(As revised and approved,
The name of this organization shall be the BASEBALL WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA.
Section 1: The objects of this Association are:
A: To ensure proper facilities for reporting baseball games and to provide
competent regulation of press boxes of the American League of Professional
Baseball Clubs and the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs,
hereinafter designated as the Major Leagues;
B: To assist in clarifying baseball scoring rules, thereby promoting uniformity in official scoring;
C: To sustain cooperation and fellowship with the baseball writers of the minor leagues;
D: To foster the most creditable qualities of baseball writing and reporting.
A: The Association shall be independent and shall neither ask nor receive favors from the club managements or leagues beyond the rights and privileges necessary to the quicker and more comfortable discharge by members of the Association of their duties to their employers.
B: The Association shall not sponsor or endorse any marketable physical product or suffer any unauthorized use of its insignia. It may, however, elect to make available to commercial television the presentation of its annual awards, provided that all net financial revenues obtained by the Association from such a pre- sentation are distributed to legitimate charitable organizations of the Association’s choosing, at the earliest possible date, in order for the Association to maintain its not-for-profit status.
C: The Association admonishes against any use of its name in publicizing player-award polls other than those for which members are designated as the electorate by agreement with the Baseball Hall of Fame, or those conducted by Association-sponsored committees.
D: The Association shall extend press box courtesies to non-members on legitimate assignment, but shall not invite regular occupancy by extending recognition to credentials of other organizations.
A: In acknowledgement to the Baseball Commissioner and member clubs, who recognize the Association as the custodian of Major League press boxes, the Association accepts responsibility for special services as an empowered agent of the Commissioner at All-Star, League Championships and World Series games.
B: Host chapters shall assist in processing all requests for working press accommodations, shall oversee the charting of seating arrangements, allocate non-transferrable credentials, and appoint Association wardens to police press-section occupancy. Any misused credential shall be revoked, its unauthorized holder ejected, and the violating applicant, whether member or non-member, shall be censured in written protest to his or her publication’s management by the Secretary-Treasurer.
C: The Association’s Commissioner-appointed official scorers and host chapters shall waive fees for All-Star services in favor of the Association, to which such fees shall be deposited.
Section 1: A chapter of the Association shall be located in each Major League area. Chapter membership affiliation shall be governed by the geographical location of the team being covered.
A: Any change in the composition of the Major Leagues that eliminates or adds to
any of the Major League areas shall call for an immediate re-evaluation of the
chapter structure by the national officers and board of directors, and for
subsequent action by national memberships.
B: Any chapter that loses its Major League franchise shall maintain active status for
a period of 10 years. That chapter shall not be eligible to nominate officers nor
shall its members serve on any committee or vote on any special awards.
CHAPTERS: Rules of Order
Section 2: Each chapter shall adopt such rules for conducting business as are compatible with the rules of the Association.
Section 3: Each chapter shall elect annually a Chapter Chair, who will also serve as a deputy to the National Association.
A: Election results shall be reported to the Secretary-Treasurer no later than
December 1 of each year.
B: Any chapter that fails to report the Chair-elect by December 1 shall be declared
to have re-elected the incumbent Chair.
Section 4: Local press box supervision shall be a primary duty of the chapters of the Association.
A: For each press box, an Association warden shall be appointed to police against incursions, empowered to decide the legitimate occupancy of working facilities and to eject unauthorized persons.
B: Chapters shall instruct club-appointed monitors stationed at press box entrances concerning the Association’s restrictions.
Section 5: Chapters shall insist upon efficient, comfortable working conditions for both
visiting and local members.
A: Physical improvements within club premises shall be encouraged locally.
B: Uncorrected inadequacies and suggestions for further improvements of facilities shall be submitted to the Association’s Press Box Committee for negotiation.
Section 6: Each chapter shall require the unanimous approval of its members for
nomination by the Chapter Chair of its candidates for Honorary membership.
Section 7: Each Chapter Chair shall be responsible for the collection of dues in his or
her chapter and shall forward them to the Secretary-Treasurer by January 31.
Section 8: When it is the turn of a local chapter to supply a Vice President for the
National Association, as noted in Article V, the Chapter Chair shall conduct a secret
ballot among the eligible members of the chapter to determine the chapter’s candidate.
The candidate must be elected by a majority of members voting and must be
determined prior to the Annual Meeting at the World Series.
Section 1: Membership in this Association shall be classified as Active and Honorary.
