The Hall's board of directors announced the change on the eve of the induction of this year's class, which includes players Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas and managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox.
It marked the first change to the Hall of Fame voting process since 1991. The rule will take effect in 2015 for all eligible players except Don Mattingly, Alan Trammell and Lee Smith, who were grandfathered in.
Candidates must be picked on a minimum of five percent of the ballots in order to remain eligible. Those who fail to hit that mark remain eligible in the Era Committee system.