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.
MEMBERS: Classification and Election
Section 1: Membership in this Association shall be classified as Active and Honorary.
Section 2: Active membership in this Association shall be reserved for professional journalists whose primary responsibility is the coverage of Major League Baseball.
Section 3: Active membership shall be divided into Access Membership and General Membership. The MLB credential that grants access to all MLB ballparks shall be provided to Access Members. A BBWAA membership card shall be provided to General Members, who can apply to individual clubs for credentials on an as-needed basis.
A: All members in good standing as of the adoption of this amendment shall remain Access Members, job responsibilities notwithstanding, so long as they remain active members.
B: All members shall renew their membership annually – and all prospective members shall apply – through a local chapter chairman. The national board of directors shall refer prospective members to an appropriate local chapter.
C: By the end of the 2015 season, each local chapter shall adopt – and each local chapter chairman shall make available – guidelines to use in determining how members shall be classified Access Members and General Member. Such guidelines shall specify how much in-person coverage is necessary for Access Membership, as well as whatever other criteria each local chapter chooses to adopt. The guidelines may vary among local chapters, but all guidelines shall be subject to review by the national board of directors.
D: Each local chapter chairman shall evaluate prospective members based on the guidelines cited in Paragraph C. All members shall be subject to annual review to ensure they are classified in the proper tier, albeit with the grandfather clause cited in Paragraph A.
E: Statisticians who supply baseball records to daily newspapers, baseball public relations personnel and other specialists may be deemed eligible for membership by the national board of directors. Any such members shall be classified as “members at large.”
F: The national board of directors shall hear any appeals from parties with regard to rejection of membership or classification among membership categories.
G: Honorary members shall have fulfilled 10 years of active membership and shall have ceased to be active members.
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
- 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.
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 31 of the following year. Dues are refundable to applicants who fail of election.
- 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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 this document.
- 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:
- 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.
A: All issues specifically limited to its jurisdiction, 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.
B: Such questions are may be submitted to its consideration, including:
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;
- 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.
C: A 2-man Press Box Committee, each member a co-chairman representing the Association throughout a separate league, for:
- 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.
|2026||Tampa Bay||San Diego|
|2029||Milwaukee||Dallas – Fort Worth|
|2030||Dallas – Fort Worth||Baltimore – Washington|
|2031||Baltimore – Washington||Cleveland|
|2021||C. Trent Rosecrans||The Athletic (Cincinnati)|
|2020||Paul Sullivan||Chicago Tribune|
|2019||Rob Biertempfel||The Athletic, Pittsburgh
|2018||Clark Spencer||Miami Herald|
|2017||Patrick Saunders||Denver Post|
|2016||Derrick Goold||St. Louis Post Dispatch|
|2015||Jose de Jesus Ortiz||Houston Chronicle|
|2014||LaVelle E. Neal III||Minneapolis Star Tribune|
|2013||Susan Slusser||San Francisco Chronicle|
