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View Full Version : Kuhn in Hall, but no Marvin Miller? Op Ed from Washington Post



redsmetz
08-13-2008, 04:35 PM
I saw this today on the Washington Post website, an article by Senator Sherrod Brown about Bowie Kuhn being in the HOF, but not Marvin Miller. I liked the part about his father teaching him and his brothers to hate the Yankees and how they're not teaching their sons and daughters the same.


A Shutout at Cooperstown

By Sherrod Brown

Usually it's the pinstripes that push open the doors of Cooperstown. If the ballplayer comes from Philadelphia or Cleveland, rather than from the Bronx, he has to be better to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame. A lot better.

So how do you explain Bowie Kuhn and not Marvin Miller?

For more than 15 years, Kuhn and Miller -- the commissioner of Major League Baseball and the head of the baseball players' association, respectively -- went head-to-head over the direction of America's pastime. And as they say in baseball, Miller owned him. Players went from being chattel to being celebrities, salaries followed, and interest in the game blossomed.

During the worst of the labor strife in the early 1980s, Kuhn seemed too detached, too ineffectual. After the game was brought to a standstill, the great sportswriter Red Smith joked, "This strike would never have happened if Bowie Kuhn were alive."

Last month, the late commissioner was inducted posthumously into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Marvin Miller is still waiting.

Kuhn's supporters on the Veterans Committee that votes on nominees argued for his induction by saying how much he loved the game. But so do I, and my suffering season after season rooting for the Cleveland Indians doesn't earn me a place in Cooperstown next to Cobb, Speaker, Mathewson, Aaron and Mays. (Notice I mentioned no Yankees in this litany of baseball greats.)

My late father, who saw Bill Wambsganss pull off the only World Series unassisted triple play in Cleveland's League Park in 1920, loved the game maybe even more than I do. He isn't in the Hall of Fame either. (His legacy lives on, though, through his three sons. Like all good Ohio fathers, he raised us to hate the Yankees. And we are raising our daughters to do the same.)

Kuhn, who was born in Takoma Park and grew up in Washington, became the fifth commissioner of baseball, the youngest in history, in 1969. He was 42.

As commissioner, he did much that was noteworthy -- disciplining players for drugs and gambling, suspending Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle and George Steinbrenner to "protect the integrity of the game," even demanding that pitcher Jim Bouton retract or disavow his best-selling book "Ball Four."

Kuhn, who served as commissioner until 1984, was harshly and rightly criticized for missing the game at which Henry Aaron broke Babe Ruth's long-standing career home run record.

But there's no surprise about Kuhn's induction into the Hall of Fame. Baseball as a business is no different from oil companies or the pharmaceutical industry. Management -- hold your breath here -- is known for taking care of itself.

Unlike the standard route to Hall of Fame immortality, which requires the votes of more than 400 sportswriters, Kuhn needed only nine votes from a special committee of executives -- made up of seven representatives of team management, three sportswriters and two retired players.

And Marvin Miller?

The management committee -- er, Veterans Committee -- has not seen fit to support his induction. Now 91, the former economist for the United Steelworkers of America, and executive director of the baseball players' association from 1966 through 1983, was close to getting the votes for induction when the rules were changed to stack the executive committee.

Marvin Miller, the labor guy, bested Bowie Kuhn, the management guy -- and fundamentally changed the game -- whenever they went up against one another: on arbitration, ending the reserve clause, through several strikes and lockouts.

Maybe if Miller had worn pinstripes. . . .

oneupper
08-13-2008, 08:22 PM
Neither of 'em, if you ask me. The HOF should be about the playerw and ...as a stretch the managers, if you will. Commishes, Union leaders, GMs, sportswriters...nah.

But they started with that and now we have issues like this one. Might as well let them all in, I guess. Even the worst presidents get their library.

Always Red
08-13-2008, 08:26 PM
Neither of 'em, if you ask me. The HOF should be about the playerw and ...as a stretch the managers, if you will. Commishes, Union leaders, GMs, sportswriters...nah.



I'm with you.

What next- agents, too??

RBA
08-13-2008, 08:28 PM
What next? Marty too? ;)

WebScorpion
08-14-2008, 11:33 AM
I'm with you.

What next- agents, too??

Yea, I'm not sure I'd ever visit Cooperstown if Scott Boras were inducted before Joe Jackson or Pete Rose. :eek:

RedlegJake
08-14-2008, 11:45 AM
Actually Boras and Goldstein are still negotiating for the agents inclusion. They claim plaques above the urinals isn't enough. They want bobblehead flush handles.

cincinnati chili
08-16-2008, 09:59 PM
I agree with Senator Brown. If it wasn't for Marvin Miller, Major League Baseball would not be attracting the top athletes that it attracts today.

Eric Davis would have played basketball. Adam Dunn would have played football.

Ponder that for a moment or two.

RFS62
08-16-2008, 10:18 PM
Marvin Miller, the labor guy, bested Bowie Kuhn, the management guy -- and fundamentally changed the game -- whenever they went up against one another: on arbitration, ending the reserve clause, through several strikes and lockouts.

Maybe if Miller had worn pinstripes. . . .


Marvin Miller meant infinitely more to baseball than Bowie Kuhn

westofyou
08-16-2008, 11:11 PM
Marvin Miller meant infinitely more to baseball than Bowie Kuhn

Like comparing Secretariat to Mister Ed.