New rules would have left mark on prior Hall inductees

Dozen players have earned enshrinement after 10th year of eligibility

New rules would have left mark on prior Hall inductees

Saturday's rule change regarding the Baseball Hall of Fame election process for recently retired players would have altered the enshrinement paths for 12 current members, including three inducted within the last decade.

Under the new policy, players can remain on the ballot for a maximum of only 10 years -- as opposed to the previous limit of 15. Of the 211 players in the Hall of Fame, 115 were elected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Only 12 of those 115 were elected in their 11th year or later on the ballot.

The following is a list of players in the Hall of Fame who would have been affected by the new guidelines:

Dazzy Vance, 16th ballot (1955): No Hall of Famer spent more years on the ballot than Vance. After a number of close calls, the right-hander was finally elected in 1955 when his name was listed on 81.7 percent of 251 ballots. Vance went 197-140 with a 3.24 ERA over 16 big league seasons, a dozen of which he spent with the Brooklyn Robins.

Jim Rice, 15th ballot (2009): Rice was the only player to be elected directly by the BBWAA in his 15th and final year on the ballot, not including run-off elections. An eight-time All-Star, Rice spent his entire 16-year career with the Red Sox. He won the 1978 American League MVP Award and finished in the top five for MVP voting five other times, including in his official rookie season in '75.

Red Ruffing, 15th ballot (1967): Ruffing was also elected in his final year on the ballot, though he did not technically receive enough votes to qualify for the Hall of Fame. Despite his 212 votes being seven shy of the necessary amount for induction, he was voted into the Hall of Fame a month later in a runoff election since no player qualified in that year. Ruffing, who was a six-time World Series champion and six-time All-Star, was the last player to be elected via a runoff vote.

Bert Blyleven, 14th ballot (2011): Unless one of the grandfathered players (Don Mattingly, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell) gets voted in, Blyleven will go down as the last player to benefit from the 15-year maximum. Finally elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011, Blyleven racked up 287 wins over 22 big league seasons spent between the Twins, Indians, Angels, Pirates and Rangers. He tossed 242 complete games, including 60 career shutouts.

Rabbit Maranville, 14th ballot (1954): Maranville spent the majority if his 23 Major League seasons (1912-1935) with the Boston Braves. The speedy middle infielder finished in the top three in MVP voting in each of his first two full seasons. Maranville passed away just months before his long-awaited election.

Bill Terry, 14th ballot (1954): Terry famously posted a .401 batting average in 1930, a season that featured no MVP voting. Aside from the offensively charged '30 campaign, Terry finished in the top 10 in MVP voting in six other seasons. He hit above .300 in each of his final 10 seasons.

Bruce Sutter, 13th ballot (2006): One of just nine relievers to win a Cy Young Award, Sutter made all 661 of his big league appearances out of the bullpen. He racked up exactly 300 saves during his 12 seasons, including 37 during his 1979 NL Cy Young-winning season.

Ralph Kiner, 13th ballot (1975): Kiner burst onto the scene in 1946, winning seven straight National League home run totals to start his career. A five-time All-Star, Kiner finished his 10-year career with 369 home runs and 1,015 RBIs.

Bob Lemon, 12th ballot (1976): Lemon's Hall of Fame career included seven 20-win seasons -- and just as many seasons in which he tossed 20-plus complete games. A seven-time All-Star, Lemon six times finished in the top 10 in AL MVP voting.

Gabby Hartnett, 12th ballot (1955): Hartnett spent his first 19 Major League seasons with the Cubs before finishing his career by playing one year for the New York Giants. During his two decades in the big leagues, Hartnett made six straight All-Star appearances from 1933-38 while also notching NL MVP honors in '35.

Harry Heilmann, 12th ballot (1952): Heilmann spent his first 15 Major League seasons with the Tigers before playing his final two for the Reds. He earned four batting titles during his career, including 1923, when he hit .403. He finished his career as a .342 hitter.

Duke Snider, 11th ballot (1980): One of the top power hitters of his time, Snider tallied five 40-home run seasons and six 100-RBI campaigns during his 18-year career from 1947-64. Snider made eight All-Star appearances and finished in the top four in NL MVP voting in three straight seasons from 1953-55.

Paul Casella is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.