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Marvin Miller Newsbeat

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Miller, Simmons elected to HOF on Modern Era ballot

On the eve of baseball’s Winter Meetings getting underway in San Diego, the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 officially has its first members. Of the 10 candidates on the Modern Baseball Era ballot, the Veteran’s Committee announced on Sunday night that former MLBPA director Marvin Miller and Cardinals, Braves and Brewers catcher Ted Simmons had both been selected for induction in the Hall.

The other nominees on the ballot—made up of a group whose primary contributions to baseball came between 1970 and 1987—included Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker and Lou Whitaker.

Congratulations to Simmons and to the Miller family.

 

QLE Posted: December 08, 2019 at 08:21 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, marvin miller, ted simmons

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Still Waiting on Cooperstown, Marvin Miller Gets a Fitting Induction Elsewhere

This Hall of Fame season, like several before it, has invited baseball to reckon with the question of Marvin Miller. This is not so much a question about him—Miller’s influence is too obvious to be much debated—as it is a question about the Hall, what it means for the institution to exist without him and what sort of baseball history can be written around him. (Given that Miller’s work as the first director of the players’ union created the very structure of the modern game, it seems fair to say that the answer is a peculiarly partial one.)

Yet Miller has been put on the ballot four times for the Veterans Committee, twice for the Expansion Era Committee, and now twice for the Modern Baseball Era Committee, and he’s been passed over each time. (Before his death in 2012, he said that he did not wish to be listed on future ballots; he’s still been included on three ballots posthumously.) This year, however, there’s a new foil to the Hall’s question of Marvin Miller, as he’s just been enshrined in another grand institution of Americana: The National Portrait Gallery.

The Gallery, part of the Smithsonian Institution, holds portraits of iconic Americans; each year, an exhibit is curated of the most prominent recent additions, with a selection unveiled at a gala every November. The 25 portraits in this year’s class include actor Morgan Freeman, Olympic track star Wilma Rudolph, Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold, and Amazon C.E.O Jeff Bezos. And, of course, Miller.

The qualifications for the National Portrait Gallery are at once more and less difficult to reach than those of the Baseball Hall of Fame; more so in the sense that the gallery’s “paramount concern” is the person’s impact on national history and culture, a naturally hard standard to meet, and less so in the sense that there is one paramount concern, rather than the electoral preferences of a fluid set of sportswriters and committee members. While Miller has not satisfied the latter, there wasn’t a question about his ability to meet the former. (He’s not alone in that; Pete Rose is in the Gallery’s collection, too, painted by Andy Warhol.)

Figures: Visited a half-dozen or so museums in the District last week, and the National Portrait Gallery was one I missed…..

 

QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 10:00 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: marvin miller, smithsonian

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Hall of Fame Case for Marvin Miller

For those wondering why he’s proposed as a candidate:

It is impossible to overstate Miller’s impact on Major League Baseball. While some — including Hall of Fame voters — have long given Miller short shrift (or piled on utter disdain), baseball today cannot be understood without understanding Marvin Miller’s contributions. He was a truly transformative figure who, after Jackie Robinson, did more to correct the excesses and injustices delivered onto players by baseball’s ruling class than anyone.

When Miller took over as the head of the MLBPA in 1966 there was no free agency. Players were told by ownership what they would make the following year and if they didn’t like it, tough. They couldn’t switch teams. They couldn’t do what any other worker can do and shop their services elsewhere. They were stuck thanks to baseball’s reserve clause and the ridiculous Supreme Court decision which exempted baseball and its owners from the antitrust laws.

Miller took all of that on and he won. He started small, negotiating the union’s first collective bargaining agreement with the team owners in 1968, which raised the game’s minimum salary from $6,000 to $10,000. In 1970 he got the owners to agree to arbitration for the first time. In 1970 Curt Flood, with Miller’s support and guidance, challenged baseball’s antitrust exemption — and the dreaded reserve clause, which kept players tied to one team against their wishes — in the courts. Flood ultimately lost that case in the landmark 1972 Supreme Court decision. The decision did not, however, blunt Miller’s resolve, and he took his fight to other forums.

In 1974 he exploited a loophole — and an oversight by Oakland Athletics owner Charlie O. Finley — to get Catfish Hunter free agency and baseball’s first $1 million contract.  Up next: the whole enchilada. In 1974, he got Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally to play out the season without contracts, placing them in cross-hairs of the reserve clause and giving them standing to fight the provision in arbitration. In 1975 they won, with the Seitz Decision ushering in the age of free agency. Baseball players’ indentured servitude was over.

 

QLE Posted: November 27, 2019 at 09:57 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, marvin miller

Monday, November 04, 2019

2020 MODERN BASEBALL ERA BALLOT

Nine former big league players and one executive comprise the 10-name Modern Baseball Era ballot to be reviewed and voted upon Dec. 8 at the Baseball Winter Meetings.

Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker are the candidates the Modern Baseball Era Committee will consider for Hall of Fame election for the Class of 2020. All candidates are former players except for Miller, who was the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966-82. All candidates except for Miller and Munson are living.

Any candidate who receives votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member Modern Baseball Era Committee will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 26, 2020, along with any electees who emerge from the 2020 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on Jan. 21, 2020.

The Modern Baseball Era is one of four Era Committees, each of which provide an avenue for Hall of Fame consideration to managers, umpires and executives, as well as players retired for more than 15 seasons.

The BBHOF season has now started- what say we concerning this ballot?

 


 

 

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