I am hoping to see multiple inductions here. I admit, i am a sucker for Dave Parker.....The Cobra was an early childhood favorite of mine..... though i think if i was an adult rooting for the Pirates in the 80's, he would drive me nuts!
Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Joe Torre elected. No surprise, and no controversy. They are among the winningest managers in MLB history. They helped to define their era.
Marvin Miller not elected. No surprise; big controversy. In terms of impact to the game in the last 50 years, Miller tops the list. He put players on an even economic footing with owners and management. That has had a profound impact on the game, and it had a ripple effect on other team sports. That even footing is overlooked as we concentrate on the athleticism rather than the business of baseball, but it is impossible to have one without the other, and that has always been the case. For years--decades--owners held all the cards (e.g., the Reserve Clause) until baseball began participating in the collective bargaining Miller spearheaded. Looks as if the owners still have control over this one. A shame.
Ted Simmons not elected. Disappointing. Simmons is on the bubble; I think his record compared to other catchers pushes him across the line. He was the best prospect among the players on the ballot.
I have been doing a lot of research on Miller, and was saddened to see that i received even less support than the last time (2010). Hopefully, with the amount of attention that was put on this snub, this gets reversed.
Also agree on Simmons, another whose stock is rising though, so he should be in this place again in three years.
At least with these three managers, we have some people this year. Actually, this might look like a year for a Cooperstown pilgrimage.
I don't want to jump on a soapbox here, but anti-labor and anti-union sentiment in the US has been high for more than three decades. That I think is the biggest obstacle in the case for Marvin Miller--no one wants to be reminded that he put labor on an equal footing with ownership for the first time in a century of established Major League baseball.
MLB loves to celebrate its civil-rights accomplishments as both Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby, the first two African-American players in 20th-century MLB, are in the Hall of Fame. Strictly on numbers, though, Robinson is a borderline-yes (didn't have the longevity but had peak/dominance) and Doby falls short of the borderline; correspondingly, Robinson was voted in by the writers and Doby by the Veterans Committee. In Doby's case, his contribution goes beyond his stats--he integrated the American League. However, good luck waiting for Doby's first uniform number, 14, to be retired by MLB, let alone waiting for a movie titled 14. Speaking of which, in this year's movie 42, about Robinson's first year in the majors, we were reminded that Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey had pragmatic economic reasons for integrating: It brought more talented players onto the market, from which a winning team could be built.
It is that overt business aspect that I think is the roadblock for Marvin Miller. We know that business underpins baseball, makes baseball possible in the first place, but we don't want to be reminded of it. Of course, it is unavoidable, from the cost of the ticket to see a game and the cup of beer you buy when you watch it to the tax dollars allocated to subsidize the cost of a new stadium to the size of the salary the Seattle Mariners are offering to Robinson Cano for his services--which, by the way, is a direct result of the efforts of Marvin Miller and his successful efforts to secure the rights to collective bargaining and arbitration for the MLB Players Association. That is the seismic shift that occurred in baseball in the 1970s, that players are no longer the owners' chattel but active economic participants with their own leverage.
Jumping into sheer speculation here, based on the composition of the Expansion Era committee: In the "Hall of Famers" group, I would think that players Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk, Joe Morgan, and Paul Molitor would be the most sympathetic to Miller's election as their careers overlapped the critical sea change of the 1970s. The other two players, Phil Niekro and Frank Robinson, I suspect would be less inclined as they are older, although Robinson is outspoken on other issues. The two managers, Whitey Herzog and Tommy Lasorda, I would expect to side with the owners. The Executive group (Paul Beeston, Andy MacPhail, Dave Montgomery, and Jerry Reinsdorf) I would expect to oppose Miller. The Media and Historians group (Steve Hirdt, Bruce Jenkins, Jack O'Connor, and Jim Reeves) is a crapshoot--I don't know anything about them except Hirdt, who seems forward-thinking in his baseball analysis. So, not a lot of support for Miller overall.
Miller's induction could take a while. It might take the presence of more recently-elected Hall of Fame players, whose careers were more directly impacted by Miller's influence, on future Expansion Era committees to form the critical mass needed for the necessary votes. However, Miller's downward trend is not an encouraging sign.
But who would Harrison Ford play in the Larry Doby Movie?
My lame joke aside....Marvin Miller will never be that "sexy" pick. There will never be a movie about him, there should be a documentary about him...but won't, he has a white bread name, and helping baseball players become millionaires, makes so many casual fans upset as they think they can't identify with their heroes.
Yeah, Harrison Ford might be a little long in the tooth to play Bill Veeck.
And, yeah, Marvin Miller will not generate a lot of fan appreciation. There was a documentary done, I think by HBO in the last year or two, about Curt Flood. I'd like to see that and see how much it also discusses Miller.
The 1994 strike was characterized by the fans as being "the millionaires versus the billionaires," but the Hall has certainly recognized enough "billionaires"--the owners--over the decades. This year's vote could have been worse: George Steinbrenner could have been elected before Miller. And I think Steinbrenner does belong in the Hall.