The Finalists: Miller and Steinbrenner

Our continuing series on the 12 men on the Baseball Hall of Fame Expansion Era ballot.

Marvin Miller

Summary: Served as Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director from 1966 to 1982 and was a powerful voice in the union for three decades afterward.

The quick case: When he became Executive Director, baseball players did not have free agency. They did not have salary arbitration. The minimum salary was $7,000. There was no mechanism for players to file grievances against owners. Teams had rights to players in perpetuity through a legally dubious proviso called the reserve clause. In short, Marvin Miller led baseball into an new era — and he led the game kicking and screaming.

The history: Miller was on the veteran’s committee ballot in 2003 and 2007 when the committee was made up of all living Hall of Famers, including those in the writers and broadcasters wing of the Hall. He did not come close to induction but no one did. There was no way to get 75% of the living Hall of Famers to agree on ANYTHING … except maybe to vote out some of the other living Hall of Famers. In 2008, there was a 12-person committee voting on an executive ballot. Nine votes were needed for induction. Miller got three. Yes. Three. Astonishingly, Bowie Kuhn got 10. Miller was back on the ballot in 2009. Same deal, nine votes needed. This time Miller got seven. Back on the ballot in 2011 — now there were 16 members on what they called the “Historical Overview Committee.” Twelve votes were needed. Miller got 11.

Marvin Miller died November 27 last year.

Comparable Hall of Famer: Bowie Kuhn, if by “comparable” you actually mean, “person who the candidate destroyed every single time they competed for anything.” As has been written before, putting Bowie Kuhn in the Hall of Fame but not Marvin Miller is like putting in Wile E. Coyote but not the Road Runner.

* * *

George Steinbrenner

Summary: Principal owner of the New York Yankees from 1973 until about 2010, he was the hands own managing partner until about 2006 when he retired and handed over day-to-day operation to his sons. During The Boss’ ownership, the Yankees won seven World Series championships. He was also suspended from the game twice — once for making illegal contributions to the the Richard Nixon reelection campaign and once for hiring Howard Spira to find dirt on Dave Winfield after Winfield sued the team to fulfill its responsibilities to his charitable foundation.

The quick case: Steinbrenner was one of the game’s most colorful figures and under his ownership the Yankees again became America’s preeminent sports team. It would be impossible to tell the story of expansion era baseball without reliving Steinbrenner’s firing and hiring of managers, the enormous contracts he dished out or the countless controversies he launched by just being King George.

The history: Steinbrenner appeared on the 2011 Expansion Era ballot — twelve votes were needed for election. Final totals were not given out, it is known that Steinbrenner got fewer than eight.

Comparable Hall of Famer: Best I can tell, there are eight men in the Hall of Fame primarily for being baseball owners — and they’re not an especially accomplished group. Bill Veeck certainly advanced the game in his own way. Barney Dreyfuss, in addition to owning the Pittsburgh Pirates, helped bring together the American and National Leagues. J.L. Wilkinson, owner of the Kansas City Monarchs, was a pioneer in many ways, including his near-obsession with introducing night baseball. Anyway, none of them are really like Steinbrenner. The closest might be Cumberland Posey, who owned the Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues and would go to pretty severe extremes to build great baseball teams.

* * *

Hall of Fame executives are a mixed bag. People often ask: Who would you kick out of the Hall of Fame? I know they are talking about players and, sure, there are a bunch of players I could name. But there is absolutely no doubt that if I could boot people out of the Hall, I would start with Tom Yawkey and Bowie Kuhn and work my way down. It is an embarrassment that Tom Yawkey is in the Hall of Fame. Yawkey owned the Boston Red Sox for 44 years, and the Red Sox won exactly zero World Series championships under his leadership. They were the last team in baseball to have a black player. Jackie Robinson called him “one of the most bigoted guys in baseball,” and that was a pretty wide-ranging group in the 1940s and 1950s. If there was something like a Bizarro Baseball Hall of Fame, Tom Yawkey should be a charter member.

And Kuhn? His election is not as insulting as Yawkey but … why? What did Bowie Kuhn accomplish as baseball commissioner that would make him worthy of the Hall of Fame? He basically lost every battle he and the owners had with Marvin Miller. He clumsily handled just about every big decision that came along, including his famous wearing of a short sleeve shirt to prove it doesn’t get cold during night World series games, the thoughtless way he handled Henry Aaron’s chase of Babe Ruth (he was not in attendance with Aaron broke the record), the inept way he dealt with bulldozer owners like Ted Turner and Charlie Finley.

