A Glaring Omission

Ask anyone about Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame and you will hear names like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, etc. A majority of fans hear the words “hall of fame” and immediately think of the game’s greatest players. What they don’t realize is that the MLB also enshrines writers, broadcasters, executives and, yes, even umpires. However, even the most deserving people can be overlooked.
On December 9th MLB’s expansion-era committee met and inducted managers Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox. Yes, non-players are exempt from the five-year waiting period. While I had no problem with these men being enshrined I was upset to learn that Marvin Miller was rejected once again.

Marvin Miller, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 95, was the first impactful Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) when he was elected in 1966. He ended up turning the MLBPA into one of the most powerful unions in the country. Under his leadership he ended the decades long reserve clause and ushered in the era of free agency. He also negotiated baseball’s first collective bargaining agreement and helped raise salaries.

He stepped down in 1982 after 16 years but his legacy continues to live on. So why isn’t he in? In my opinion his impact on the game was just as huge as Jackie Robinson’s. Is it because of the work stoppages that happened under his watch even though they were for the good of the game? Or was it his stance on drug testing? Miller was adamant that players did not need to be tested. Of course steroids weren’t the big evil during his tenure. That era was known more for rampant cocaine use and methamphetamine abuse.

Every year something happens that causes me to lose faith in the credibility of the Hall of Fame and omissions like Miller’s and Jack Morris (who is in his fifteenth and final year of eligibility) don’t help. Maybe one day a new commissioner will help form a new committee and it will right so many wrongs.

And while they’re at it put Pete Rose in. 

James Holland

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