Section 2: Active membership in this Association shall be reserved to persons who meet the following qualifications:
A: Members, as restricted below, of the staff of a daily newspaper which covers, by staff reporter at home and by a staff reporter or special correspondent on the road, 75 percent of the scheduled games of the Major League teams in its area. In the case of a chapter in which two or more Major League teams are based, it shall be sufficient for a paper to cover, by staff reports, 75 per- cent of the home games of those teams.
1. On such papers, the sports editor shall submit to the Chapter Chair a list of applicants. That paper shall be entitled to membership in the Association for one sports editor, all full-time general sports columnists who regularly cover baseball, and as many reporters as are primarily assigned to cover baseball.
2. The definition of “special correspondent,” as noted in Subsection A, shall be determined by the local chapter. Any newspaper denied Association membership in this situation may appeal the ruling to the National Board of Directions.
B: Regularly-assigned sports staff members of foreign-language daily newspapers
or press associations who emphasize single-city coverage, but only within the
limits prescribed above.
C: Statisticians who supply baseball records to daily newspapers, baseball public relations personnel and other specialists who may be deemed eligible by the Board of Directors of the National Association.
D: Members qualifying under A and B (above) shall be affiliated with the appropriate local chapter. Members qualifying under C (above) shall be “Members-at- Large,” not affiliated with any single chapter. Members-at Large shall have full privileges and shall be under the direction of the National Vice President.
E: Full-time employees of major wire services whose primary assignment is covering baseball. These may be either members of a local chapter or Members-at-Large, as determined in each case by the National Board of Directors in consultation with the appropriate Chapter Chair, in accordance with the nature of the member’s responsibilities.
F: Employees of The Sporting News, whose individual qualifications for membership shall be decided by their Chapter Chair, shall be members in the chapter in the Major League area in which they are based.
G. The Association shall also admit full-time members of internet sites under the following procedure:
1. The National Board of Directors each year prior to the national meeting at the World Series shall obtain a list of internet sites issued credentials by Major League Baseball for that year’s World Series. Employees of MLB.com shall not be eligible.
2. Active members attending the Annual Meeting at the World Series shall vote to accept or amend the MLB list of credentialed sites for the purposes of Association membership. A simple majority is needed to accept a site for membership.
3. The Association shall then accept membership applications from full-time employees of those sites whose primary job responsibility is to write about baseball.
4. Applicants who believe they qualify must submit appropriate fees by December 1 to the National Secretary-Treasurer.
5. The National Board of Directors will review all applicants between December 1and the National Meeting at the Winter Meetings to determine whether those applicants meet Association requirements.
6. The National Board of Directors will submit its findings and recommendations at the Winter Meetings National Meeting for a final vote by active members in attendance. A simple majority is required for an applicant’s admission.
7. Approved applicants may then choose to become national members or apply for membership to specific chapters, where further fees might apply.
H: To qualify for Honorary Membership, candidates shall have fulfilled ten years of dues-paid membership and shall have ceased to be Active members.
Section 3: Election to membership shall be decided, subject to
the restraints in Section 5 of this Article as follows:
A: By the Chapter Chair, who each year shall judge the qualifications of his or her city’s applicants, according to Section 2 of this Article.
B: By the National Officers and Board of Directors, who each year shall judge the qualifications of all applicants, drawing when necessary on the counsel of Chapter Chairs.
C: By the Board of Directors, acting upon the questions of eligibility appealed to its consideration.
Section 4: Tenure for various privileges of the Association shall be credited as follows:
A: Tenure for Active members shall accrue only for dues-paid years and periods of
interruption for military service.
B: Any member is retired automatically through severance from qualifying circumstances of employment and may request refund of current dues. Such retirement may be rescinded upon subsequent re-qualification. Tenure shall not accrue during retirement.
C: Any member may retire voluntarily. Such retirement may be rescinded only by the Board of Directors. Tenure shall not accrue during retirement.
D: Honorary Memberships are of lifetime tenure. Such members shall be privileged, upon re-qualification, to optional concurrent Active Membership.
E: Suspension shall forfeit one year of accrued tenure.
F: Expulsion shall forfeit all accrued tenure.
MEMBERS: Duties and Penalties
A: Membership dues, the amount to be determined by the National Board of Directors, shall be forwarded to the Secretary-Treasurer each year during the period between the Annual Meeting at the World Series and January 31of the following year. Dues are refundable to applicants who fail of election.
1. Members in military service and Honorary members shall be exempt from yearly application and dues.
2. Delinquency for annual dues shall void any privileges until back dues are paid, and shall create automatic vacancies. Delinquency for one full year shall be deemed voluntary retirement thereafter, without waiver of unpaid dues.
