I was thinking about Jose Rijo’s renewed Major League career and came up with a question.
Under the rules rules for election, a player must be retired for five years to be eligible to be voted upon by the Baseball Writers Association of America. In order to stay on the ballot the next year, a player must get 5% of the vote.
Jose Rijo was eligible for the Hall in the 2001 election. In that election, he received one vote and was dropped from the ballot.
My questions are as follows:
Will he be eligible again for BBWAA election five years after he re-retires? If so, could any player renew his eligibility by playing a minor league game (since minor league play counts. You must be retired for five years from all Organized Baseball play)?
If he had gotten 5% of the vote, could he have remained on the ballot anyway?
If he had been elected, would he have to surrender his position in the Hall, since only retired players are eligible?
My guess is no on #2 and #3. I really, however, don’t know about #1. Where it really comes into play is with Pete Rose. Rose last played in 1986. That means that in order to be elected by the BBWAA, he must be reinstated by 2006, or else his eligibility will pass to the newly reformed Veterans Committee. However, suppose he is not reinstated until 2010 and he really wants to be elected by the BBWAA (which, to me anyway, was a more “honorable” way of getting into the Hall). Could he simply convince the Reds’ management to allow him to play in one minor league game (or even a meaningless at bat in a major league game) and thereby renew his eligibility in five years?