Modern Era Ballot: the Contributor

When I listed the ballot for the Modern Era Hall of Fame Veteran’s Committee, I commented that I would have more to say later. Well, it’s later and this is the first of three looks at the ballot.

Marvin Miller, Player’s Union

When Marvin Miller took over the Player’s Union, no one outside the union noticed (probably a lot of players didn’t notice either). By the time he retired, the union had reached something like equality with the team owners. Miller shows up this year on the Modern Era Veteran’s ballot.

For good or bad, Marvin Miller made the Player’s Union what it is today, a potent force in baseball, not just in labor negotiations, but in a lot of MLB areas. Want to add more games? Check with the union. Want to more double headers? Check with the union. That’s Miller’s doing. I am totally comfortable in calling him one of the 10 most important people in baseball history. I remind you that “important” is not a synonym for “great.” As far as I know, Miller didn’t play baseball at all (except maybe as a kid), but he revolutionized the game by creating something like labor parity in the sport.

Apparently he wasn’t a particularly likeable guy. Even a lot of the players didn’t like him, but he made them money and gave them power. He’s been on the Hall of Fame ballot before and was never elected. There’s a line of thought that believes that he was so disliked by the baseball community (including a lot of players) that no one wanted to see him on the stage to receive his plaque and then have to listen to his speech. Maybe it’s so, maybe it isn’t. But to date he’s not gotten in. Now that he’s gone on to whatever reward labor organizers get he’s going to receive another chance.

The members of the Veteran’s Committee get five votes for enshrinement. If I were a member, Marvin Miller would easily get mine. I think he definitely deserves to be in Cooperstown.



5 Responses to “Modern Era Ballot: the Contributor”

  1. Miller Says:

    I’d use two votes on him. He’s that important, and I think a very easy selection.

  2. glen715 Says:

    I’m conflicted on voting for Marvin Miller, being that since the loss of the reserve clause makes it so that I can’t even afford take my family to a major league ballgame anymore. Well, let me just say THIS. I feel strongly that if Marvin Miller gets in, then he must get in at the same time as Curt Flood. If it weren’t for Curt Flood sacrificing his career (which was still at its peak as of 1969, the season before he refused to report to the Phillies) for the cause of getting rid of the reserve clause, then Marvin Miller wouldn’t have succeeded. One without the other makes no sense.

  3. Gary Trujillo Says:

    Still waiting for that “steroid wing.”

  4. wkkortas Says:

    You make a good point–how many thousands, how many millions did Miller put in the pockets of members of the Veterans Committee? You’d think at the very least that’s an I.O.U. to pay off.

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