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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

2010 Veterans Committee Ballot - Executives

The election will end on December 7 at 8 PM Eastern.

Eligible candidates: Gene Autry, Sam Breadon, John Fetzer, Bob Howsam, Ewing Kauffman, John McHale, Marvin Miller, Gabe Paul, Jacob Ruppert and Bill White.

Rules:

9. Voting: The Committee shall consider all eligible candidates and voting shall be based upon the individual’s record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the game. Electors may vote for as few as zero (0) and as many as four (4) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election. Write-in votes are not permitted (Editor’s note: though if you want to post them, I’m not going to stop you from doing that).

10. Number to be Elected: All candidates receiving votes on at least 75% of ballots cast on will earn election.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 01, 2009 at 12:46 AM | 77 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:03 AM (#3399736)
hot topics
   2. Chris Fluit Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:54 AM (#3399803)
Three for sure. I've flip-flopped on a fourth but he's here for now.

1. Marvin Miller. Head of the player's association. Ushered in free agency and higher contracts. Had a greater impact on the game than any executive since Branch Rickey.

2. Jacob Ruppert. Owner of the New York Yankees who guided them into the franchise that all others envy. Among other moves, bought Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox. I realize that Yankee players are overrepresented in the Hall of Fame but I'm kind of amazed that "The Colonel" isn't already in there with them.

3. Gene Autry. Long-standing owner of the Angels from their expansion inception in 1961 until his death in 1998.

4. Ewing Kauffman. I think that the stink of the current Royals franchise nearly prevented me from appreciating Kaufmann. The owner of the Royals from their expansion season in 1969 until his death in 1993. The Royals were the model franchise at the time, perennial playoff contenders.

I'll pass on all of the general managers.

Bob Howsam and Gabe Paul are the closest, with their roles in building the Big Red Machine and the shorter Yankeees dynasty of the late '70s.

The Tigers of the '60s and the Expos of the '80s weren't nearly as dominant, leaving John Fetzer (owner) and John McHale (gm) well short.

I've always heard Branch Rickey credited for the farm system, rather than owner Sam Breadon. I realize that credit isn't necessarily a zero-sum game but I would want more on Breadon's resume than "he was smart enough to hire Branch Rickey."

Bill White: great guy, but 5 years as a league president isn't much of a resume.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 04:13 AM (#3399826)
Marvin Miller should be a slam dunk.

I think Howsam is a fine candidate. Gabe Paul? Did he even run the Yankees in the 70s? He was a good GM in Cincy, but not so great in Cleveland. Overall he was a good GM I guess, but he doesn't strike me as HOF worthy.

I'd have Kauffman ahead of Autry, although I'm of course biased. I always got the impression that Autry simply wanted to buy a winner - nothing wrong with that, but its not a particularly unique or great impact on the game. He was a very good owner, but I'm not sure he stands out from other guys who owned their team for a long time and loved their teams and fanbases.

What stands Kauffman out I think was he was a bit of an innovator. The Royals Academy was supposedly his brainchild, which produced a near HOFer in Frank White. The iconic fountains in the stadium were supposedly his idea. The Royals were one of the fastest expansion teams to have a winning record. And one of the fastest to make the playoffs. He locked up his homegrown players with lifetime deals. And he drafted a succession plan that ensured the team would stay in Kansas City (although he couldn't guarantee their success which would fall off abruptly with his death).

I'm probably selling Autry short and overselling Kauffman, but I really do think Ewing was one of the best owners the game has seen in the last 40 years.

An a similar note - is there a movement at all to rename Angels Stadium as Autry Field? Its kinda odd since AFAIK there are no naming rights to the stadium sold and he was a pretty popular owner with that fanbase.

My ballot:

1. Marvin Miller
2. Ewing Kauffman
3. Bob Howsam
4. Jacob Ruppert
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: December 01, 2009 at 04:27 AM (#3399837)
Does Bill White's playing career count?

5-time All-Star, 7 Gold Gloves.
   5. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 04:32 AM (#3399845)
Howsam, Kauffman, Miller, White.

I'm pretty sure they are elected on their 'entire contribution' to baseball, so I assume, playing and announcing count too. I could be wrong.

Combo playing-managing is a big reason I'm a proponent of Piniella for the Hall of Fame once he's eligible.
   6. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 01, 2009 at 04:33 AM (#3399847)
I would probably lean Ruppert over White all things equal. But they are pretty close for me, and White is alive, so I don't mind if Ruppert has to wait a little longer.
   7. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:05 AM (#3399876)
Just curious - in his Hall of Fame book (I believe he was a comparable to George Kelly), Bill James said that White would probably be elected based on his NL Presidential service, "although he is not well liked". But Chris F. says he was a great guy, and that was the impression I got from watching Yankee games as a kid (FWIW). Anyone have any idea what James was referring to?
   8. sunnyday2 Posted: December 01, 2009 at 02:46 PM (#3400018)
I've debated whether to vote or not, since I don't really know a lot about the executives. But I'm gonna vote anyway because I want to say:

MARVIN MILLER, for Christ sake.
   9. Paul Wendt Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:08 PM (#3400041)
5. Joe Dimino Posted: November 30, 2009 at 11:32 PM (#3399845)
I'm pretty sure they are elected on their 'entire contribution' to baseball, so I assume, playing and announcing count too. I could be wrong.

In fact everyone may be elected based on their entire contributions to baseball. For these veterans committees that is overt. Candidates are (should be) classified by their most important contributions but assessed entirely.

Bill White stands before this committee which is half full of executives. He has been classified as one of them (or Pioneers and Executives), and that classification is supposed to be permanent if he is elected. Class consciousness can only work against him, I believe.


