Sunday, July 26, 2009



Los Angeles - On the morning of July 14, 2009, the Base Ball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voted against forming a committee to establish guidelines for Hall of Fame voting regarding players of the steroid era.

By 3:00 p.m. PST, the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) had formed a committee to develop guidelines on the matter for the association's members. Results are as follows:

1. IBWAA steroid era Hall of Fame guidelines have been established for IBWAA voting purposes only. It is neither our intention to tell the BBWAA how to run its business, nor to criticize the Hall in any way, shape or form. We do, however, think the BBWAA's decision not to form a committee was silly.

2. Our performance-enhancing drug (PED) guidelines are subject to addendum. It is the expressed intention of the IBWAA to change on the fly, to be inclusive, and to incorporate new members' thoughts into existing policies and procedures.

3. Hall of Fame voting is to be, first and foremost, a democratic process. One person, one vote, with voting by secret ballot, and every vote counting equally.

4. Individual members are free to share his or her votes publicly, and in any form of media available, but are under no obligation to do so. Members choosing to discuss his or her votes publicly do not speak for the IBWAA as a group in so doing.

5. Voters may consider a player's performance-enhancing drug use as part of the selection process. While there is to be no suggestion by the IBWAA to its members that a player's name appearing in the Mitchell Report be considered with any particular degree of severity in the selection process, a member may consider such an appearance as part of his or her thinking.

6. Similarly, voters may consider a player's suspension by Major League Baseball for having tested positive for a banned substance during his career, but are not required to do so.

7. The IBWAA strongly suggests that while qualities of sportsmanship and character be considered as part of the equation, members should endeavor not to be influenced by rumors, hearsay, unsubstantiated items found to be in publication, a player's ethnic background or physical appearance as voting criteria.

Participating members of the new IBWAA committee include Kevin Braun, freelance writer and former copy editor at Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Howard Cole, editor,; Tom Hoffarth, Media/General Columnist, Los Angeles Daily News; Ron Kaplan, sports and features editor, New Jersey Jewish News; and Dave Nichols, editor, Nationals News Network.

Launched July 4, 2009, the IBWAA was created by Cole to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as an alternative voice to the Base Ball Writers Association of America.

Association memberships are open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a yearly membership of $10.

For more information on the IBWAA, please visit the temporary webpage here, In the coming months, the IBWAA can be found at Howard Cole can be reached at

Howard Cole
Acting Director, IBWAA

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