Cooperstown Calling: Marvin Miller Elected To Baseball HOF
Late MLBPA Exec Dir MARVIN MILLER has been elected to the Baseball HOF by the Modern Era Committee, in recognition of how he "reshaped the landscape of modern sports" during his time leading the union from '66-82, according to Des Bieler of the WASHINGTON POST. Under Miller's guidance, the MLBPA "went from a poorly organized group mostly concerned about players' pensions to one of the nation's strongest unions." Miller "oversaw the birth of free agency." He also "helped establish independent arbitration for players' salaries," and he "led the MLBPA through work stoppages" in '72, '73, '76, '80 and '81. Miller died in '12 at 95, and his HOF candidacy had "repeatedly fallen short" before yesterday (WASHINGTON POST, 12/9). The AP's Ronald Blum notes Miller was an "adviser during three more" work stoppages after he retired. Miller will be inducted 12 years after late MLB Commissioner BOWIE KUHN, who Miller "routinely defeated in labor negotiations" (AP, 12/9). Miller was a member of SBJ's "Champions" class in '11 (THE DAILY).
'BOUT TIME: In Boston, Peter Abraham writes Miller's election ends "what many players saw as an injustice," for Miller's "fervent advocacy changed the game as players gained free agency, higher salaries and other collectively bargained rights" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/9). ESPN.com's Bradford Doolittle wrote Miller's selection "rights one of the great wrongs" in the HOF's history. As the "most revolutionary labor leader in sports history," Miller was "essential in moving the baseball industry into the modern age" (ESPN.com, 12/8). MLB Network's Peter Gammons said Miller "put baseball on the front pages of the New York Times, the Boston Globe, L.A. Times, all the rest and made it a year-round sport, increased it's popularity and its revenues." Gammons said Miller "ended up changing the game for the better in many, many ways, obviously to the players but also to the owners who made a great deal of money" ("MLB Tonight," MLB Network, 12/8). USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale writes Miller now has "taken his rightful place in baseball history." Perhaps no one is "more responsible for turning the game of baseball" into an $11B industry, "making players, and yes, owners, richer than their wildest dreams" (USA TODAY, 12/9). In Cleveland, Paul Hoynes writes a "wrong has been righted and a wait has ended." Miller "turned the tables" on club owners who had "kept the players under their thumbs for years with the reserve clause." Hoynes: "No wonder it took him so long to reach Cooperstown" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 12/9). In N.Y., Bill Madden writes under the header, "With Marvin Miller's Election, The Baseball Hall Of Fame Is Now Whole" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/9).