Chris Fluit #2
2. Jacob Ruppert. ...
Yankee players are overrepresented in the Hall of Fame but I'm kind of amazed that "The Colonel" isn't already in there with them.


Ruppert's Yankees are overrepresented.

Traditionally the Hall of Fame didn't honor owners, which is to say that the famous old HOF Committee on Veterans didn't elect owners. (Veeck and Yawkey were exceptional. The Hall of Fame members who ruled the roost for six seasons weren't about to elect owners either.) Owners now score well because of late 20c cultural change and early 21c committee reform.

continued,
I've always heard Branch Rickey credited for the farm system, rather than owner Sam Breadon. I realize that credit isn't necessarily a zero-sum game but I would want more on Breadon's resume than "he was smart enough to hire Branch Rickey."

Honor to owners is now on the agenda. I doubt that Breadon will get any of this sort without some outside boost to his reputation, however. I may have missed it because I haven't read historical work on Rickey or the Cardinals. (The Gashouse Gang seems to be out of fashion.)
   10. The District Attorney Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:10 PM (#3400047)
Miller, Ruppert, Kauffmann, Howsam
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:11 PM (#3400048)
My ballot (in alphabetical order)

Gene Autry
Bob Howsam
Ewing Kauffman
Marvin Miller
Jacob Ruppert
   12. DL from MN Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:24 PM (#3400070)
You can only vote for 4
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:35 PM (#3400080)
Oops! I forgot to remove Autry. Thanks, DL.

My revised ballot (in alphabetical order)

Bob Howsam
Ewing Kauffman
Marvin Miller
Jacob Ruppert
   14. Juan V Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:50 PM (#3400093)
I don't know if I know enough, but I'd probably vote for Miller, Ruppert and Kauffman.
   15. Chris Fluit Posted: December 01, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3400134)
I was thinking about this last night and I'm surprised that former A's owner Charles Finley didn't even make the list for the final ten. He's certainly been a finalist before.
   16. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: December 01, 2009 at 04:57 PM (#3400172)
I'm voting Howsam, Kaufmann and Ruppert. I'm not voting for Miller until Curt Flood gets in.
   17. Mark Armour Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:12 PM (#3400192)
Bob Howsam
Marvin Miller
Jacob Ruppert
Bill White

I would like to hear the reasoning for not voting for Howsam. He and Ruppert are the biggest omissions in the Hall for me, much more so than any player.
   18. WillYoung Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:46 PM (#3400234)
Miller and Howsam
   19. Steve Treder Posted: December 01, 2009 at 05:58 PM (#3400252)
I'm not voting for Miller until Curt Flood gets in.

Say what?
   20. Mark Armour Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:15 PM (#3400286)
Say what?


This is precisely the reason that the (real) Vets ballot is so difficult. There are lots of "my guy goes first" agendas, and getting 75% then becomes difficult. If the voters got in a room and discussed each nominee independently of anyone else, people would discover that many of these guys deserve to make it.
   21. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:34 PM (#3400319)
Unlike the managers' ballot, this one is tough; there really isn't anyone who I think is a slam-dunk choice. As I have said before, I think Miller's contribution to the game is overstated - I really believe that the changes that happened over the period where he was the head of the MLBPA would have happened with almost anyone at the head of the association, given (a) the changes in society and (b) what was happening in professional football at the time, which opened the players' eyes to what might be available to them. Without strong player leadership, Miller could not have done what he did. The one thing that Miller did bring to the table was a commitment to educating the players, but it was pretty clear, even through Miller's own writings, that the player leadership was actually driving the train.

My vote, singular, goes to Ewing Kauffman. The Royals became successful very quickly - not just on the field, but also off the field - in large part because of Kauffman's committment to building not just a team, but a franchise.

-- MWE
   22. Steve Treder Posted: December 01, 2009 at 06:46 PM (#3400330)
Without strong player leadership, Miller could not have done what he did.

Certainly true, but I think you understate what a catalyzing effect Miller had on the players' sense of empowerment. The transformation of the MLBPA that took place almost as soon as Miller was hired as Executive Director was night-and-day.

And in any case, whatever the truth of the hypothetical "things would have happened the same without him," the historical fact is that things happened as they did with him. Miller is a hugely important figure in the game's history.
   23. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 01, 2009 at 07:18 PM (#3400374)
Bob Howsam The architect of one of, if not the, best team in the history of baseball.

Ewing Kauffman The model of what an expansion team owner should be.

Marvin Miller For better or worse, he shaped the player/team relationship that exists in baseball today.

Jacob Ruppert The owner who presided over the formation of the most enduring dynasty in baseball history. Not germane to his election, but he got off one of the great quotes in baseball history when he said that his idea of a perfect day at the ballpark was to see the Yankees score eight runs in the first inning and slowly pull away...
   24. Paul Wendt Posted: December 01, 2009 at 07:24 PM (#3400386)
If you haven't read or don't remember Doug Pappas' coverage of the 2003 Vets election, it must be educational and may be interesting or useful.
Pappas, "The 2003 Hall of Fame Veterans Committee Vote" (Outside the Lines, Winter 2003)
   25. Ron Johnson Posted: December 01, 2009 at 07:55 PM (#3400415)
Miller is easy. after that, Howsam and Kauffman.

Very close between Breadon and Ruppert but I'm going with Breadon -- a more active role (though the point in #23 for Ruppert is a good one. Hiring good people and mostly staying out of their way is an important job too)
   26. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 01, 2009 at 08:15 PM (#3400450)
Miller is a hugely important figure in the game's history.


