THE RESULTS OF A POLL CONDUCTED BY THE
AMERICAN SPORTSCASTERS ASSOCIATION OF ITS MEMBERSHIP
OVERWHELMINGLY ASKS FOR INCLUSION IN THE
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME VOTING
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - New York, NY
Contact: Patrick Turturro - 212-227-8080
September 23, 2011- In a poll recently conducted by the American Sportscasters Association (ASA), its members questioned why sportscasters are not involved in the National Baseball Hall of Fame voting process.
According to Lou Schwartz, President of the ASA, “When the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWA) was asked in 1936 to select by ballot the Hall of Fame members they were, for the most part, the ‘eyes and ears’ of the public. Radio coverage was still in its infancy and televising sports to the general public was still some years away. Today, however, sports reporting through the electronic media has become the predominant source of sports information and it’s the sportscasters who play an equally or even more substantial role in covering and narrating ‘America’s Pastime.’”
The following is a sampling of the numerous comments received by the ASA from its members:
Joe Castiglione, Boston Red Sox: “I feel very strongly about this. I have broadcast over 5,000 games and have never had a vote. I know one writer who has not covered a game since 1972 and still votes even though several generations of players have come and gone since...The voting system needs drastic change. Besides, the writers have done a poor job. It’s hard to believe not one starting pitcher was elected between Nolan Ryan and Bert Blyleven.”
Dick Enberg, San Diego Padres: “I wouldn’t reduce the number of writers, but would add at least one broadcaster for every city.”
Greg Schulte, Arizona Diamondbacks: “We, MLB broadcasters, see all teams in our particular league, in addition to inter-league match ups yearly. We call the plays made, the clutch hits delivered by the greats in the game. We talk to the coaches and managers about the players. Why is our opinion not allowed in saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a player going into the Hall. Times change! Allowing just the writers to vote is archaic...Give the broadcasters a voice!”
Bert Sugar, HBO: “Baseball announcers, most of whom are older and more versed in baseball history than the writers, are far more qualified to vote on the players than most writers. Baseball is losing a major asset, the group of its day-to-day expert analysts, by not including the sportscasters.”
With more than 50 comments like these, it is obvious that the sportscasters feel strongly about being included in the Hall of Fame voting process and, by virtue of a letter to Mr. Jeff Idelson, President of the Baseball Hall of Fame, have made their position known.
The ASA feels that now is the time for the Baseball Hall of Fame to restructure the voting process, which essentially has not changed in over 70 years, and allow sportscasters to take part in the voting.