Steinbrenner and Miller have very different Hall of Fame cases, of course, and it leads to a basic question: Should owners or executives be inducted into the Hall of Fame at all? I have heard good arguments from people that they should not. They say: Put up exhibits detailing their contributions. But keep the Hall of Fame plaque room itself for people on the field. They say it muddies things up to have Tom Yawkey’s plaque next to Al Kaline’s. I can see that argument.

But there’s also the reality: The Hall of Fame DOES elect owners and executives and pioneers. Candy Cummings is in the Hall of Fame for maybe inventing the curveball, which he probably did not do. The Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown because of the myth that Abner Doubleday invented baseball there. Shoeless Joe Jackson hits right-handed in “Field of Dreams.” Maybe these things shouldn’t be. But they are.

and with that in mind, with the Hall of Fame filled with executives who influenced the game, there is a strong argument for Steinbrenner, and there is simply no viable argument against Marvin Miller. Steinbrenner certainly hurt the game at times in his long career, but if we are talking about owners who influenced Major League Baseball, he’s in the front row of the photograph. Should someone who was suspended from baseball for any period of time get inducted into the Hall of Fame? I say yes, if the balance of his career is Hall of Fame worthy. That’s why I’m very much pro Pete Rose for the Hall of Fame too.

As for Marvin Miller, it’s all been said before: It’s an embarrassment that Miller was not inducted while he was alive. It was, I believe, a leftover scar from the labor wars. He still inspires strong feelings from both sides now. I know this for sure; If you have a Hall of Fame with Tom Yawkey and Bowie Kuhn inside and Marvin Miller out … it’s better to be out.

67 thoughts on “The Finalists: Miller and Steinbrenner

  1. Richard Aronson

    typo: Winfield sued the team to fulfill its responsibilities to this charitable foundation. s/b his charitable foundation

    I completely agree with almost everything you wrote about Marvin Miller. As long a former ball players may depend on their teams to bring them back for team-paid love fests and spring training gigs, I doubt they will ever induct Marvin Miller into the HOF.

    I also agree that Steinbrenner, if anything, improves the overall quality of the owners in the HOF.

    Reply
    1. Donald A. Coffin

      Neyer is entertaining, as he almost always is. But this is in his conclusion: “There is no precedent for electing labor leaders” to the Hall of Fame. Well, duh!. Miller was *the* labor leader, essentially the only one, until he retired. Sort of hard to have a precedent for something that is, is fact, unprecedented. And it’s not a short step from Miller to Fehr to Boras, in my opinion. Miller was unprecedented, he had an unprecedented impact (mostly positive, again in my opinion) on how major league baseball has been played these last 40 years. To keep him out is, in fact, unprecedented…although I suspect Miller would be reluctant to belong to any organization which honors Bowie Kuhn.

      Reply
    2. Largebill

      Actually, Neyer’s main argument is same as mine. Miller had nothing to do with baseball. He was outside the game and was merely involved as a mouth piece for one side fighting the other side. Put the guy in a lawyers HoF is ya want.

      Reply
      1. invitro

        “Miller had nothing to do with baseball.”

        Actually, this is absurd, and not at all what Neyer says. He says: “He was not working for, or within, Organized Baseball.”

        I agree with Mr. Coffin that Fehr to Boras is nothing like a short step.

        Reply
      1. 18thstreet

        If I can help besmirch the name of Tom Yawkey at least once a day, then it’s been a pretty good day.

        Yawkey bought the team in 1932. From 1932 until 1968, there were eight teams in the American League of Professional Base-Ball Clubs. That’s 36 years, so winning one-eighth of the pennants would have meant winning 4.5. They won two (1946, 1967). From 1969 until 1977, there were 10 teams in the American League. Winning one-tenth of the pennants means winning one (1975). They did. He died in 1976.

        He was the worst.

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    1. invitro

      Ok, Yawkey is worse than steroid users, if the racism charges are true, anyway. But why does this mean steroid users wouldn’t sully the HoF? Please elaborate.

      Reply
      1. bellweather22

        So true. The argument that PED users should be in the HOF because there are already bad guys in the HOF is an absurd argument. Character is considered, by rule, when voting for the HOF. So even if bad behavior was not punished always in the past, either because of different social norms at the time, or because the bad behavior was not widely known, that doesn’t mean voters today should loosen their standards by ignoring bad behavior. If Yawkey was up for election today, he likely would not be elected.