Important, yes, certainly - but to a large extent his importance is a product of being in the right place at the right time. Baseball players had their consciousness raised in the mid '60s by two singular events:

1. the rise of the counterculture, which caused a reassessment of the feudal relationship players had with ownership and made it more acceptable to question authority; and

2. the AFL/NFL war, which opened eyes to the amount of money that was flowing through professional sports - money that could be available to the players under the right circumstances.

Without either of those, I doubt the players hire someone to take management on, or remain united in the face of unrelenting pressure from the public and the media. Indeed, as Miller himself writes, the players were often more gung-ho about challenging the owners than Miller himself was. Putting Miller in the HOF, in my opinion, gives him too much credit for what happened, and the player leadership too little.

-- MWE

EDIT: And yes, I realize that's a minority opinion and I'm not likely to change anyone else's mind.
   27. Mark Armour Posted: December 01, 2009 at 08:54 PM (#3400520)
So Joe McCarthy should not be in the Hall of Fame because he had the best team and circumstances?

Marvin Miller was given a job to do and he did it magnificently, while collecting a relatively modest salary and benefiting hundreds of players--and arguably the owners, who clearly were not harmed, at least. I can't see playing the "right place at the right time" card. He was an astonishingly effective captain of the ship.
   28. God Posted: December 01, 2009 at 09:20 PM (#3400554)
Important, yes, certainly - but to a large extent his importance is a product of being in the right place at the right time.

Well, sure, but so what? Exactly the same thing can be said of Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Harry Wright, or pretty much any other of the game's seminal figures. Not sure why Miller deserves to be dinged for being in the right place at the right time, while nobody else does. His good timing does not negate the importance of what he did.
   29. sunnyday2 Posted: December 01, 2009 at 10:33 PM (#3400615)
I really believe that the changes that happened over the period where he was the head of the MLBPA would have happened with almost anyone at the head of the association,


And MLB players would have learned to hit HR without Babe Ruth.
   30. Steve Treder Posted: December 01, 2009 at 10:43 PM (#3400621)
and arguably the owners, who clearly were not harmed, at least.

Oh, I think it's pretty clear they were helped, despite themselves. While the causality isn't just one-way, free agency did have a stimulative effect on fan interest and increased attendance. The concept that ownership had resisted tooth-and-nail since forever, the one thing they were certain would ruin the structure of the sport while bankrupting them all, turned out to be a huge win-win.
   31. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 01, 2009 at 10:46 PM (#3400623)
Miller: For me, it isn't just that Miller did what he did, but that he did it exceedingly well. I'd vote for him...
Otherwise, I'm a small hall guy on execs. Were I to expand it a bit, I'd name Kauffman and Ruppert next. Howsam gets an HM.
   32. Steve Treder Posted: December 01, 2009 at 10:54 PM (#3400631)
Otherwise, I'm a small hall guy on execs.

I'm not WRT to GMs, but I am as far as owners go, if only because it isn't at all clear to me what constitutes a HOF-worthy "career" for an owner ... what are the criteria?
   33. DL from MN Posted: December 02, 2009 at 03:00 PM (#3401055)
Howsam
Kauffman
Ruppert
Miller
   34. Paul Wendt Posted: December 02, 2009 at 03:34 PM (#3401103)
#25
Very close between Breadon and Ruppert but I'm going with Breadon -- a more active role (though the point in #23 for Ruppert is a good one. Hiring good people and mostly staying out of their way is an important job too)

Ron Johnson,
What do you know about Ruppert's less active and Breadon's "more active role"? And how do you know it? (Here and elsewhere so far, no one seems to know much about Breadon.)
   35. Mark Armour Posted: December 02, 2009 at 05:27 PM (#3401224)
A couple of comments on Ruppert and Breadon, both of whom are overqualified I think.

Ruppert is primarily responsible for the dynasty I think. Ruppert was not any richer than any other owner, but (according to all of the Yankee financials in Levitt's book on Barrow) Ruppert poured all the profits back into the team. Other teams were making the money he was in the 1920s, but he wasn't paying any dividends while other teams were. He built Yankee Stadium with his own money--this became, immediately, the most famous sports facility in the country and remained so for decades. It was Ruppert, not Barrow, who hired George Weiss and directed him to build a farm system. Barrow's efforts were also huge--he hired all the great scouts and they signed many great players before the farm system was established.

Breadon stayed out of the farm system, but Breadon hired and fired the managers, and of course the manager was responsible for the roster and the acquisition of major league players. Rickey built the farm system.
   36. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 02, 2009 at 05:53 PM (#3401265)
I'm pretty sure they are elected on their 'entire contribution' to baseball, so I assume, playing and announcing count too. I could be wrong.


I'm sure that's correct, but my feeling has always been that if one is not fully qualified in one area, partial contributions from multiple areas need to put him well over 100%. What I mean is this, for me, it's not enough if a guy is 75% qualified as a player and 25% qualified as a manager, like say Gil Hodges. It would have to be something like 75% and 50%. Bill White strikes me as similar to Hodges, maybe 75% of a HOF player, and 25% of a HOF exec. Maybe 65-35. Anyway, that's not enough.
   37. Mark Armour Posted: December 02, 2009 at 06:05 PM (#3401280)
I'm not WRT to GMs, but I am as far as owners go, if only because it isn't at all clear to me what constitutes a HOF-worthy "career" for an owner ... what are the criteria?

