Does Marvin Miller belong in baseball's Hall of Fame?


Ex-union chief no favorite of management, but players forever grateful

December 09, 2009

Yes, he brought progress
Dom Amore, Hartford Courant

Once again, the Hall of Fame's veterans committee missed its chance to do the right thing. Marvin Miller fell two votes short.

Miller deserves to be in Cooperstown. Yes, he is a polarizing figure, and those who believe a baseball player should have been bound to his team forever if the team so desired will never forgive Miller for bringing baseball into the 20th Century and striking down the reserve clause.

No figure has had more impact, brought more change to baseball.

And the fact is that free agency, if that is Miller's legacy, has not ruined baseball. It has earned players their share of the revenue the game generates, and it hasbrought better balance than existed in the old days.

The work stoppages were painful, but progress doesn't come without pain.

Stop the charade
Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune

For Marvin Miller, it used to be a good thing to have baseball owners insult his intelligence. The brilliant labor lawyer, recruited from the steel mills, always got the last laugh as he built the players union from a toothless idea to an uncompromising force.

But there's nothing Miller can do about the latest insult to his - and our - intelligence. He's a perennial candidate for the Hall of Fame but stays on the outside looking in, his fate decided by a 12-member committee including seven management reps, many of whom were on the receiving end of his power as a leader.

Who's kidding whom in this arrangement? Tom Seaver says Miller is as deserving of the Hall as the men like Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson, and he's right. Stop the charade. Put him in.

His impact was profound
Peter Schmuck, The Baltimore Sun

There are a lot of old-school baseball people who still haven't forgiven Miller for ushering in baseball's free-agent era, which is probably why he didn't get voted into Cooperstown.

That's too bad.

Miller may have ruffled a lot of feathers during his tenure as union chief, but it would be hard to find anyone who has had a more dynamic effect on the sport during the modern age. He all but created the current economic system and that led to baseball's seemingly unending salary spiral, but also ushered in the most prosperous period in the history of professional sports - both for the players and the clubs.

It isn't supposed to be the Hall of People Baseball Management Remembers Fondly. It's the Hall of Fame, and Marvin Miller should be in it.

A disgraceful snub
Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times

Absolutely. The repeated and disgraceful snubs of Marvin Miller by veteran executives weakens the ability of the Hall of Fame to tell the true history of the game.

There are few changes that have impacted the game more than free agency, and few pioneers who have impacted the game more than the one who stood up to the owners who believed they could pay a player whatever they liked and keep him for as long as they liked.

The executives who lost their ability to tell players to take it or leave it because Miller led the way to collective bargaining and free agency should be ashamed that they have cheapened the Hall of Fame by failing to elect a man who is indisputably one of the pivotal figures in major league history.

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