The National Baseball Hall of Fame has announced a change to its voting schedule, as players may now only stay on the ballot for 10 years, as opposed to the previous 15 years. The change will allow three players, Don Mattingly, Alan Trammel, and Lee Smith to be grandfathered in and stay on the ballot. The change is slated to be made next season.
On a Hall of Fame Weekend where there has been much discussion surrounding the players who were left out, this change has the potential to greatly alter the outlook of the players who were not voted in. Voters will have less time to make a decision on players like Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds, who were directly connected to steroid use. Some of the general thinking on the Hall of Fame was that, as time passes, the sentiment about players like Bonds and Clemens will soften and the players will get closer to election.
From a Mets perspective, the change greatly affects Mike Piazza, who has yet to be elected, despite the fact that detractors have kept him out over hearsay. Piazza was included on 62.2% of ballots, and that number was expected to improve in coming years. Piazza will have an uphill battle on his hands next year with Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz all appearing for the first time. With the change in voting, it remains to be seen just how Piazza will fare with the pressure on voters building.