Morris.

Morris should have been elected to Cooperstown, not have to wait for the veterans committee to induct him.

Ten-year limits on the ballot also put inductees on the clock, meaning if you don’t get elected after a decade players are set aside for the veterans committee to debate.

At the end of the day, if a player is Hall of Fame-worthy, they should be elected to Cooperstown and not have to wait needlessly for a committee to rubber-stamp what should have been done years earlier.

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