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  2. schlom

    The simple argument against Marvin Miller is that he didn’t affect how the game was actually played at all. I think it’s great that under his leadership the players union made great gains to increase their compensation – but what does that have to do with the product on the field? I think he is rightly a hero to the players (and a villain to the owners) but he had zero effect on the fans.

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    1. Anon21

      I don’t know how you can say that free agency hasn’t affected fans’ experience of the game at all. Hardcore fans don’t just watch the games, they follow and talk about how teams are built. Every aspect of how teams are built, from trades to acquisitions to the timing of call-ups is profoundly shaped by free agency. The Hot Stove League would look nothing like it does if not for the fact that some of the game’s premier players are allowed to offer their services to the highest bidder. The trade deadline in July would be completely different. And that doesn’t even get into the demands that star relievers make on their teams and managers to let them rack up saves to increase their payday in free agency, the many rules changes that the Player’s Union has vetoed or proposed or reshaped since it became a major force to be reckoned with, or the allocations of playing time based on contract value. Some of these are probably good things and others are bad, but they’ve profoundly shaped everyone’s experience of Major League Baseball.

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    2. Ian R.

      Free agency has absolutely impacted the way teams are built, which affects the product on the field. Players rarely stick with the same team throughout their careers anymore, largely because they don’t have to.

      Whether that’s a good or bad thing is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it’s tougher to get attached to players nowadays, since they may well be playing for your hated rivals in a year or three. On the other hand, increased mobility for players means that fewer talented guys are blocked by established stars or inept organizations, which has contributed to a higher overall talent level.

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    3. Perry

      Here’s one way: Before Miller, players were so low paid that 90% of them had to take off-season jobs rather than staying in condition and improving their skills.

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      1. 18thstreet

        Ticket prices for college sports have also increased. What do you attribute that to?

        There is no connection between ticket prices and player salaries, though I understand why people would believe otherwise.

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      2. Anon

        OK, I’ll bite – as has been pointed out many times, in many places, player salaries have almost nothing to do with ticket prices. Owners are seeking to maximize revenues no matter what players are paid. If every player tomorrow voluntarily took a 50% pay cut, owners would not lower prices one bit and would just pocket the difference. If owners thought they could maximize revenues by lowering ticket prices they would do it tomorrow regardless of player salaries.

        I don’t know why this basic point of economics escapes so many people. Sure the real world economics are a little more complicated than that but basically the owners set the prices of tickets exactly where they are to maximize revenues and player salaries have nothing to do with it.

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    4. bellweather22

      Correction: the fans were the losers every time Miller decided to have the players strike. Good for the players, bad for the fans and therefore bad for baseball. If he gets in the HOF, then the HOF means even less than it does now.

      Reply
      1. Anon21

        Labor stoppages are always a two-way street. To pretend that the owners were not equally (or more) responsible for “deciding” to stop the season is just silly, particularly given that the 1994 strike ended with the federal courts deciding that the owners had engaged in unfair labor practices.

        Note that in the years since 1994, the Players’ Union has remained one of the strongest labor organizations in America during a remarkable era of labor peace.

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    5. invitro

      “he had zero effect on the fans.”

      I know that I, as a fan, can enjoy baseball a lot more knowing that the players now have the basic labor rights that other workers have. There is less unfairness now in baseball than there was before Miller, and that makes it easier to enjoy. I’m sure I am not the only fan to think this way.

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  3. Cuban X Senators

    Veeck advanced the game & also was involved in every non-Yankee AL pennant-winner from the time he took over the Indians until he sold the Sox.

    Reply
      1. Cuban X Senators

        I think that was a big part of the “advanced baseball” line from Joe. But note that Paige was brought to the Indians in ’48 after the Browns had integrated with Hank Thompson & Williard Brown just weeks after Doby.

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  4. Bill White

    I can’t subscribe to the following often used “logic”:

    Player A is in the HOF but he doesn’t deserve to be there. Player B was much better than Player A. Therefore, Player B should be in the HOF.

    How about a survey covering the HOF members that should be removed? It should produce some fascinating results.

    Reply
      1. DB

        Agreed, but I do not think it is realistic. We saw how in the Hall of Fame voting, people did not even do basic research (and the bias towards modern players). It would be a tough list.

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  5. nscadu9

    No owners or executives. It is the players that make the game and take the stands. Jackie before Branch Rickey and Flood before Miller. Their actions or willingness to take action is what leads to the changes. Even though Flood lost his battle, he made the sacrifice. I would be content with players only, though some commentators and writers would be missed.

