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Baseball Writers Association of America

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Title: Baseball Writers Association of America  
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Subject: 2012 in baseball, Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award, Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 2011, Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 2013, Sporting News
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Baseball Writers Association of America

The organizational logo for the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) is a professional association for baseball journalists writing for daily newspapers, magazines and qualifying Web sites.

Early years

The BBWAA was founded on October 14, 1908,[1] to improve working conditions for sportswriters in the early part of the 20th century; It also sought to promote uniformity of scoring methods, and to professionalize the press box, such that access was limited only to working reporters, telegraphers, and others who had a reason to be there. The forty-three founding members of the Baseball Writers Association first met in mid-October 1908.[2] They included Joe S. Jackson, who became the association's first president. At that time, Jackson was the sporting editor (today called sports editor) of the Detroit Free Press. Also selected as officers were Irving E. Sanborn of the Chicago Tribune, syndicated columnist Hugh Fullerton, and Boston Globe baseball writer Tim Murnane[3] A second meeting was held in New York City in December; Sanborn decided he could not serve as an officer at that time, and he was replaced by William Weart of the Philadelphia Times. The slate of officers was ratified, and anyone who wrote about baseball in major league cities was eligible for membership. This policy changed, however, in December 1913, at which time it was decided that minor league baseball writers could also become members.[4] Then, Jackson became a dominant force in the early years of the baseball writers, being elected as president of the association during nine consecutive terms.[5] Jackson finally retired in 1919, while Sanborn returned to assume the position of president. After that, Jackson became a member of the BBWAA Board of Directors.[6]


The Most Valuable Player Award, Cy Young Award, Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award, and Manager of the Year Award in each of the two major leagues. The Hall of Fame also empowers the BBWAA's Historical Overview Committee, made up of 11 or 12 veteran BBWAA members, to formulate the annual ballot for the Veterans Committee.

Considering the ready availability of television broadcasts for the majority of baseball games, plus instant access to information through the Internet, some have called into question why the BBWAA has not broadened its membership rules to include broadcasters and researchers.[7] (Similar arguments were made for the inclusion of Web-based journalists, before the BBWAA added Web writers to its ranks in December, 2007.[8]

Others have openly questioned why the BBWAA is involved in the award and Hall of Fame voting processes at all,[9] citing in some cases journalistic integrity and the need to remain unbiased in their coverage of newsworthy events.[10]

Awards voting

The BBWAA's most public function is to annually vote on candidates for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

In addition, the BBWAA is responsible for voting on several annual awards in each major league, including:

In or about 2000, the BBWAA took over the voting responsibility for the Edgar Martínez Award, given each year to the outstanding designated hitter in the American League.

From 1953 to 1962, the BBWAA presented a "Sophomore of the Year Award" in each league.[11]

In 1997, a 36-member BBWAA panel selected the Major League Baseball All-Time Team.

Awards display

Replicas of various BBWAA awards and lists of past winners are displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in the Records Room, which also has other exhibits, including charts showing active and all-time leaders in various baseball statistical categories.

J. G. Taylor Spink Award

The annual J. G. Taylor Spink Award is the highest award given by the BBWAA. While members and non-members are eligible, it was not until 2014 that a non-member (Roger Angell) had received the award.

Web membership

In 2007, the BBWAA opened its membership to web-based writers employed on a full-time basis by "websites that are credentialed by MLB for post-season coverage."[8]

Chapter awards

New York chapter

See footnote[12] and Red Foley (past chairman)

Other chapters


During the 2012 World Series, the Association elected its first female president, Susan Slusser, of the San Francisco Chronicle.[21]

List of current members

Names of members are followed by the name of the organization for whom they write.[22]

Note: New York Times, Washington Post[23] and Baltimore Sun[24] writers have stated that they are no longer permitted to vote by their employers. The Los Angeles Times has a similar policy,[25] though it appears to be negotiable.

See also


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  2. ^ "Baseball Writers Have Formally Organized." Duluth News-Tribune, 10 December 1908, p. 12.
  3. ^ "Baseball Writers Unite," Washington Post, 15 October 1908, p. 9.
  4. ^ "Mike Lynch Gets Jess Baker and Danny Shea for Spokane." Seattle Daily Times, 10 December 1913, p. 19.
  5. ^ "Joe Jackson To Head Baseball Writers for Ninth Straight Term." Seattle Times, 14 February 1918, p. 19.
  6. ^ "Majors and Minors Rupture Relations." Omaha (NE) World-Herald, 17 January 1919, p. 6.
  7. ^ " Page 2 : Hall voting remains archaic". 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
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  9. ^ a b "I’m not sure reporters should vote in Hall of Fame elections. | SportsJustice | a blog". 2007-01-10. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  10. ^ The Dallas Morning News (2006-12-06). "APSE | Associated Press Sports Editors". Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  11. ^ Mondout, Patrick, Sophomore of the Year Award Winners. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
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  17. ^ The Slocum Award is presented by the New York Baseball Writers Association. Slocum Award. Baseball-Almanac. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  18. ^ For a brief biographical sketch about William J. "Bill" Slocum, see: Honor Rolls of Baseball#Writers.
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  20. ^ "Terry Ryan Award". Play Ball! Minnesota official website. Minnesota Twins Community Fund. Retrieved 2011-11-03. The winner is presented with the [Terry Ryan Award] at the annual Baseball Writers Association of America Diamond Awards along with many other prestigious Twins awards. 
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  23. ^ a b Boswell, Thomas (2007-01-06). "Taking a Pass On McGwire". The Washington Post. 
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"Baseball Writers Unite." Washington Post, October 15, 1908, p. 9.

Further reading

  • "Red Foley Dies at 79; Scorer in 10 World Series". New York Times. The Associated Press. July 16, 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-19. He served for many years as an officer of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and was chairman of the New York chapter in 1969-70. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Annual Awards (2003–present). BBWAA official website
  • Hall of Fame. BBWAA official website
  • Constitution. BBWAA official website
  • Base Ball Writers Association of America.
  • MLB Awards and Baseball Hall of Fame Results. (including HOF inductees, Hall of Famer Batting and Pitching Stats, HOF Ballot and Voting Summaries, Projected or Official Ballots for 2012 to 2015, Voting Results for 1936 to present, and "Most times in the All-Star Game")
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