I like eras. The creation of eras appeals to my sense of organization and orderliness. Yes, the world is a terribly complicated and messy affair, and we have essentially zero control over anything that happens. But by making plans and alphabetizing our CD collections and (yes) creating eras, we might at least foster the illusion, however fleeting, that everything makes sense.
A few years ago, I actually began creating eras for every major-league franchise. I believe I made it through exactly four whole franchises -- the Red Sox, the White Sox, the Yankees, and the Cubs -- before completely losing steam. It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work and nobody really seemed to give a damn except me. So I stopped. I would like to get back to those some day. Feel free to beg.
Anyway, when it comes to coming up with eras, it's hard to beat the Baseball Hall of Fame.
First they revamped their Veterans Committee process a few years, and came up with these doozies:
I'm not wild about Golden Era because it lends that time (1947-1972) a patina of excellence I'm not sure it deserves. But you know, whatever.
Well, today the Hall of Fame announced another three eras, this time as a way of organizing candidates for the annual Ford Frick Award, which is given to broadcasters. From the official press release:
The three cycles will reflect eras of major transformations in broadcasting and media.
The "High Tide Era" - to be voted on this fall, announced in December at the Winter Meetings and presented during the annual Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2014 - will consider candidates whose contributions have come during the regional cable network era, beginning with the mid-1980s through today.
The "Living Room Era" - to be presented at the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2015 - will consider candidates whose most significant years fell during the mid-1950s through the early 1980s, as the game spread through television and into homes across the country.
The "Broadcasting Dawn Era" - to be presented at the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2016 - will consider candidates who contributed to the early days of baseball broadcasting, from its origins through the early-1950s.
Those are really weird, man. I don't know how else to describe them. Just ... really weird. I mean, The Living Room Era? I would love to have been in that meeting. If only to hear the names that didn't make the cut.
Anyway, here are all the details of the new process if you're interested in such things.