    Reply
    1. Larry Schmitt

      “Players only”? So no managers, no Branch Rickey? No Casey Stengel? He wouldn’t go in solely on his merits as a player. And the writers aren’t actually “inducted” into the Hall, they are eligible for the Spink award.

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  6. CharlesH

    First off, if any of the non player nominees deserve enshrinement from the current roster, it would be Miller, and I do think he deserves it. Now for both a devil’s advocate point of view, and perhaps a reason where he has failed to pass muster previously: Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr long argued against PED testing, to an extent wouldn’t even consider it. Could it be that there’s something of the PED user backlash working against Miller? Does he (and Fehr) deserve some of the blame for PED use becoming rampant in MLB? Twisted logic to be sure, but there’s no lack of twisted logic in the annals of MLB.

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    1. bellweather22

      Neither were in their position to support the game. They were the shills for the players, nothing more. They therefore supported the players desire to take PEDs and not be held accountable. Just another way, beyond the strikes, that these lawyers hurt the game.

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      1. TJMac

        Speaking of shills for one side, Bud Selig, is that you? I know you’re close to retirement, but you might want to find a better hobby than vomiting all over Poz’s comment section.

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        1. bellweather22

          Bud Selig was horrible for baseball. I won’t go into that, but I do want to make the point that the owners and commissioners, like Selig and Uebberoth, that were responsible for baseball strikes and/or perpetuated PED usage are equally accountable along with the Millers and Fehrs. I don’t support any of the above for the HOF. If you want suits in the HOF, then fine. I don’t.

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  7. Blake Gray

    Marvin Miller doesn’t often get credit for increasing parity in the sport. But that’s exactly what free agency did. The ’50s, ’60s and ’70s were a time of dynasties, even after the draft was introduced. But the ’80s, the first full decade of free agency, was the time of the greatest parity in baseball history.

    The lamestream media always laments that some chosen poor team (used to be Pittsburgh, will have to change now) can’t compete in this big-money era. They have a poor grasp of history. Look at the pre-free agency era: teams would be dreadful AND hopeless for many years in a row. That’s a rare combination now. The Astros are dreadful, but they’re not hopeless. Maybe the Marlins are dreadful and hopeless, but they didn’t seem so as recently as the beginning of the 2012 season. In the ’50s, even with only 16 teams, 4-5 at a time would be dreadful and hopeless.

    Free agency not only allows players to have the same right to leave as other American workers. It allows the Tigers to sign that cleanup hitter they need, or the Rangers to add a starting pitcher, without having to sacrifice the farm system. It rewards teams for building a team 3/4 of the way through by making that additional 1/4 available.

    That wasn’t Miller’s job, of course. His job was to help the players and he succeeded wildly at it. I don’t need to make that argument. I just want to refute the stuffed-shirt argument that Marvin Miller was somehow bad for baseball.

    Marvin Miller and free agency was the greatest thing that happened to baseball in the 1970s.

    Reply
    1. bellweather22

      So you think player strikes were GOOD for baseball? That’s revisionist thinking. Strikes drove countless fans away from the game and put the game in jeopardy. That baseball survived is a testament to the game and it’s resilience in surviving the likes of Miller and Fehr.

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      1. Karyn Ellis

        Come on. The owners played just as big a role in that, if not more. Remember that the owners lost, every time. Often they were told their actions were illegal by the courts. Yeah, they struck; you’ve got to show that you mean business. Baseball bounced back very quickly from those strikes.

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  8. Michael Green

    Marvin Miller changed the game, significantly. George Steinbrenner spent a lot of money and, when he lacked a sharp baseball person running the operation, was as successful as Yawkey.

    Reply
    1. bellweather22

      Steinbrenner won championships, like him or not, while Miller won lawsuits. Baseball people are judged by how many championships they won, not their ability to win a permanent injunction.

      Reply
      1. roundeye11

        Steinbrenner threw money had his stupidity and arrogance and occasionally owned winning teams as a result. It wasn’t his skillful ownership. It was his overbearing funding. It doesn’t make him good or worthy. It merely makes him big. Not great. Big. The Yankees won in spite of his meddling, not because of it.

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  9. Rick R

    It is almost incomprehensible that a museum dedicated to the history of baseball would refuse to induct one of the 10 most influential men in the history of the sport, especially when the guy lived into his 90′s.

