Once again, Marvin Miller has been left out of the Hall of Fame – this time by a single vote.
Pat Gillick got voted in. Nothing against Pat Gillick, who as they say is “a good baseball man,” but he was not one tenth as influential on Major League Baseball as Miller was. And I believe George Steinbrenner should be put in as well – he didn’t get the votes, this time – but I imagine that he’ll get there at some point in the future; whereas it seems likely, at this point, that Miller never will.
Almost none of my reaction to this is printable (so to speak) on a family blog. It’s just so infuriatingly stupid, or spiteful, or both. I’ll let Miller speak for himself, something he is, as always, more than capable of doing. USA Today quotes from the statement he released:
“The Baseball Hall of Fame’s vote (or non-vote) of December 5, hardly qualifies as a news story. It is repetitively negative, easy to forecast, and therefore boring.
“A long time ago, it became apparent that the Hall sought to bury me long before my time, as a metaphor for burying the union and eradicating its real influence. Its failure is exemplified by the fact that I and the union of players have received far more support, publicity, and appreciation from countless fans, former players, writers, scholars, experts in labor management relations, than if the Hall had not embarked on its futile and fraudulent attempt to rewrite history. It is an amusing anomaly that the Hall of Fame has made me famous by keeping me out.”
Miller has made a point of never groveling or indeed campaigning at all for a place in the Hall of Fame, and he’s not changing course now. And he’s right here: the Hall is a repository of baseball history, but it’s not the only one. Anyone interested in the facts can do a little research and decide for themselves just how important a role Marvin Miller played, and his lack of inclusion in the Hall of Fame takes nothing away from his accomplishments. And for such an anti-establishment figure, maybe that really is more fitting.
Still, I would sure love to have a word with the committee members who didn’t vote for him. That word wouldn’t be printable, either.