Jay Jaffe: Why did you make the announcement now? The Hall of Fame isn't going to hold another election for about 18 months at least.The whole thing is now up at BP, and it's free, so do check it out.
Marvin Miller: You're making it sound like it's premature, when actually you have to remember that, unlike players who are not eligible until they've been retired for five years, executives under their rules are eligible when they turn 65. In other words, back in 1982, I first became eligible and for the next 20 years I was never even on the ballot for the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee. Two decades, 20 years.
Then they abolished that Veterans Committee which had kind of been scandal-ridden in the sense that the only way they could elect anybody was to engage in vote trading. You support my guy and I'll support your guy, and out the window went merit. So they abolished that committee and that was understandable. Then they created a new one, this time composed of all of the living members of the Hall of Fame. For the first time I was put on a ballot in 2003, and my vote was far short of the 75 percent needed, and that was OK. Then they decided that they wouldn't hold another one for four years without explaining why.
... One of the reasons I haven't done this before is that I kept getting talked out of withdrawing my name. People who meant well kept saying, "They'll come around," when I knew that was never gonna happen. And I blame myself in a sense for not having withdrawn my name a long time ago, because one thing a trade union leader learns to do is how to count votes in advance. Whenever I took one look at what I was faced with, it was obvious to me it was not gonna happen.
Besides which, as I began to do more research on the Hall, it seemed a lot less desirable a place to be than a lot of people think. I was struck by the fact, for example, that when Reggie Jackson four years ago, with nobody asking him, publicly announced that he had voted for nobody.
My first thought was, look, that's his privilege, that's OK. But what he doesn't seem to understand when he says the Hall should be just for players is that it's not. The first commissioner, Judge Landis, is in the Hall of Fame, and if he [Landis] had lived long enough, not only would Reggie Jackson not be in the Hall of Fame, he never would have had even one at-bat in the major leagues, because Landis campaigned far and wide among the owners against breaking the color line. As a matter of fact, when one of the owners at the time, Bill Veeck, insisted he was going to sign African-Americans, Landis threatened him with outright suspension. In addition, as you may know, some of the early people inducted in the Hall were members of the Ku Klux Klan.
Labels: baseball history
June 2001 July 2001 August 2001 September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]