Flashback: MLB victimized by voter fraud …

… and responded by taking the vote away from fans!

Want to know why MLB is so touchy about voting rights?

Well, it all goes back to the 1957 All-Star game balloting.

Controversy surrounded the 1957 game:

Cincinnati Reds’ fans stuffed the ballot boxes and elected nearly their entire team to starting positions.

The voting shenanigans deprived baseball greats Hank Aaron and Willie Mays of honored starting spots.

Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick (and many non-Cincinnati fans) was outraged.

So, Frick overrode the fans’ votes and named Aaron and Hayes to the starting lineup and …

Frick took the bold step of  eliminating fan all-star balloting entirely.

He transferred All-Star voting rights from fans  to the players, managers and coaches starting in 1957. Source

Fans were excluded from MLB’s all-star selection process until 1970, when fans regained a “role” in the selection process.

That role was not a final say.

Over the years, MLB’s all-star voting has morphed into a Byzantine, centrally managed process.

Byzantine: a system or situation that is excessively complicated, and typically involving a great deal of administrative detail.

In a nutshell, here’s how the MLB’s annual all-star roster is selected:  Source

  • All-Star Game starters (except for starting pitchers and the NL’s starting designated hitter) are chosen via fan vote in 2 phases (think: primary and run-off elections)
  • Phase 1 is akin to a political primary election.  Voting is conducted online & via paper ballots — stacks of which are are freely distributed at games. (think: mail in ballots). The top 3 vote getters advance to the “Starters Selection”
  • Phase 2 — the Starters Selection — is akin to a run-off political election. Vote totals are reset, and fans have a 28-hour period to vote online on starters from the list of finalists at each position. (Note: No provision is made for rural, minority or poor fans who lack internet access)
  • All of the pitchers and position-player reserves are chosen through a combination of player ballot selections and choices made by the Commissioner’s Office (i.e. fans have no say re: 75% of the roster slots)
  • All teams are guaranteed at least one roster slot (think: U.S. Senate representation)
  • The Commissioner (who decided to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta) reserves the right to over-rule any selection that is not in the best interest of baseball.


So, these jabrones self-appoint as the arbiters of voting rights?

C’mon, man.

Have they looked in a mirror recently?

As the Babylon Bee asked: Will the MLB stop requiring picture IDs for beer purchases … and sell beer until the last out?

I’m betting the under …


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