Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Baseball Hall Of Fame

Judy Wolff has been discussing the issues with what I think of as the American Bridge Hall of Fame.  I say this because the only players in it are Americans.  A few Canadian players are included in different categories but not nominated as players.   As a result the Canadian Bridge Federation will be establishing a Canadian Bridge Hall of Fame and it will be interesting to see how they set up the process.

After reading Judy’s blogs and some emails and some comments I thought I might look at the Baseball Hall of Fame.  To me it is the pinnacle of such ventures.  I have been to Cooperstown more than once and it is well worth the visit.  It goes far beyond honoring the best of baseball.  I love it.

Players can be elected by the Baseball Writer’s Association or by the Veteran’s Committee.  The Veteran’s Committee considers non-players such as managers, umpires or executives as well as players back further in time.  While the writers are focused on players who have retired more recently.

Any writers association members ( for bridge IBPA members) for at least ten years can nominate players.  The players they select must have played in the major leagues 5-20 years before the date of the election.  (For bridge players above 60 and perhaps no more than 90, alive or dead).

The next step is for nominees to go through a screening committee.  The committee consist of 6 writers appointed by the BBWAA (like the IBPA).  There screening committee votes and basically the player must get at least 2 votes.  From zero to 10 candidates are put on the ballet and their are no write-in.  The player must receive 75% of the vote of the writers association membership.

Now here are the criteria used by the screening committee: record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contribution to the teams he played on.

The veteran’s committee is comprised of members who are Hall of Famers.  Candidates must have been retired 21 years but otherwise the process is identical (for bridge players alive or dead above 90 perhaps). 

It is a lengthy process but players who make it to the HoF deserve it. 

So what should bridge do?  Some thing along the same lines.  By broaden t

Would this work for bridge?  I think so.  Although perhaps there are not enough reliable members of the IBPA to make it work and others might be added.  Maybe the IBPA isn’t the right body.  What do you think?

I think the idea of having a player category and a builder and administrator category is pretty good.  And hey if you don’t want to include Canadians its okay with me but maybe you should change the name.  But please add the criteria skill to the decision making and don’t make it solely on record.  It is important in baseball where you can be a good player on a bad team and vice versa.  It is important in bridge too. 

Without that criteria you might as well call it the American Bridge Hall of people who won a lot of things.   If you are going that route you don’t really need selectors.  Just get a printout of the players from the US who have won the most events and aren’t currently in the ABHPWWLT.  Its kind of a master point scheme really.  You will need to think about how to fit women and seniors into the ABHPWWLT since they can win a lot of things too in their own events. 


JUDY KAY-WOLFFJanuary 21st, 2010 at 5:38 am


Thanks for taking the time to detail your thoughts, objections and suggestions regarding the Hall of Fame issue. Probably the greatest travesty of justice was not recognizing Sami Kehela and Eric Murray (Canadians, of course) with the early batch of honorees to the ACBL HOF beginning in the mid to late nineties.

As I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, Bobby says there would not be one good, honest team in the world who would not have welcomed them aboard with open arms (as well as Tommy Sanders, another overlooked super player who was left adrift until he was recognized in one of the other categories — as were Sami and Eric).

Their talents and ethics were certainly not an issue. They ranked up there as one of the best partnerships in the world in their day. I suspect they did not get enough votes because most of the electors were from ACBL Land (USA primarily) and although their number of victories was astounding, the voters always look after their own flock first. That is known as Charity Begins at Home. No other reason is plausable — certainly not lack of talent and respectability!

Your last paragraph says it all! You cut to the chase by calling a spade a spade.

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Ross TaylorJanuary 21st, 2010 at 7:40 pm

The CBF has already begun its process. Here is the relevant text from the CBF website Linda.

“At its 2009 annual meeting in Penticton, the CBF Board of Directors voted to create the Canadian Bridge Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame will be maintained in a separate section of the CBF website, and will highlight the accomplishments of Canadians, who through their playing record or their contributions to the advancement of bridge in Canada and around the world, are deserving of this honour.

The Board also established the CBF Hall of Fame Committee to oversee the Hall of Fame program in conjunction with the Board of Directors. John Carruthers of Toronto has agreed to become the first Chair of the Hall of Fame Committee and will be filling out the remainder of the Committee in the months ahead. Draft operating procedures have been prepared and will be finalized during a Board conference call later this year. It is intended that new inductees will be announced each year beginning in 2010 during the Canadian Bridge Championships (formerly known as Bridge Week).

The Canadian Bridge Hall of Fame will have two categories of inductees, Players and Builders. The Player category will be comprised of those Canadians with outstanding records in play. The Builder category will consist of persons whose accomplishments, including, but not limited to, service to Canadian bridge and bridge administration, are invaluable to Canadian bridge. This category could also include, for example, bridge authors, teachers and others with unique accomplishments.

For induction into the Canadian Bridge Hall of Fame, the CBF has decided on a criterion of 60 years of age, in order to allow time for a person’s accomplishments to be put into proper perspective with his or her peers. Deceased persons will be exempt from this requirement. Anyone can nominate someone for the Canadian Bridge Hall of Fame – nominations and supporting documentation should be sent to John Carruthers, Chair, Canadian Bridge Hall of Fame at”

Stacy Jacobs » hall of skillJanuary 21st, 2010 at 7:44 pm

[…] a properly administered and appropriately selective Hall of Fame. Linda Lee over at BridgeBlogging, weighing in from Canada, also looks to baseball as a good example of a process for selecting honorees that’s better […]

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