The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Board of Trustees approved a special Centennial Class for 2020. That means the Class of 2020 could include 20 members.
The class could include as many as five modern-era players as well as 10 seniors — players retired for more than 25 seasons — three contributors and two coaches.
“You can imagine with 100 years of history behind us, there’s a belief among most of our selectors that there are so many deserving seniors that might have fallen between the cracks, or people don’t remember their history, that we can go back and look at and assess and examine again,” Hall of Fame president David Baker said Friday. “. . .We think it’s going to be very, very exciting.”
A special “blue-ribbon” panel of 25 people will select the ballot for the seniors, coaches and contributors at an in-person meeting in late December or early January after a reduction mail-in vote. The committee will include some of the 48 selectors, Hall of Famers and historians.
All 48 selectors will consider the 10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches in one singular unit on Selection Saturday. In other words, it’s an up or down vote for all 15 of those candidates.
The modern-era candidates will go through the traditional process of selection, with each one voted on individually.
The Centennial slate must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent to earn election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as must each modern-era finalist.
Baker will choose who and how many inductees are enshrined at the annual Enshrinement Ceremony the first weekend of August and who and how many are enshrined at a special Centennial Celebration in Canton in September 2020.
“This is an opportunity to catch up on perhaps some injustices,” Baker said. “We can’t have everybody in there that fans want, and I assure you that I get that mail and I get those phone calls. . . .It’s not the hall of very, very good. It’s the Hall of Fame, and it should be hard to make it into. But we think this is an opportunity that comes around every other lifetime — once in a 100 years — and we should celebrate the 100 years that this league has started here in Canton, Ohio, and has become a part of the fabric of America and the next 100 years, where can you imagine the things that are going to happen there.”