|2012||Bill Shaikin||Los Angeles Times|
|2010||John Lowe||Detroit Free Press|
|2009||Dave O'Brien||Atlanta Journal Constitution|
|2008||Bob Dutton||Kansas City Star|
|2007||Paul Hoynes||Cleveland Plain Dealer|
|2006||Peter Schmuck||Baltimore Sun|
|2005||T.R. Sullivan||Fort Worth Star Telegram|
|2004||Drew Olson||Milwaukee Journal Sentinel|
|2003||Paul Hagen||Philadelphia Daily News|
|2002||Bill Center||San Diego Union Tribune|
|2001||Ian MacDonald||Montreal Gazette|
|2000||Charles Scoggins||Lowell Sun|
|1999||Bob Elliott||Toronto Sun|
|1998||Jim Street||Seattle Post Intelligencer|
|1997||Hal McCoy||Dayton Daily News|
|1996||Jerome Holtzman||Chicago Tribune|
|1995||Paul Meyer||Pittsburgh Post Gazette|
|1994||Rick Hummel||St. Louis Post Dispatch|
|1993||Neil Hohlfeld||Houston Chronicle|
|1992||Pat Reusse||Minneapolis Star Tribune|
|1991||Kit Stier||Oakland Tribune|
|1990||Gordon Verrell||Long Beach Press Telegram|
|1989||Phil Pepe||New York Daily News|
|1988||Vern Plagenhoef||Booth Newspapers|
|1987||Gerry Fraley||Atlanta Constitution|
|1986||Tracy Ringolsby||Dallas Morning News|
|1985||Sheldon Ocker||Akron Beacon Journal|
|1984||Jim Henneman||Baltimore Sun|
|1983||Randy Galloway||Dallas Morning News|
|1982||Tom Flaherty||Milwaukee Journal|
|1981||Raymond Kelly, Jr.||Camden Courier Post|
|1980||Phil Collier||San Diego Union|
|1979||Jean Paul Sarault||Montreal Matin|
|1978||Bill Liston||Boston Herald American|
|1977||Earl Lawson||Cincinnati Post|
|1976||Richard Dozer||Chicago Tribune|
|1975||Charley Feeney||Pittsburgh Post Gazette|
|1974||Jack Herman||St. Louis Globe Democrat|
|1973||Joe Heiling||Houston Post|
|1972||Max Nicols||Minneapolis Star|
|1971||Bob Stevens||San Francisco Chronicle|
|1970||Bob Hunter||Los Angeles Herald Examiner|
|1969||Dick Young||New York Daily News|
|1968||Watson Spoelstra||Detroit News|
|1967||Bob Addie||Washington Post|
|1966||Hal Lebovitz||Cleveland Plain Dealer|
|1965||Joe McGuff||Kansas City Star|
|1964||Lou Hatter||Baltimore Sun|
|1963||Bob Wolf||Milwaukee Journal|
|1962||Ray Kelly||Philadelphia Bulletin|
|1961||Ed Rumil||Christian Science Monitor|
|1960||Edgar Munzel||Chicago Sun-Times|
|1959||Les Biederman||Pittsburgh Press|
|1958||Bob Broeg||St. Louis Post Dispatch|
|1957||Dan Daniel||New York World Telegram|
|1956||Lyall Smith||Detroit Free Press|
|1955||Shirley Povich||Washington Post|
|1954||Edward J. McAuley||Cleveland News|
|1953||Joe Cashman||Boston Record|
|1952||Lou Smith||Cincinnati Enquirer|
|1951||Franklin W. Yeutter||Philadelphia Evening Bulletin|
|1950||Chester L. Smith||Pittsburgh Press|
|1949||Roscoe McGowen||New York Times|
|1948||Edward H. Burns||Chicago Tribune|
|1947||Tommy Holmes||Brooklyn Eagle|
|1946||Frank F. O’Neill/Leo Macdonell||Washington Times Herald/Detroit Times|
|1945||Martin J. Haley||St. Louis Globe Democrat|
|1944||John M. Malaney||Boston Post|
|1943||Gordon Cobbledick||Cleveland Plain Dealer|
|1942||Albert M. Horwits||Philadelphia Ledger|
|1941||Tom Swope||Cincinnati Post|
|1940||Sid Mercer||New York Journal American|
|1939||Paul Shannon/Charles J. Doyle||Boston Post/Pittsburgh Sun Telegraph|
|1938||Irving Vaughan||Chicago Tribune|
|1937||Charles M. Segar||New York Daily Mirror|
|1936||Stuart M. Bell||Cleveland Press|
|1935||James C. Isaminger||Philadelphia Inquirer|
|1934||H.G. Salsinger||Detroit News|
|1933||Denman Thompson||Washington Star|
|1932||J. Roy Stockton||St. Louis Post Dispatch|
|1931||William J. Slocum||New York American|
|1929-30||James Crusinberry||Chicago Daily News|
|1927-28||Burt Whitman||Boston Herald|
|1925-26||James M. Gould||St. Louis|
|1921-24||Fred Lieb||New York|
|1919-20||Irving E. Sanborn||Chicago|
|1908-19||Joseph Jackson||Detroit and Washington|
|1993-||Jack O’Connell||New York|
|1966-88||Jack Lang||New York|
|1939-57||Ken Smith||New York|
|1924-39||Henry P. Edwards||Cleveland and Chicago|
|1917-24||Joseph M. McCready||Philadelphia|
|1908-17||William G. Weart||Philadelphia|