|Susan Slusser, left, is the first female president of the BBWAA. (Getty Images)|
On Saturday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle was named president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, the first woman president in the history of the organization.
Slusser served as the vice president since last October. Office terms for the organization last from World Series to the World Series. She succeeds Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
The organization was founded in 1908 and currently has more than 700 active members. Its mission, from its website:
Its purpose is to ensure proper working conditions in press boxes and clubhouses, and to ensure its members have access to players and others in the game so members’ reporting can be accurate, fair and complete.
The BBWAA hands out eight annual awards -- Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year for both leagues. Writers who have been active members for at least 10 consecutive seasons are eligible to vote for the Hall of Fame, as well as lifetime members who are no longer active, but have achieved that status.
Slusser has covered the Oakland A's for the Chroncile for 14 years. She also covered the Rangers for the Dallas Morning News and worked in Sacramento and Orlando before joining the Chronicle. She's also served as a beat writer in the NBA, covering the Kings and Magic.
Slusser posted this on Twitter:
Thanks for all the nice words, everyone! I will do my best to represent the BBWAA, an organization I revere, as well as I possibly can.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) October 27, 2012
She was voted vice president last season, and the vice president goes on to serve as the president the next season, so Saturday's news was no surprise. Last year she was asked about her role of president by womenetics:
My primary goal is to ensure that the BBWAA can continue to keep the superb access baseball writers have enjoyed for decades, though it is starting to erode with every collective bargaining agreement, just as in other sports. I want to make sure our members can do their jobs properly, with adequate access and proper facilities, strong cooperation from players, teams and their PR departments, and the league. The BBWAA exists to keep baseball writers writing, and with as few obstacles as possible. No other beat writers cover as many games or spend as many hours at a stadium, and it should be as hassle free as possible. I also want to make sure that our membership reflects the times and that any online outlets that meet our membership qualifications are added to our numbers.
While women and minorities are still under-represented in the organization and the profession in general, this is a step in the right direction. Also of note, La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune in Minneaplois was named vice president, meaning he will be the president next year, making him the first African-American president in the organization's history. The BBWAA also named Sankei Sports' Gaku Tashiro a member of the board, the first Japanese board member. Also on the board are Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune, David Lennon of Newsday and Shaikin.
On a personal note, I'd like to offer my congratulations to Slusser, who is certainly deserving of the honor and will no doubt serve the organization well.