The votes by the Veteran’s Committee are in and Pat Gillick, former Major League general manager, was the only person selected to join the Hall of Fame. His most notable hour was building the first ever World Champion team residing outside the USA when he led the Blue Jays in the early 1990s. His greatest swap as the dictator of the Jays was when he nabbed Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter from the Padres. Alomar became the best second baseman in the American League and Joe Carter was a World Series hero in Toronto.
Those snubbed by the Hall of Fame were George Steinbrenner, who many thought would get in but The Boss, despite a recurring role on America’s hit sitcom Seinfeld, didn’t get the necessary votes. His on-again-off-again skipper, Billy Martin, also failed to reach the 75% needed for enshrinement. Of the 16 member judging panel, a person needed 12 votes to make the HOF with Gillick garnering 13 votes and Marvin Miller coming in second with 11–one shy of election. But I applaud the Miller snub… more on that later.
Of the former players, Dave Concepcion received the most votes with eight, which shouldn’t come as a shock given his fishing buddies on the judging panel. It’s close to impossible to justify the fact that Concepcion received more votes than Ted Simmons, but Simba has been denied his rightful place in the Hall once again. Bench beat the drum for Concepcion while no one championed Simmons. Bench, who was on the judging panel with fellow Reds player Tony Perez, said “had I not been there, I don’t think Davey would have gotten a quarter of the votes.” The Veteran’s committee has made numerous mistakes, in the name of cronyism, by allowing their judging panel to usher in inferior players who they liked while casting cold shoulders to better players. Dave Concepcion may be a legit Hall of Fame candidate, but his candidacy is wanting when compared to Simba.
As for Marvin Miller, there are plenty people who feel he has done more to destroy the game of baseball than to help it. There is no doubt the players have benefited from the union magnate, but everyone else has suffered due to his intrusion in our beloved game. Because of Miller, parity in baseball, if it ever existed in the first place, is dead and will never be attained again. The divide between the haves and the have-nots is like a canyon that cannot be crossed. The haves will build the strong teams by paying the free agents that the have-nots can no longer afford. Fans see, every year, many of their favorite players leave for greener pastures (or wallets) because their hometown team can’t afford to play big-money ball with the NY and LA based teams. Baseball is in a bad way and many fingers point to Marvin Miller as the reason for its current, excessive division.
After the votes were tallied, the cantankerous, egotistical fool that is Marvin Miller claimed that “the baseball Hall of Fame’s vote hardly qualifies as a news story. It is repetitively negative, easy to forecast and therefore boring. It is an amusing anomaly that the Hall of Fame has made me famous by keeping me out.” Clearly, humility is not Marvin Miller’s strong suit. The doors to the HOF should forever remain shut to this “man” who has no respect for the game or any of its institutions. I would encourage the “man” to grow up, but he was born before the Truman administration, so all hope of him ever gaining a sense of humility is lost to the breeze. As for his charge that the Hall of Fame induction is “negative,” he should look to past inductions when Ted Williams called for the Hall to open its doors to Negro League players. He should look to Joe Gordon’s daughter who got to recount her long deceased father’s life on a national scale. Miller should read about the heartfelt induction speech given by an aging Elmer Flick who was so overcome with emotion he couldn’t keep from letting the tears flow from his 80-plus-year-old eyes. He should remember Buck O’Neil’s terrific speech when many of his fellow Negro League players and execs were inducted but he was snubbed, leading the fans in attendance in a quick song that only Buck had the knack for.
You find all this “negative,” do you Marvin Miller? All that I find negative about today’s election is your criticism of it. May the doors to the Hall of Fame always remain locked to you!