For me, its pretty simple (though admittedly imprecise). How much did they contribute to the history of the game? By this criteria, which is admittedly mine and not necessarily yours, there is no doubt that Bob Howsam and Jacob Ruppert are more deserving than Bert Blyleven and Tim Raines, though less deserving than Willie Mays and Tom Seaver.
   38. Steve Treder Posted: December 02, 2009 at 06:17 PM (#3401295)
How much did they contribute to the history of the game? By this criteria, which is admittedly mine and not necessarily yours, there is no doubt that Bob Howsam and Jacob Ruppert are more deserving than Bert Blyleven and Tim Raines, though less deserving than Willie Mays and Tom Seaver.

That makes sense. Where I struggle is in such questions as, how much did Gene Autry contribute to the history of the game? Or Calvin Griffith, or Phil Wrigley, or Gussie Busch? All of them owned their franchises for a very damn long time, and so in that sense they had a huge impact on the history of the game. But at the same time none was noted for particular brilliance or leadership or innovation, not in the same way that an owner such as, say, Walter O'Malley or George Steinbrenner or, sure, Jacob Ruppert was. I just struggle with figuring out the definition of "contribution" when it comes to owners, I guess.
   39. Mark Armour Posted: December 02, 2009 at 06:50 PM (#3401336)
Well, there is no WAR for owners, I will grant you that!

I don't think it should be just a lifetime achievement award, and I think the selectors have to have a pretty good sense of how the game is managed and organized. It is a very political area. People might not have liked Ty Cobb, but he got into the Hall pretty easily because people understood how great he was. With an owner, your image and personality are going to muddy the issue.

On a related matter, I get into trouble around here because I think that being a part of the game for a long time and being a big part of winning teams is, in and of itself, a significant HOF factor. This is true for executives (Breadon, Bavasi) and also for players, IMO. I realize this is an argument has passed me by, but the historian in me won't shut up at times.
   40. OCF Posted: December 02, 2009 at 10:26 PM (#3401614)
Well, there is no WAR for owners, I will grant you that!

That's because there's no replacement level. None. I mean, how bad can you be and still be an owner? Sure, they powers that be did eventually move Andrew Freedman out of the Giants ownership, but that took the better part of a decade to accomplish.
   41. rawagman Posted: December 03, 2009 at 02:08 AM (#3401724)
My votes go for Marvin Miller (for the obvious reasons), Bill White (see my coaches/umps votes - I like the multiple impact viewpoint), Jacob Ruppert and Ewing Kauffman. Howsam would get a vote if I could take the ballot to five. I also thought twice about Sam Breadon. Not so much for the others.
   42. Adam Schafer Posted: December 03, 2009 at 04:07 AM (#3401796)
1. Ewing Kauffman (remember, I AM a lifelong Royals fan)

2. Marvin Miller (no brainer IMO)

3. Jacob Rupert

4. Bob Howsam
   43. sunnyday2 Posted: December 03, 2009 at 10:44 AM (#3401891)
Well, there is no WAR for owners, I will grant you that!

That's because there's no replacement level.


Wouldn't the Pirates of the past 15 years qualify as having replacement level, freely available owners?
   44. Paul Wendt Posted: December 03, 2009 at 04:24 PM (#3402127)
Paul Wendt #34
...
Ron Johnson,
What do you know about Ruppert's less active and Breadon's "more active role"? And how do you know it? (Here and elsewhere so far, no one seems to know much about Breadon.)


35. Mark Armour Posted: December 02, 2009 at 12:27 PM (#3401224)
A couple of comments on Ruppert and Breadon, both of whom are overqualified I think.

Ruppert is primarily responsible for the dynasty I think. Ruppert was not any richer than any other owner, but (according to all of the Yankee financials in Levitt's book on Barrow) Ruppert poured all the profits back into the team.
... [very good]

Breadon stayed out of the farm system, but Breadon hired and fired the managers, and of course the manager was responsible for the roster and the acquisition of major league players. Rickey built the farm system.


Thanks, Mark.

The latter gainsays a "more active role" for Breadon than for Ruppert, or an equally active role regarding the farm system.

Does anyone here know whether the Lowenfish biography of Rickey provides much understanding of the St Louis Cardinals organization?
   45. Paul Wendt Posted: December 03, 2009 at 06:01 PM (#3402275)
from the preface
The election will end on December 7 at 8 PM Eastern.

Do we know whether the VC meeting results will be announced Monday or Tuesday, December 7 or 8?
   46. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2009 at 06:06 PM (#3402284)
Does anyone here know whether the Lowenfish biography of Rickey provides much understanding of the St Louis Cardinals organization?

Yes, tons. Lee corrected my (previously inaccurate) understanding of how much control Rickey had over, say, the hiring/firing of Cardinals managers.
   47. Jeff K. Posted: December 03, 2009 at 06:13 PM (#3402298)
Apologies if this has been asked here, but I don't see it: Can I vote for the Executive side without having participated on the player side? What are the standards for this bunch vis-a-vis the player side, do I need to have a system, etc?
   48. Chris Fluit Posted: December 03, 2009 at 06:30 PM (#3402335)
Yes. The mock Hall of Fame elections are open to everyone. There is no requirement concerning voting in any other election. The standards are as open-ended as the Hall of Fame's. You're welcome to design a system for managers or gms but it's not required. If you read through the thread, you'll get some idea about who other voters consider to be above the standards and why.
   49. Jeff K. Posted: December 03, 2009 at 06:35 PM (#3402347)
I have never, prior to this ballot, heard the name John Fetzer. I guess he was owner for the late 60s Tigers, but sold the season before '84. Seriously, though...complete cipher until I looked him up. And I don't see much standout stuff now that I have.
   50. Jeff K. Posted: December 03, 2009 at 06:43 PM (#3402368)
Then per the discussion a few weeks back on the mainland, I have a few 'rules' here:

1) An owner has to be more than an owner...much more, for me to consider them for the HoF. Ditto a team president that isn't also the GM.
2) Doesn't play much here, but I value innovation over just about anything else when it comes to league executives. For GMs (and team president/GMs) it is consistent, extended team success, success that can be somewhat reasonably directly attributed to them. I don't mean "the buck stops here" type stuff, and absent an extraordinary influx of talent, I don't give big points for hiring well.

