The Baseball Writers Association of America is a professional association of certified print journalists writing for newspapers, magazines and a variety of accredited websites.
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 of 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.
Jose de Jesus Ortiz, then of the Houston Chronicle and now a columnist at the Post-Dispatch, served as president of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in 2015. Derrick Goold, the lead baseball reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, served as president in 2016 while Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post served in 2017.
Members of the BBWAA have two primary responsibilities for the association;
- Active members vote on Post-Season Awards (NL MVP, AL MVP, NL Cy Young, AL Cy Young, NL Rookie of the Year, AL Rookie of the Year, NL Manager of the Year and AL Manager of the Year)
- Active members of the BBWAA, for at least 10 consecutive seasons, are eligible to vote for the Hall of Fame.