The Baseball Writers Association of America is a professional association of certified print journalists writing for newspapers, magazines and a variety of accredited web sites.
Founded in 1908, the organization was formed to ensure professional working conditions for beat writers at all MLB ballparks and to promote uniformity of scoring methods. For many years, BBWAA members had significant influence about what happened in and who was admitted to the press box. Today, the BBWAA works in collaboration with MLB and their teams to preserve professional integrity in each press box and maintain a working relationship with the team, its players and management.
The most public function of today’s BBWAA is that its members, with at least 10 years of membership, vote to elect qualified retired players to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Two members from each chapter vote to award the annual MVP’s, Cy Young, Rookies of the Year and Managers of the Year awards in the National and American Leagues.
The original membership in 1908 featured 43 writers. As of 2014, there were 715 active members from 26 MLB cities. Of the active members, there are approximately 600 members who vote on the Hall of Fame including an estimated 40 who are from Canada and Japan. In total, there are approximately 100 international members of the BBWAA representing Canada, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was elected vice president of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America at the BBWAA’s 2014 World Series meeting. As is tradition of the 107 year old organization, Goold is in line to become president of the association in 2016.
Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle has been elected president for 2015.
LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune was elected to the BBWAA board along with Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Tyler Kepner of The New York Times and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Neal was the first African-American writer to serve as president of the organization (2014) and Slusser, as the previous past-president (2013), was the first female writer to serve as BBWAA president.
Members of the BBWAA have two primary responsibilities for the association;
- Active members vote on Post-Season Awards and
- Active members of the BBWAA, for at least 10 consecutive seasons, are eligible to vote for the Hall of Fame.