New Blog Post: Future Hall of Famers on Display?
(July 20, 2011) The recent Major League Baseball All-Star Game and the FIFA Women’s World Cup put many truly exceptional players on display. Most will become part of the Hall of Fame conversation, some will actually make the ballot, while fewer still will, on a special day, accept the treasured honor of being inducted into their respective sport Hall of Fame. What will determine which of these players on display will become a Hall of Famer?
Virtually all of the players are in the conversation. Currently they are the elite players, but what more needs to be done for them to move from the conversation to the ballot. The next hurdle for ballot consideration must be longevity; is the player consistently an outstanding performer over the course of a career of significant length. Being great one year is wonderful, but not enough for Hall of Fame consideration. Being great over 5 or 10 or more years is an obvious requirement. The length of time may vary from sport to sport, but must be long enough to be convincing.
Many Halls of Fame consider the person as well as the accomplishments; perhaps most visibly, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and its position relative to the eligibility of Pete Rose for election. Rose or as he was nicknamed, “Charlie Hustle” certainly demonstrated on the field the competitive drive and success that creates a Hall of Fame career. But his actions off the field have led Major League Baseball to ban him from the sport. Consequently, the Hall of Fame tells us, he is ineligible for the Hall of Fame ballot.
That’s the legal side, but do you have a similar way to determine ballot eligibility? How do you consider character? Many leave that consideration up to the individual voter, charging them with assessing the “character” issue as an individual. Is that the best way forward for your Hall of Fame?
Questions that are worth discussion as we remember with wonder at some of the awe-inspiring performances we have seen in the last week.
Jack Huckel, Founder & Principal of J.R. Huckel & Associates, offers election and induction consulting services to Halls of Fame. Jack served the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum as Director of Museum and Archives for 9-1/2 years after more than 10 years as a volunteer. More information is available at the firm’s web site. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518/852-3033.
Jack is a member of the International Sports Heritage Association, whose Annual Conference, “Survive AND Thrive,” will be held on October 12 – 14, 2011 at the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum in Oakville, Ontario.