Ballot
------
1. Miller
2. Paul
   51. SOLockwood Posted: December 03, 2009 at 06:51 PM (#3402388)
Agreeing with the reasons posted above for each of the candidates, I'd vote for:

Marvin Miller
Ewing Kauffman
Jacob Ruppert

None of the others were that much more special than their peers.
   52. Chris Fluit Posted: December 03, 2009 at 10:40 PM (#3402739)
absent an extraordinary influx of talent, I don't give big points for hiring well.


If that's your criteria, you might want to take another look at Jacob Ruppert. He became co-owner and team president of the Yankees in 1915 (and sole owner in 1922). The franchise subsequently acquired Bob Shawkey and Hall of Famer Frank Baker from the Athletics (in '15 and '16). He then picked up Del Pratt and an aging Eddie Plank (another Hall of Famer) in 1918. Then he started his annual raiding of the Red Sox, getting Carl Mays in '19, Babe Ruth in '20, Wally Schang in '21, Sam Jones (coming off a 23 win season) in '22 and Herb Pennock in '23. During that same span, they introduced players like Bob Meusel ('20), Lou Gehrig ('23) and Earle Combs ('24). That's quite an influx of talent. Four of those players are deservedly in the Hall of Fame and three others are still getting annual votes for the Hall of Merit.
   53. Jeff K. Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:36 AM (#3402866)
Sorry, I wasn't clear. That would be "absent an extraordinary influx of hired talent", I don't give big points for hiring well. In other words, no bonus points for a GM for hiring a great farm director. Now, if there is a very large number of people hired that turn out fantastic, I'm willing to reconsider, mostly because it's probably not just great hires at that point.

Ruppert gets more credit than most owners for me, but he had a GM. A good one.
   54. Steve Treder Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:49 AM (#3402874)
I don't give big points for hiring well. In other words, no bonus points for a GM for hiring a great farm director.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand this. Hiring people is one of the very most critical tasks of any executive. Hiring well or poorly pretty much is the key to being a successful or unsuccessful executive; virtually none of the other decisions he/she makes will be as impactful as the hiring decisions.

And in the baseball example: hell, players are employees. Good players are good hires, bad players are bad hires. I don't understand what it is you're evaluating the performance of an owner/GM upon if it isn't hiring well or hiring not well.
   55. Jeff K. Posted: December 04, 2009 at 01:02 AM (#3402891)
I'm sorry, but I don't understand this. Hiring people is one of the very most critical tasks of any executive. Hiring well or poorly pretty much is the key to being a successful or unsuccessful executive; virtually none of the other decisions he/she makes will be as impactful as the hiring decisions.

Sure, and as I said, a demonstrated ability to hire quality people will change my willingness to grant favor. But too often it seems to me that team presidents get too much credit for "hiring the right GM", with that credit coming away from the place it belongs, with the GM.

And in the baseball example: hell, players are employees. Good players are good hires, bad players are bad hires. I don't understand what it is you're evaluating the performance of an owner/GM upon if it isn't hiring well or hiring not well.

I meant other club staff, of course. I evaluate GMs, as I said, on "consistent, extended team success, success that can be somewhat reasonably directly attributed to them. I don't mean "the buck stops here" type stuff." For me, a Hall of Fame GM has to be deeply involved, active in all parts under his control, clearly in control, clearly the decision maker (up to a certain point), and all of that must translate into long-term success with some direct linkage.

Honestly, I'm basically against owners being in the Hall. Veeck, as I said in the last thread, he's an executive to me. Finley, I wouldn't vote for, but I wouldn't begrudge someone voting for him. There really aren't many. Ditto team presidents who aren't also GMs.
   56. Paul Wendt Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:48 AM (#3402995)
49. Jeff K. Posted: December 03, 2009 at 01:35 PM (#3402347)
I have never, prior to this ballot, heard the name John Fetzer.

That was my reaction one year ago and I "never" have that reaction regarding 19c-20c baseball, although I have it about six times during every World Series.


52. Chris Fluit Posted: December 03, 2009 at 05:40 PM (#3402739)
He then picked up Del Pratt and an aging Eddie Plank (another Hall of Famer) in 1918.

:-)
Maybe the club was a better purchaser than a trader. For Del Pratt whose prime seasons the St Louis Browns had enjoyed and 42.4 y.m old Eddie Plank it gave Urban Shocker, three others, and $15000. It did later trade Pratt and others to Boston for Hoyt, Schang and others.
--both from the Transactions Log, reported at baseball-reference "Del Pratt"


54. Steve Treder Posted: December 03, 2009 at 07:49 PM (#3402874)
Hiring people is one of the very most critical tasks of any executive. Hiring well or poorly pretty much is the key to being a successful or unsuccessful executive; virtually none of the other decisions he/she makes will be as impactful as the hiring decisions.

And in the baseball example: hell, players are employees. Good players are good hires, bad players are bad hires. I don't understand what it is you're evaluating the performance of an owner/GM upon if it isn't hiring well or hiring not well.


During my lifetime the "general manager" means to baseball fans the function of acquiring and retaining players, not the title or the job tasks of particular people with the title. Evaluation of performance in terms of impact on the club, ie the playing success of its teams, has been taken for granted regarding that function only.