3. Local Chapter Chairs shall collect and forward dues from their chapters and keep a record of delinquencies.
B: Members shall adhere to the objects and ethics of the Association and shall exercise utmost care in the duties and privileges of memberships.
1. Any member convicted by the Board of Directors of misusing or attempting to misuse his or her membership shall be expelled for five years and his or her membership card shall be revoked.
2. Reinstatement following expulsion shall, in addition to regular membership qualification, require payment of all debts previously contracted through the Association.
C: Members shall respect the selectivity of the Association’s credentials. In no case
does a membership card entitle its holder to press box privileges for any person
other than himself or herself.
1. Violators’ memberships shall be suspended automatically by any Chapter Chair or Association Warden for one year dating there from. This offense shall be reported to the Secretary-Treasurer and the card of the offender shall be revoked.
2. Reinstatement after suspension shall, in addition to regular qualification, require payment of annual dues for the period of suspension.
Section 6: Privileges of membership, unless withheld as provided in Section 5 of this Article, shall include the following:
A: All members shall be entitled annually to a membership card, properly validated for the calendar year of Major League operation.
B: All members shall have the privileges of attendance and debate at all meetings, and of service on special committees.
C: Only Active Members shall have the rights to hold National Office, serve as a Chapter Chair, head committees and serve on standing committees. Honorary members may hold clerical or bookkeeping positions in a local chapter at the discretion of the chapter.
D: Only Active Members shall have the right to vote.
E: The electorate for Association-approved awards shall be subject to the rules of each poll.
F: Members shall be privileged to apply for World Series reserved-seat tickets from the Association’s limited allotments.
Section 1: The officers of this Association shall be a President, a Vice President, a Secretary-Treasurer and four Directors, which seven shall comprise its Board of Directors.
A: There also may be an Executive and/or Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, as the Board may designate, but the Executive and/or Assistant shall not be member(s) of the Board of Directors.
B: The outgoing President shall become one of the four Directors for the following year.
Section 2: Method of officer selection
A: Officers shall be selected at the Annual Meeting at the World Series, with the exception of the Executive/Assistant Secretary-Treasurer(s), who shall be appointed by the Board of Directors.
B: The National President shall be the person who served the previous year as the National Vice President. In the event the National Vice President is unable to serve, the Board of Directors shall determine substitute selection procedures.
C: The incoming National Vice President shall be supplied by one of the local chapters on a rotating basis. The order of rotation is listed in an addendum to
1. If a city looses its Major League franchise, that city’s local chapter will be withdrawn from the rotation and other chapters will move up one year.
2. If any new local chapters are created as the result of franchise changes or expansion, they will go to the bottom of the Vice President rotation after the new franchise’s first season of play.
3. If two or more local chapters are created simultaneously as a result of franchise shifts or expansion, their order at the bottom of the rotation shall be decided by lot.
D: The Secretary-Treasurer will be elected on an at-large basis by majority vote, following nominations from the floor at the Annual Meeting at the World Series.
Section 3: Tenure
A: Officers shall serve for one year, or until their successors are elected, except as provided by Section 4 and Section 6 of this Article.
Section 4: In the event of vacancy, succession to office for the balance of the unexpired
term shall be as follows:
A: Presidency: the Vice President will succeed, and his or her office shall be filled as provided below.
B: Vice Presidency: the Secretary-Treasurer, within 10 days, shall solicit nominations from each local Chapter Chair and conduct a mail ballot, within 10 more days, on which all the nominees will be submitted to all the Chapter Chairs. The new Vice President will be elected by majority vote.
C: Secretary-Treasurer: the Executive Secretary-Treasurer or the Assistant Secretary-Treasurer will succeed, the appointment to be made by the National Board of Directors.
D: Directorship: within 10 days of the vacancy, the National President shall appoint a new member from the vacating Director’s chapter.
Section 5: Duties
A: The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association and shall perform such other duties as are required by the Constitution.
B: The Vice President shall perform the duties of the President in the event of absence or disability; shall serve as Chapter Chair to the Members-at-Large; and shall perform such other duties as are required by the Constitution.
C: The Secretary-Treasurer shall be the Association’s recording, corresponding and financial officer; registrar of memberships; executor of credentials; and shall perform such other duties as are required by the Constitution.
D: The Directors shall uphold the authority of the Association as members of the Board of Directors and shall rule on such matters as come before the Board.
E: The duties of the Executive and/or Assistant Secretary-Treasurer shall be defined by the Board of Directors.
Section 6: Any officer convicted by the Board of Directors of commercializing his or her
office, or any other form of misconduct as defined by the Board, shall be requested to
resign that office. Refusal to resign shall evoke declaration of immediate vacancy. (See
Article VII, Section 3-B.)
