Deadspin has successfully purchased a 2014 Hall of Fame vote from a member of the Baseball Writer's Association of America and plan to fill out the ballot by polling its readers, according to Deadspin's Tim Marchman.
The method in which Deadspin plans to poll its readers is still largely up in the air at the moment, but needless to say any sort of crowd-sourcing for a Hall of Fame vote will be an unprecedented event.
The site initially proposed the idea just two weeks ago, so it didn't take very long to find a willing participant. That someone was willing to give over their vote came as no surprise to Marchman, whom we reached out to via email:
I wasn't surprised at all—it was always meant as a dead serious offer, and we were pretty sure someone would bite. Hopefully more voters will come forward and give us control of their votes in exchange for cash or donations to charities of their choice.
The price of the bought ballot and the name of the BBWAA member who gave his/her vote are unknown, but the voter is expected to reveal him/herself once the ballot is officially cast in mid-February.
The reasoning behind the site's effort to buy a vote is described as such:
Our idea was to make a mockery and farce of the increasingly solemn and absurd election process, and to take some power from the duly appointed custodians of the game's history and turn it over to the public.
Traditionally, Hall of Fame votes are exclusive to BBWAA members who have been "active baseball writers" for at least 10 years. Marchman and others have taken umbrage to this oligarchy of sorts because the designation does not necessarily mean that the voter is currently covering baseball, and it allows the voter to be the ultimate gatekeeper for the "necessary threshold of perceived moral purity," as Marchman puts it, mostly in regards to PED speculation.
The Hall of Fame announced its ballot for the 2014 induction Tuesday morning. There are 19 first-time eligible players on the ballot this year, including HOF shoo-ins Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. They join the group of 17 holdovers that consists of Jack Morris -- in his final year on the ballot -- and saber-fan favorite Tim Raines.