    That said, Marvin Miller will get in, probably this year. There is a phenomenon among Hall of Fame voters that they’d prefer to be pricks sometimes, waiting till after someone dies to elect him. It happened to Ron Santo most recently, but it generally happens to more controversial figures. Bill Veeck was elected after he died, Leo Durocher was elected after he died. It’s as if the HOF is willing to bestow the honor so long as the honoree isn’t around to enjoy it. The Hall reaps the benefit of featuring a famous name, while the person himself gets nothing. It stinks. Pete Rose will probably be inducted after he dies, but Pete has said if he doesn’t get in while he’s alive, he would rather decline the honor. Marvin Miller felt similarly, though he was never as rabid to be inducted as Pete was (Marvin had fewer autographs to peddle, for one thing). Perhaps it is fitting to have Miller outside the halls of the establishment, considering he kicked their butts his whole life.

    Reply
    1. bellweather22

      The writers being jerks has nothing to do with Rose not being in the HOF. He was removed from the ballot, as specified in the baseball rule book, once he was declared permanently ineligible. That being the case, he can’t be voted in dead or alive by jerky or non jerky writers.

      Reply
  10. Largebill

    Joe,

    I often enjoy your writing. However, one thing I cannot get an answer on from anyone is why do 99.9% of baseball writers have such a thing for putting some stink’n labor lawyer in the baseball Hall of Fame? Some of those advocating such a silly idea get so enraged about it that it’s almost comical. Personally, it is a huge who cares. While opposed to the idea it wouldn’t upset me if they screw up and put him in. His supporters however act as if it is a cardinal sin that some labor negotiator isn’t the baseball HoF. Ridiculous. Put the guy in a Labor Union HoF or a Lawyer HoF. He had nothing to do with baseball. He was merely involved in off field arguments about division of money. It would make more sense to enshrine the best beer and hot dog vendors from days gone by then to enshrine Miller.

    Reply
    1. Rick R

      After integration, free agency did more to change professional sports than any other development. The reserve clause had been in place for 80 years, binding players in perpetuity to their teams. It was seen as sacrosanct, untouchable. Essentially, the man who eliminated it was Marvin Miller. Baseball would never be the same after the establishment of free agency. I mean, imagine if Babe Ruth could have sold his services on the free market—maybe he even rejoins the Red Sox, and history is completely diifferent. Not just baseball, but all professional team sports were affected by the advent of free agency—just think of Lebron James and The Decision. Other labor leaders like Donald Fehr may have been effective negotiators, but they did not completely alter the landscape of professional sports the way Marvin Miller did. The fact that the Baseball Hall of Fame does not recognize Miller’s enormous contribution to the game 40 years after the fact is a disgrace.

      Reply
  11. Clayton

    Joe:
    I think you should have some (light-hearted) fun and have a survey to see who your readers would vote OUT of the Hall of Fame. Besides Yawkey and Kuhn, there are so many borderline guys (I think Jim Rice is one) and flat-out horrible selections (like Freddie Lindstrom).

    Joe, who are the top 5 or 10 guys you yourself don’t think belong in the HOF???

    Reply
  12. Chip S.

    I don’t want to defend Tom Yawkey’s presence in the HoF, but I do want to push back against the cartoon villain portrayed here.

    Yawkey spent huge amounts of money on three things during his tenure in Boston: buying big-name players, rebuilding Fenway Park, and supporting charities–most notably the Jimmy Fund (for the treatment of children with cancer). While the last two of those proved to be money well spent, it’s the charitable giving that seems to have played a major role in the esteem Yawkey was once held in, because his HoF plaque calls him “one of sport’s finest benefactors.” Obviously that beneficence didn’t apply to African-American ballplayers, and that properly dims our view of him today. But it shouldn’t be completely disregarded.

    It so happens that from 1947 to 1958–the period when every team except the Red Sox integrated–the Sox had only one GM: Joe Cronin. Now of course Yawkey was the owner and Cronin was his employee, but nobody has ever claimed that Yawkey got involved in personnel decisions in the manner of a Steinbrenner or Finley. We do know that, a few years after Cronin moved on to bigger things, a different GM built a fondly remembered Red Sox team with a fairly large proportion of African Americans that won a pretty well-remembered pennant race. That was a team, btw, that Yawkey expressly said gave him more pleasure than the 1946 team. Yet Cronin seems to get a complete pass on the racism issue while Yawkey gets 100% of the blame.

    But even if it was solely Yawkey’s doing to keep the Red Sox lily-white during the 1950s, the damage he inflicted was almost entirely on his own team and its fans. In contrast, Cap Anson’s efforts to bar African-American players from the game hurt them, their would-be successors, and the fans, reducing the overall quality of play for decades. And yet, Joe, you believe that Anson’s athletic skill offsets his character flaws sufficiently that he ought to be a no-brainer for Cooperstown.