Section 7: The salary of the President shall be $2.00 per annum, that of the Vice
President $1.00 per annum, and that of the Secretary-Treasurer to be determined at
the Annual Meeting. The salary of the Executive/Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, if any,
to be determined at the Annual Meeting.
Section 1: Regular meetings of the Association shall be held at the time of the World Series, the joint Major League winter meetings and the All-Star Game, unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Directors. The exact date and place of each meeting shall be at the call of the President.
Section 2: The World Series meeting shall be known as the Annual Meeting, and shall be for the purpose of electing officers, receiving annual reports and for any other regular business that might arise.
Section 3: The quorum for any regular meeting shall consist of representation from a majority of the Association’s local chapters.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Executive
Section 1: The Board of Directors shall serve as an executive council, exercising the Association’s authority between regular meetings.
A: The President and Secretary-Treasurer, ex-officio, shall serve as President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Board.
B: The Board shall adopt, as necessary, such rules for conducting business as are compatible with the rules of the Association.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Judicial
Section 2: As the Association’s supreme tribunal, the Board shall decide:
A: All issues specifically limited to its jurisdiction, including:
1. Approval of chapters, defining metropolitan areas as best suited to the interests of the Association;
2. Rescindment of voluntary retirements, determining reasonable cause for such lapses of membership during eligible years;
3. Election to membership of applicants whose eligibility is not self-evident.
B: Such questions are may be submitted to its consideration, including:
1. Inter-chapter controversies, upon receipt of complaint
of chapter members;
2. Controversial issues encountered by a Secretary-Treasurer during
organization of new chapters.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Disciplinary
Section 3: As the Association’s disciplinary commission, the Board shall be empowered to investigate charges and conduct trials in special meetings in the following manner:
A written statement of charges of any alleged misconduct against a member shall be served on the respondent at least 15 days in advance of any hearing or trial. The written statement shall include a reference to the provision in the Constitution or other governing rule or regulation alleged to have been violated, as well as a statement of the conduct of the respondent that is alleged to have violated that provision.
The Association and the respondent shall exchange lists of witnesses and copies of all
exhibits that they propose to submit at the hearing or trial at least five days in advance
of the hearing or trial.
At the hearing or trial, both the Association and the respondent shall be given a
reasonable opportunity to cross-examine each others’ witnesses, as well as to present
witnesses on their own behalf and to present relevant documentary evidence.
No adverse action shall be taken against the respondent based on information outside the record developed at the hearing or trial; provided, however, that the Association may present evidence on the record regarding a respondent’s past conduct and take such conduct into account in determining the appropriate disciplinary action in the event the respondent is found to have violated the Association’s Constitution or other governing rule or regulation.
Any disciplinary hearing or trial will be held at time, date and place determined by the
Association’s Disciplinary Committee, which shall make a reasonable effort to
accommodate the convenience of the respondent and the parties’ witnesses. The
hearing or trial may be held by telephonic conference call if, in the Association’s sole
discretion that is the only practical alternative. No person involved in the initial levying of
charges against a respondent, and no person employed by any entity publishing a
newspaper in the same geographical market as the newspaper for which the
respondent is a reporter or writer shall serve on the Association’s Disciplinary
Committee hearing the charges. At least one member of the Disciplinary Committee
shall be a sports editor of a daily newspaper, the selection of whom shall be the sole
discretion of the Association’s Board of Directors.
Action of the Board of Directors shall be final.
A: Conviction of charges punishable by expulsion from membership shall require a majority vote (4) of the Board.
B: Conviction of charges punishable by expulsion from National office shall require a two-thirds vote (5) of the Board, which shall allow such officer the courtesy of immediate resignation. If declined, a declaration of automatic vacancy shall be mandatory upon the Board.
Section 1: The following committees, appointed annually by the President-Elect before the Winter Meeting, shall function for their stated purpose throughout the year and shall submit annual reports.
A: The 3-man Rules Committee to solicit suggestions for revision of baseball’s
playing and scoring rules and to prompt Association-endorsed changes through
its chairman in conference with the Baseball’s Joint Rule Committee;
B: The 5-man Records Committee, including the two Service Bureau Members, to formulate non-retroactive standards of authenticity for official player records and to explore record inconsistencies flagrant enough to warrant possible change;
C: A 2-man Press Box Committee, each member a co-chairman representing the Association throughout a separate league, for:
1. Negotiation with individual club managements to correct persistent inadequacies and to promote further chapter-endorsed improvements in working facilities;
2. Discouragement of abuse of press box privileges by club managements or chapters;
3. Pursuit of unresolved Association-endorsed complaints, enlisting the concurrent services of its ex-officio members, through written notice as necessary to chapters, club managements and landlords and the Baseball Commissioner, or, in most extremity, evoking public censure by the Association.
