Although the Veterans Committee doesn’t get as much airtime as the Baseball Writers ballot, there are far more deserving men on the Veteran’s ballot than the Baseball Writers ballot–not just this year, but every year.
The Hall of Fame has reshaped their voting process, for the umpteenth time, and have now given out a list of men to be voted upon by a special panel. So former executives like Ray Kroc and Nick Young, and managers like Jimmy Dykes, who aren’t on the ballot, can’t even be considered for induction. The Veteran’s Committee this year focuses on former executives, umpires and managers. The list is as follows.
Managers: Charlie Grimm, Whitey Herzog, Davey Johnson, Tom Kelly, Billy Martin, Gene Mauch, Danny Murtaugh and Steve O’Neill.
Umpires: Doug Harvey and Hank O’Day
Executives: Gene Autry (former Angels owner and film star), Ewing Kauffman (former Royals owner and mastermind of the baseball academy), John Fetzer (former Tigers owner during the Kaline Days), Jacob Ruppert (former Yankees owner who built their first dynasty), Sam Breadon (former Cardinals owner during their Gashouse Gang Days), Bill White (former star first baseman and National League president), Bob Howsam (GM of the Reds famous Big Red Machine), John McHale (former GM of the Montreal Expos), Gabe Paul (former GM with a lengthy resume), Marvin Miller (head of the Players Union, responsible for free agency)
Now, there are many men I’d put in the Hall of Fame from these groups. Of the managers, I’d put Grimm, Herzog and Murtaugh in the Hall of Fame and would give serious consideration to Steve O’Neill and Billy Martin. Anyone who has done much research on baseball can tell you that Hank O’Day was an influential umpire so he should be there–the Hall is umpire light.
As for the executives, I’m shocked that Colonel Ruppert hasn’t made it in the Hall yet, since there seems to be a heavy New York bias in Hall elections (Tony Kubek and Joe Gordon last year) I feel Ruppert will make it this year to massage Yankee Nation. Sam Breadon was an astute executive and Howsam helped build one of the greatest dynasties in baseball. Ewing Kauffman brought Major League baseball back to Kansas City after Charlie Finley took it away. Mr. K had the foresight to see that players could be trained, opening a groundbreaking baseball academy in Florida that produced the likes of Frank White and current Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington. You could claim that Ewing Kauffman is the creator of the Baseball academies that thrive in the Dominican.
As for Marvin Miller, he has been receiving plenty of support but he won’t get any from me. The Hall of Fame wasn’t made for lawyers. If he gets inducted then I’ll be adamant in getting Dr. James Andrews, surgeon of the stars, inducted into the Hall. Dr. Andrews has done more for the game than Miller, who, essentially, has done little beyond distancing the players from the fans with free agency.