    I don’t know if Yawkey’s good points offset his bad ones, and I agree that his HoF credentials are tenuous at best. But if there is a Bizarro HoF, Cap Anson is a first-ballot inductee.

    Reply
    1. invitro

      Thanks for posting about Cronin. I read in some book last night about what you said, along with the fact that the Boston player development system, which had prospered under GM Eddie Collins, collapsed overnight when Cronin came in. I don’t know who gets the blame and how much, but Cronin should share in it.

      I am curious who else is responsible for the instituting of the color line, along with Anson.

      Reply
  13. Jon

    While i agree with everything Joe wrote about Miller and Kuhn, If I was starting a cartoon hall of fame Wile E Coyote would get in before the roadrunner.

    Reply
    1. Karyn Ellis

      I agree. We all empathized with Wile E Coyote. He had agency, and emotions. He did more than one single thing, zipping around the countryside as a birdbrained plot device. WEC is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

      Reply
      1. roundeye11

        Wile E should feel insulted for the comparison to Kuhn. Wile E. was a genius. Kuhn was a buffoon. Unfortunate results, (frequently defying basic physical l laws) repeatedly conspired to defeat Wile E, but that shouldn’t lessen our memory of him and our respect for his efforts.

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  14. tombando

    Oh Yawkey was ok, if you wanna yank someone outta the Hall , for being a racist POS you need to start w Kenesaw Mtn Landis and go from there. These clowns were all in the ‘Gentlemens’ Agreement’ boat, pretending otherwise is silly or worse. Veeck=Gilligan maybe, but he was Still onboard.

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  15. Brett Alan

    I think George Steinbrenner’s greatest contribution to baseball, in the long run, is the founding of the YES Network. The model of teams owning their own television networks has the potential to bring a lot of money into the sport. I think that helps his case, but I don’t know whether it puts him over the top. it’s a really tough call–he was undeniably successful, and undeniably an important part of his era in baseball, but he’s got some significant negatives, too.

    None of the arguments against Miller seem persuasive to me at all. The fact that his induction would be unprecedented is a positive, not a negative.

    Reply
  16. Steve

    My guess is that conservative Republicans don’t want Marvin Miller in the HOT. As for Steinbrenner, his election to the HOF means that all the horrible people get in, like Rose and Bonds.

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  17. Wayne

    Veeck was certainly not racist or “in on it”. There is a story that during the war Veeck made a bid for the Phillies. His plan was to stock them with players from the Negro Leagues. Landis found out and killed the sale. When Veeck did buy a team (after Landis’ death) he did become the first AL owner to promote a black player (Larry Doby) and soon afterward called Satchel Paige up.

    Reply
  18. roundeye11

    RE:…”putting Bowie Kuhn in the Hall of Fame but not Marvin Miller is like putting in Wile E. Coyote but not the Road Runner”

    Seems more apt to say putting Kuhn in but not Miller is like putting the Washington Generals in but not The Globetrotters.

    Reply
  19. Devin Clancy (@DevinClancy)

    Re: The third paragraph — There are no writers and broadcasters wings of the Hall of Fame. It’s perhaps not surprising that writers and broadcasters have a blind spot in this area, but I would not expect such casual inaccuracy on this blog.

    Reply
  20. Gexge

    Sure there’s an argument against Marvin Miller in the HoF, and here it is:

    Marvin Miller never held any job in Major League Baseball in any capacity, ever. Was not a player, was not a manager, was not a coach, was not an owner, was not a commissioner, was not an umpire. This seems to me to be a quite obvious disqualification for Miller in the Hall of Fame. For all the astonishment Joe expresses about Miller not being in the HoF, it seems equally astonishing to me that anyone thinks Miller should be in the HoF. Frankly it’s hard to understand how this conversation ever got started, how Miller, a man who (to repeat) never worked in baseball, ever, in any way, ever got a HoF vote or ever got anyone to support his candidacy.

    If there’s an Organized Labor Hall of Fame, Marvin Miller is a first-ballot slam dunk.

    Reply
    1. Breadbaker

      Henry Chadwick was inducted in 1938. What team was he employed by? He’s listed as an executive, but he was in fact a sportswriter. Marvin Miller had an official capacity in organized baseball at least as important as Henry Chadwick’s. In fact, it would be hard to tell the story of the major leagues without bringing up both men. I suspect there are 50 Hall of Famers you could totally ignore in that history.

      Reply
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