When owners and high club executives have been virtually applauded by consideration as suitable Hall of Fame members it has been for supposed contributions to the league or to "Baseball" rather than to the success of their clubs. The point hasn't been supposed motives (almost everyone knows they pursue profit and renown and business-competitive success) but supposed innovation and impact. Things like the introduction of night baseball and live radio broadcasts. Things like building a league (the Chicago half of Comiskey's resume, about one-third of Mack's). Things like supposed input to the design of Forbes Field or Yankee Stadium or Dodger Stadium --and expressly not for things like successful negotiation with Los Angeles city or county(?) for concessions to the club. Things like hiring a black player in 1945/46 in contrast to hiring ten seasons of all-star play.

When nominal field managers and general managers have functioned "above" putting the team together and training it, they have been evaluated along these lines --in the Hall of Fame context, which means evaluated by outsiders to the club and the business school.
   57. Jeff K. Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:22 AM (#3403013)
Just so it doesn't go to waste, from the other Veteran's Committee thread. This was in response to a line of criticism of Paul that he was a poor trader with Cleveland.

-----------------------------
Okay, I went through and pulled every Indians trade, and the highlights of other player acquisition/divesting moves.

Link (Word 2003 document)

Other than Nettles, Agee, and John (already mentioned), I'd rank the guys sent away, based on what they did after the transaction, as follows:

Joe Rudi (whole career)
Luis Tiant (1970-1982, 154-108, 2286 IP, 112 ERA+)
Jose Cardenal (1970-1980, 4867 PA, .286/.351/.412, 108 OPS+)
Mudcat Grant (1965-1971, 67-47, 1061 IP, 108 ERA+)
Sonny Seibert (1970-1975, 65-56, 997.2 IP, 103 ERA+)
Vic Davalillo (1968-1973, 1794 PA, .277/.314/.363, 95 OPS+)

I don't know how much to count off for all of Mike Cuellar's career, as it took another 3 years and two franchises for him to do jack ####, at which point he was 29 years old, and he was "sent to the St. Louis Cardinals in an unknown transaction."

Now, who'd they get back?

Agee/John - Colavito (1500 PAs of 125 OPS+ before traded again when basically done), Cam Carreon (turned into Lou Piniella, who was taken away in expansion draft)
Rudi - nobody (Landis/Rittwage)
Tiant - with Stan Williams, for Dean Chance (done at this point), Bob Miller (traded again before he did anything, not much left to career), Ted Uhlaender (two years of 90 OPS+ in OF), and...Graig Nettles
Cardenal - Vada Pinson (1200 PAs of ~ 100 OPS+, traded again)
Mudcat Grant - virtually nothing (Stange had mild success after trade but after he was traded away again, Banks was nothing)
Seibert - Harrelson (900 PAs of 99 OPS+), Pizarro and Ellsworth (nothing much)
Davalillo - Jimmie Hall (bleh)

I'm not seeing a string of big giveaways here.
   58. SWW Posted: December 04, 2009 at 04:02 AM (#3403030)
Anybody else think that Marvin Miller won't die until they elect him? He's like the Flying Dutchman. The original one, I mean. The one with the boat.

Going with three candidates this year. Alphabetically:

<u>2010 Veterans' Committee - Executives Ballot</u>

John Joseph McHale
Perhaps not my most rational vote. Helped build the Montreal Expos into a playoff team. You know, that one time. That only time. I'd love to see Bud read that plaque, talking about the team he helped destroy. That'd be fun.
Marvin Julian Miller
The most influential man in baseball for the last third of the 20th century. In his induction speech, Nolan Ryan talked about going from pumping gas in the off-season to becoming the game’s first million-dollar man. He gave Marvin Miller credit for that, and I agree.
Jacob Ruppert Jr. - "The Colonel"
My God, do I hate the Yankees. And it would appear that his early moves -- like acquiring Babe Ruth and building Yankee Stadium -- helped establish the object of my scorn as a permanent institution. Gotta tip your cap.

No one else was really close. So three it is.
   59. Brent Posted: December 04, 2009 at 04:20 AM (#3403046)
- Marvin Miller (that's all)
   60. Srul Itza At Home Posted: December 04, 2009 at 07:39 AM (#3403117)
Jacob Ruppert
Marvin Miller
Ewing Kauffman

These three are the stand outs.
   61. Howie Menckel Posted: December 05, 2009 at 04:23 PM (#3404283)
Jacob Ruppert - am surprised he's not already there. A significant piece of the Yankees becoming the Yankees.

Ewing Kauffman - showed how turning an expansion team into a winner is done right.

Marvin Miller - overrated on BBTF, underrated by HOF.
   62. fra paolo Posted: December 05, 2009 at 09:05 PM (#3404483)
Voting for two

Marvin Miller - Given the long history of baseball players' fighting for union recognition, the fact that Miller achieved it means he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

John Fetzer - I can't believe how no-one seems to be interested in researching this man. He owned the Detroit Tigers, but more importantly in real-life he was a radio-station owner. And so he was instrumental in negotiating the 1960s national television contract for Major-League Baseball. The Hall of Fame is about firsts, and Fetzer deserves credit for all those nationally televised baseball announcers who generate so much delightful comment on Primer!
   63. Ron Johnson Posted: December 05, 2009 at 09:23 PM (#3404493)
What do you know about Ruppert's less active and Breadon's "more active role"? And how do you know it? (Here and elsewhere so far, no one seems to know much about Breadon.


