Founded in 1908, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America was established to assist journalists covering Major League Baseball for daily newspapers. Its purpose is to ensure proper working conditions in press boxes and clubhouses, and to ensure its members have access to players and others in the game so members’ reporting can be accurate, fair and complete.
Today there are more than 700 active members of the BBWAA working for newspapers, magazines and major web sites. The main requirement for membership is still that a writer works for a newspaper or news outlet that covers major league baseball on a regular basis. The full qualifications for membership can be found in the BBWAA constitution.
The BBWAA has also been authorized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame to serve as the body that elects former players for enshrinement. Writers who have been active members of the BBWAA for at least 10 consecutive seasons are eligible to vote for the Hall of Fame. Writers who are eligible may remain “lifetime members” even once they are no longer active in the BBWAA.
Only active BBWAA members are permitted to vote for the annual awards, which include MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year. Two writers from each city in the league vote on those awards. The ballots are cast before the start of the postseason, and the winners are announced after the World Series, in November.