The Futility Infielder

A Baseball Journal by Jay Jaffe I'm a baseball fan living in New York City. In between long tirades about the New York Yankees and the national pastime in general, I'm a graphic designer.

Monday, June 02, 2008

 

Miller Time II

I had to dash out town on Friday -- down to Delaware for my brother-in-law's wedding -- before I could get the link to the Hit List up here, but of more interest three days later is the full transcript of the interview I did with Marvin Miller for last week's feature. Here's a taste:
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.

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 And I blame myself in a sense for not having withdrawn my name a long time ago, because one thing a trade union leader learns to do is how to count votes in advance.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.
The whole thing is now up at BP, and it's free, so do check it out.

Labels:


Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

Archives

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  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]