D: A 3-man Clubhouse Committee, consisting of a Chairman and two Service Bureau Members, to suggest improvements to the Commissioner for accommodations of the working press at the All-Star, League Championships Series and the World Series games, and to work similarly with Club Managements in anticipation of heavily-covered regular-season or post-season games;
E: A 3-man Auditing Committee, selected from among the members of the Secretary-Treasurer’s chapter, to certify the correctness of the Financial Officer’s reports and to safeguard the Association’s control of funds through its Committee Chairman’s co-signature upon all Association bank accounts.
Section 2: Special committees created by resolution for specific purposes shall be
appointed by the President to function until fulfillment of their select duties, when they
shall report with formal resolutions covering their recommendations, if any.
Section 3: All committees for Association-conducted player-award elections shall be
appointed annually by the President according to the rules of each poll, the announced
results of which shall serve in lieu of any reports.
Section 4: The Association’s participating committee in Hall of Fame elections shall be
appointed by the Secretary-Treasurer according to the rules set forth in agreement with the Hall of Fame’s Committee.
A: Any member whose committee appointment is received by mail shall be empowered to serve immediately.
B: The President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer shall be ex-officio members of all committees.
The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall govern the Association in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with the special rules of order and precedents of this Association.
AMENDMENT PROCEDURE: Two-thirds Vote
Section 1: Amendments of this Constitution shall require a two-thirds vote of members present at any regular meeting.
AMENDMENT PROCEDURE: Previous Notice
Section 2: All proposals for amendment of this Constitution shall require previous notice and advance circulation to all chapters. An amendment must be presented for consideration at any regular meeting but may not be voted upon until the following regular meeting.
(Article V, Section 2, Sub-section C)
For clarification purposes, here is the Presidential and Vice Presidential rotation through the year 2032, subject to additional change because of franchise shifts or expansion. The term of office begins at the Annual Meeting at the World Series in the month of October PRECEDING the listed year and terminates with the World Series of the listed year.
Year President Vice President
Year President Location/Organization
Charles J. Doyle
1943 Gordon Cobbledick Cleveland Plain Dealer
1949 Roscoe McGowen New York Times
1961 Ed Rumil Christian Science Monitor
1966 Hal Lebovitz Cleveland Plain Deale
1988 Vern Plagenhoef Booth Newspapers
Year President Location/Organization
2005 T.R. Sullivan Fort Worth Star Telegram
2007 Paul Hoynes Cleveland Plain Dealer
Year Secretary Location
1924-39 Henry P. Edwards Cleveland and Chicago
J.G. Taylor Spink Award
Named in honor of the late publisher of The Sporting News, the award was established by the
Baseball Writers’ Association of America to recognize meritorious contributions to baseball by members of the BBWAA. The award was established shortly before Spink’s death, and he was chosen the first winner. The legendary journalist was honored posthumously at the 1963 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies.
Year Award Recipient
1962 J.G. Taylor Spink
1963 Ring Lardner
1964 Hugh Fullerton
1965 Charles Dryden
1966 Grantland Rice
1967 Damon Runyon
1968 H.G. Salsinger
1969 Sid Mercer
1970 Heywood C. Broun
1971 Frank Graham
1972 Dan Daniel, Fred Lieb, J. Roy Stockton
1973 Warren Brown, John Drebinger,
John F. Kiernan
1974 John Carmichael, James Isaminger
1975 Tom Meany, Shirley Povich
1976 Harold Kaese, Red Smith
1977 Gordon Cobbledick, Edgar Munzel
1978 Tim Murnane, Dick Young
1979 Bob Broeg, Tommy Holmes
1980 Joe Reichler, Milton Richman
1981 Bob Addie, Allen Lewis
1982 Si Burick
1983 Ken Smith
1984 Joe McGuff
1985 Earl Lawson
1986 Jack Lang
1987 Jim Murray
1988 Bob Hunter, Ray Kelly
1989 Jerome Holtzman
1990 Phil Collier
1991 Ritter Collett
1992 Leonard Koppett, Bus Saidt
1993 Wendell Smith
1994 No award
1995 Joseph Durso
1996 Charles Feeney
1997 Sam Lacy
1998 Bob Stevens
1999 Hal Lebovitz
2000 Ross Newham
2002 Hal McCoy
2004 Peter Gammons
2005 Tracy Ringolsby
2006 Rick Hummel
2008 Larry Whiteside