A few years ago I was heated about something or other concerning the Hall of Fame. I happen to be talking with a noted baseball historian and he just shrugged my complaints off. “This is the institution that elected Tom Yawkey, how can you take them seriously?” Marvin Miller, one of the most important figures in the history of the baseball business, sure doesn’t. According to an article by William Rhoden in today’s New York Times:
In a letter to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, Miller wrote:
“Paradoxically, I’m writing to thank you and your associates for your part in nominating me for Hall of Fame consideration, and, at the same time, to ask that you not do this again.”
Miller added: “The antiunion bias of the powers who control the hall has consistently prevented recognition of the historic significance of the changes to baseball brought about by collective bargaining. As former executive director (retired since 1983) of the players’ union that negotiated these changes, I find myself unwilling to contemplate one more rigged veterans committee whose members are handpicked to reach a particular outcome while offering the pretense of a democratic vote. It is an insult to baseball fans, historians, sports writers and especially to those baseball players who sacrificed and brought the game into the 21st century. At the age of 91, I can do without farce.”
Miller said he planned to write a separate letter to the Hall of Fame board asking them to withdraw his name from consideration. “I simply want to make sure that they know how I feel,” he said. “I don’t want to be nominated again. By anybody.”
Miller doesn’t need the Hall of Fame to be remembered as the Giant that he is. And neither does Buck O’Neil.