The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) is an insular fraternity of baseball journalists that is responsible for granting most of Major League Baseball's individual honors, such as the Cy Young Award, the Jackie Robinson Award, and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. They are also the primary arbiters of which players are accepted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In 1906, Jack Rider, a writer with the Cincinnati Enquirer, began rallying other baseball journalists to improve working conditions for the people covering the games. Though very few sportswriters travelled with the teams they covered, he managed to enlist the help of Sid Mercer, a writer with the New York Globe, and Ernest Lanigan, who was with the New York Press. Because the Press had the most extensive baseball coverage, Lanigan was the point man.
On August 11, 1908, a formative meeting of a few writers was held in the National League offices in New York City. With the support of league president Harry Pulliam, the BBWAA was christened in Detroit on October 14, 1908.
The New York teams gave the fledgling group a boost in 1910, when they admitted only BBWAA members to the press box during an intracity series. The organization collected a large number of $2 annual dues, which enabled them to begin working towards their goals of better facilities, standardized scoring rules, and a larger say in the evolution of the baseball rulebook.
The BBWAA consists of 825 reporters, sports editors, columnists and feature reporters who cover baseball. Notably, journalists who work for Internet-only outlets are not permitted to be members. Existing members who have been with the BBWAA for at least 10 years may retain membership cards and Hall of Fame voting privileges if they leave their newspapers, but are still subject to regulations concerning their type of news outlets.
New members may only be nominated by existing members. The nominees are then evaluated by a membership committee, which meets twice a year.
- Associated Press Sports Editors http://apse.dallasnews.com/