A new rule means Shoeless Joe Jackson could be on the Hall of Fame's Early Baseball ballot this December.
Pete Rose would also be eligible after he dies.
ESPN -- Major League Baseball has shifted its view of deceased players who have been banned for life, a group that includes "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and the seven other Chicago White Sox players prohibited from playing professional baseball in 1921 for fixing the 1919 World Series.
A senior MLB source told ESPN that a new rule says the league has no hold on banned players after they die because the ineligible list bars players from privileges that include a job with a major league club.
The change is potentially significant when it comes to the consideration of Jackson's eligibility for the Hall of Fame. He has not been considered for decades despite numerous public and petition-writing campaigns to get him removed from baseball's ineligible list.
In 1991, the Hall of Fame passed a rule declaring that any player ruled ineligible by Major League Baseball could not appear on a Hall of Fame ballot.
This became known as the "Pete Rose rule," because it closely followed the indefinite banning of Rose, MLB's all-time hits leader, by commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti in 1989.
Rose has never appeared on a Hall of Fame ballot, and his application for reinstatement was rejected by commissioner Rob Manfred in December 2015.
The shift in MLB's view raises the question of whether the Hall of Fame's Early Baseball committee would consider Jackson, Buck Weaver and Eddie Cicotte, all of whom were banned from playing professional baseball by commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis in 1921 despite being acquitted by a Chicago jury of fixing the 1919 World Series. A subcommittee will determine the 10 individuals who played or were involved in the game prior to 1950 who will appear on this year's ballot, to be considered by the full Early Baseball committee this December.
A spokesman for the Hall of Fame declined to comment. Manfred also declined to comment through a league spokesman.