Nothing I can firmly cite, just my impression of how frequently the names popped up in my reading and the context. Little asides that left me with the impression that Breadon was both more involved than a typical owner and the the involvement was positive.
   64. Maury Brown Posted: December 05, 2009 at 09:37 PM (#3404499)
You'd think Miller would be a slam dunk (been saying it for years, and wish I felt the same this year). Providing some reasons for concern on that from a prior column:
Here’s who will make or break Miller’s inclusion into the Hall of Fame this year. They will discuss the ballot and vote on Sunday, Dec. 6 with the results of the voting released on Monday the 7th.

Robin Roberts and Tom Seaver; former executive John Harrington (Red Sox); current executives Jerry Bell (Twins), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), Bill Giles (Phillies), David Glass (Royals), Andy MacPhail (Orioles) and John Schuerholz (Braves); and veteran media members Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Hal McCoy (Dayton Daily News) and Phil Pepe (New York Daily News).

This is a tough call. You give two votes from the former players to Miller (after all, Roberts was greatly responsible for being involved in the executive director search that eventually landed Miller in ’66), after that, it’s a crap shoot. Let’s say, for conversation sake, all the writers were in Miller’s corner, that would be 5 votes, which leaves 4 current or former execs being needed to get to the requisite 75 percent of the ballots cast in favor of a candidate on the ballot. You might get Schuerholz, possibly Glass or Bell, but after that, it gets cloudy. DeWitt, Giles, Harrington, and MacPhail were well known hardliners for management, so it seems dicey for Miller there. All that said, it shouldn’t surprise anyone at this stage if Miller garnered less votes than last year, or garnered an overwhelming majority. The politics of the Hall is an ever shifting landscape. That said, look at the makeup of the committee: it is swayed toward management (there are only two former players), and as Baseball Prospectus author Jay Jaffe noted, you have three members that were active during the collusion rulings (DeWitt, MacPhail, Giles). That could (yet again) kill Miller's chances.
   65. Posada Posse Posted: December 05, 2009 at 11:41 PM (#3404553)
My ballot:

1. Marvin Miller
2. Jacob Ruppert
3. Bob Howsam. I had no idea that, in addition to being the architect of the Big Red Machine, he used to own the Denver Broncos and was one of the founders of the old AFL.

I also came very close to voting for Sam Breadon but feel like I need more information about him.
   66. Paul Wendt Posted: December 06, 2009 at 06:06 PM (#3404926)
Maury Brown quoted himself from elsewhere,
"it shouldn’t surprise anyone at this stage if Miller garnered less votes than last year, or garnered an overwhelming majority. The politics of the Hall is an ever shifting landscape."

No doubt it is always shifting a little but it has been sands blowing in the wind since the meeting two years ago, following an earthquake preceding that election.

Let me too quote myself from elsewhere, in response to a similar comment.
"I think it's barely possible that anyone will continue to lose votes. The composition of the committee changed radically before 2008, and the members were limited to casting four Yes votes each. Since then the composition has been stable (how stable?) and three winners have departed the top of the ballot. We know that the four-vote ceiling was binding for almost every committee member, if not all. On average they have more than two votes freed by the departure of Dreyfuss, O'Malley and Kuhn."

Explaining the structural point,
"Two years ago several committee members explained that Marvin Miller is a strong candidate but the slate and the rule, vote for no more than four, required choosing among strong candidates. That committee cast at least 44 of its permitted 48 votes (48 is my guess), so at least eight members cast all [four each] of their allotments. We may expect that leading incumbents Kauffman, Fetzer, Miller, and Howsam will all garner more votes next month, a good share of the 29 votes previously cast for the big three."

Now on Sunday morning:
I doubt it's a good bet that that quartet will garner half of the liberated votes but I think it's a reasonable point estimate. If so, they will divide 30 votes up from 15 two years ago.

I expect that the leading "incumbent" Ewing Kauffman will be elected even if newcomers to the ballot take the majority of the liberated votes. I won't be surprised if the committee elects three candidates again, or even four. They do meet face to face and deliberate more or less on their own schedule. They are only twelve. It must be easy to judge who is truly viable this year and to vote accordingly. I suppose that they hope to elect, or see elected, a few more executives in a couple more years, and there's no better way than to clear the backlog.

One thing in Marvin Miller's favor is that the committeemen all know they will take pointed questions from the press as long as they vote him down. I hope that helps too.
   67. Paul Wendt Posted: December 06, 2009 at 06:34 PM (#3404945)
A table I posted at baseball-fever shows at once the results of the last three elections and the current nominations, for all 32 candidates classified as High officials, club Owners, club GMs, field Managers, and Umpires.

Five candidates are standing for the fourth time since the venerable institution scrapped its famous Committee on Veterans: Marvin Miller, Gabe Paul, Whitey Herzog, Billy Martin, and Doug Harvey.

Where possible the classification generally follows the review by Doug Pappas, and it's generally possible because he covered all 60 stage-one nominees by the Historical Overview Committee.
: Pappas, "The 2003 Hall of Fame Veterans Committee Vote" (Outside the Lines, Winter 2003)
Pappas called the two crucial categories "17 who were primarily owners or owner/GMs" and "9 who were primarily GMs". I take credit for putting Miller, Bill White, and Bowie Kuhn together as High officials and for capitalizing the 'h' so that we have distinct one-letter classes H O G M U. Frankly, I'm not entirely happy with it, and take the blame for implying that Umpires are low officials rather than high ones.
   68. Chris Cobb Posted: December 06, 2009 at 11:01 PM (#3405072)
1. Marvin Miller
2. Ewing Kauffman (he and Herzog should go in together)
3. Gabe Paul
   69. SWW Posted: December 07, 2009 at 05:47 AM (#3405327)
One thing in Marvin Miller's favor is that the committeemen all know they will take pointed questions from the press as long as they vote him down. I hope that helps too.


