National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is home to the greatest stars and the history of the game. It is an independent, non-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of baseball and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our national pastime.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is the central point for the study of the history of baseball in the United States and beyond, the display of baseball-related artifacts and exhibits, and the honoring of persons who have excelled in playing, managing, and serving the sport. Elections commenced in 1936 for the selection of worthy individuals to be honored by induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame, though the first induction ceremonies were not held until the Hall opened in 1939. As of 2010, a total of 292 individuals have been inducted, including 232 players, 20 managers, 9 umpires, and 31 pioneers and executives.
According to the current rules, players must have at least 10 years of major league experience to be eligible for induction. In addition, they must be retired for at least 5 years if living, or deceased for at least 6 months. Players meeting these qualifications must pass through a screening committee, and are then voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Each writer may vote for up to 10 players; to be admitted into the Hall of Fame, a player must be approved by 75% of those casting ballots. Players receiving less than 5% approval are removed from future BBWAA ballots. The current rules, most recently revised in July 2010, allow that all individuals eligible for induction but not for the BBWAA ballot - players who have not been approved by the BBWAA election process within 20 years of their retirement, umpires, managers, pioneers, and executives - may be considered by the Veterans Committee in every third year, based on the era in which each individual candidate made his greatest contribution to the sport.