I would like to believe this was true, but were any of the committee members quizzed about their vote two years ago? In particular, I remember scanning Rick Hummel's columns for a couple weeks, wondering when he would say something about his experience, but he was silent. I think the omerta's in place.
   70. Paul Wendt Posted: December 07, 2009 at 03:50 PM (#3405494)
: I would like to believe this was true, but were any of the committee members quizzed about their vote two years ago?

Yes, and Andy MacPhail once explained that Marvin Miller wasn't a baseball executive. (I don't recall when. My observation dates from the aftermath of the committee meeting two years ago. Today I'm not sure that I was working from memory then. Most likely he was interviewed that summer or fall after the NBHOFM Board established or appointed the new committee. If a member of the Board, he may have been interviewed any time during his tenure. Someone may have asked him years ago why Miller isn't in the Hall, but he wasn't a voter after 2001, if then.)

Two years ago panelist Harmon Killebrew explained that there were too many strong candidates. Here is a little Killer with a lot of Bud that no one should miss, from the AP story 2007-12-03 now available at ESPN.

--
Kuhn elected to Hall of Fame; union adversary Miller left out again

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- At last, Bowie Kuhn beat Marvin Miller at something.

The late commissioner was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday while Miller was rejected by a revamped Veterans Committee stacked with those he regularly opposed -- and beat -- in arbitration and bargaining sessions that altered the history of the game.

"Bowie was a close friend and a respected leader who served as commissioner during an important period in history, amid a time of change," commissioner Bud Selig said, adding: "I was surprised that Marvin Miller did not receive the required support given his important impact on the game."

...
Selig, a former owner and longtime bargaining foe of the players, has been one of the most vocal supporters of Miller's candidacy. Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, who was on the panel that considered Miller, said he was limited because he could only vote for four of the 10 candidates.

"Everybody on that list deserved to be there," Killebrew said, declining to reveal whether he voted for Miller. "He certainly had a tremendous impact."
   71. Paul Wendt Posted: December 07, 2009 at 03:52 PM (#3405496)
Huh.

I see that Historical Overview Committee member Dave van Dyck reported the election results early this hour (9:01 am CST) at Chicago Breaking Sports News.
spoiler: 2010 veterans committees
   72. Paul Wendt Posted: December 07, 2009 at 04:11 PM (#3405527)
Allen Barra, Players need to make a stand for Marvin Miller, New York Sun 2008-06-18

(my emphasis)
>>
The baseball establishment hasn't wanted Miller to be inducted since his retirement in 1983. For years, their instrument for keeping him out was the infamous Rule 6(b): According to the rule, "Baseball Executives and/or Managers and/or Umpires who have been retired from organized baseball as Baseball Executives and/or Managers and/or Umpires for at least five years prior to the election" are eligible. In 2000, I pursued this issue. One member of the Hall's Veterans Committee told me flat out that Miller did not qualify because of this Rule 6(b): "No, definitely not ... Marvin Miller was not a baseball executive."

[Leonard Koppett said the same in other words, "we can't put Marvin on the ballot until the board interprets the rule and tells us it's okay." The matter was clarified to Barra's satisfaction then (2000) but]
Koppett and other writers who favored electing Miller to the Hall allowed the issue to be shuffled off to other committees.
...
Since Rule 6(b) was debunked in 2000, players who served as Miller's player representatives — most notably Reggie Jackson, Tom Seaver, Brooks Robinson, and Joe Morgan — have been saying that they were going to "do what it takes" to get Miller in. But each time the vote has come up, they've all found excuses not to serve on the Veterans Committee. Or, when they have, like Jackson in 2004, they've suddenly become addlebrained and decided that only players should be in the Hall of Fame.

[Also:]
Finally, a few weeks ago, Miller moved to end the agony by writing to Jack O'Connell of the Baseball Writers Association of America requesting that he not be considered again. This is Miller's entire letter: ...
<<
   73. Howie Menckel Posted: December 07, 2009 at 04:15 PM (#3405535)
Is the voting closed, or will people still be voting until tonight on an election that's already happened?
   74. Paul Wendt Posted: December 07, 2009 at 04:28 PM (#3405565)
That ends my archaeological work or today.

(see #69/70) SWW continued,
: I remember scanning Rick Hummel's columns for a couple weeks, wondering when he would say something about his experience, but he was silent. I think the omerta's in place.

I meant that some baseball writers have questioned and will question committee members, most of whom are baseball executives. Regarding the few baseball writers on the committee, their readers should question them promptly rather than passively scan their columns. This is primarily for readers who "know" their writer mutually, perhaps without meeting in person, such as some longtime readers of local print newspapers who were authors of letters to the sportswriters by streetmail. Probably some baseball writers know some email correspondents in the same way.
   75. Paul Wendt Posted: December 07, 2009 at 04:31 PM (#3405574)
Relying partly on this thread (it works!),

Howsam
Kauffman
Miller
Ruppert
   76. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2009 at 09:02 PM (#3405966)
I'm sure that's correct, but my feeling has always been that if one is not fully qualified in one area, partial contributions from multiple areas need to put him well over 100%. What I mean is this, for me, it's not enough if a guy is 75% qualified as a player and 25% qualified as a manager, like say Gil Hodges. It would have to be something like 75% and 50%. Bill White strikes me as similar to Hodges, maybe 75% of a HOF player, and 25% of a HOF exec. Maybe 65-35. Anyway, that's not enough.


I'm of the same mind, Misirlou.

BTW, if anyone hasn't voted yet, why not? You still have 4 more hours to do so.
   77. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2009 at 01:02 AM (#3406125)
The election is now over. Results will be posted at 10 PM EDT.

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