More on the HOF Vote Debacle

The Times comes through today with two pieces on the failure of the Veterans Committee to elect anyone to the Hall: an excellent news piece by Tyler Kempner and an editorial by Dave Anderson, suggesting that the system is flawed and must be changed. This is an about face for the Times, and it’s important to note who is and is not writing here. Two years ago, when the VC previously failed to elect anyone, Murray Chass wrote in the Times that this was actually a sign that the committee was working properly—a point he made without disclosing the fact, as we documented here, that he was actually a member of the committee—a truly obscene ethical lapse. However we feel about Santo and Kitty and Hodges, it’s clear the system needs to change. And it’s an absolute travesty that Marvin Miller—who isn’t getting any younger, people—is still on the outside looking in.

15 comments… add one

  • I agree that something should change, YF, but I have no idea what it is. When the special election committee ignored Buck O’Neil last year, the hall reached its nadir. The exclusion of Santo and Miller is absolutely disappointing, but I am no longer impressed or moved by the HOF. It has lost its luster.

    attackgerbil February 28, 2007, 11:31 am
  • The Hall is becoming the rich man’s Gold Glove award. It’s quite sad.

    SF February 28, 2007, 11:34 am
  • Does anyone know if spring training audio on MLB is free or if you have to pay?

    TJ Sox Fan February 28, 2007, 12:17 pm
  • I guess I’d rather it this way than before, when the Vets Committee was picking 18 friends and neighbors for the Hall every year.

    Paul SF February 28, 2007, 12:33 pm
  • In light of yesterday’s, um, activity, I hereby retract any defense of Chass that I offered two years ago.

    Jay Jaffe February 28, 2007, 2:20 pm
  • Although why is lack of activity considered a clarion call for change? Take for example Ron Santo. The top comp for Santo is Dale Murphy. In none of the Jamesian HOF categories does Santo come close to HOF status. He rarely finished even Top 5 in any category in any season. I was more concerned when the Vets Committee essentially overruled 15 years of clear BBWAA voting and elected marginal players (Bill Mazeroski) time after time.

    Paul SF February 28, 2007, 2:35 pm
  • A concession from Jay Jaffe is a feather in my cap I gladly accept. I am humbled.
    Paul: For me, the issue isn’t Santo so much as Marvin Miller. The system isn’t working.

    YF February 28, 2007, 2:45 pm
  • I guess in the case of Miller, the voting probably reflected the population of voters (as I understand it, all the living HOF members get a vote, plus some others) I would guess that enough of the voters played before Miller’s influence on player rights could affect them. Just a guess. Do they publish the breakdown in voting?

    VicSF February 28, 2007, 2:52 pm
  • What are the politics behind Miller not being accepted for the Hall? I imagine politics are behind this; his importance to the game is nearly unparalleled in the modern era.

    SF February 28, 2007, 2:53 pm
  • I’m afraid Marvin Miller predates me, so I can’t offer much of a comment there. I’ll defer to the collective wisdom here though. Interesting food for thought: Scott Boras absolutely should be in the Hall of Fame, yes? But will he ever be elected?

    Paul SF February 28, 2007, 3:45 pm
  • Here is the list of VC members. There are enough younger players to think that Miller is a known quantity and would have some momentum.
    The Veterans Committee is a group comprised of the living members of the Baseball Hall of Fame (61), the living recipients of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award (eight), the living recipients of the Ford C. Frick Award (14) and the members of the previous 15-man Veterans Committee whose terms have not yet expired (one).
    Hall of Famers (61)
    Hank Aaron
    Sparky Anderson
    Luis Aparicio
    Ernie Banks
    Johnny Bench
    Yogi Berra
    Wade Boggs
    George Brett
    Lou Brock
    Jim Bunning
    Rod Carew
    Steve Carlton
    Gary Carter
    Orlando Cepeda
    Bobby Doerr
    Dennis Eckersley
    Bob Feller
    Rollie Fingers
    Carlton Fisk
    Whitey Ford
    Bob Gibson
    Monte Irvin
    Reggie Jackson
    Fergie Jenkins
    Al Kaline
    George Kell
    Harmon Killebrew
    Ralph Kiner
    Sandy Koufax
    Tom Lasorda
    Lee MacPhail
    Juan Marichal
    Willie Mays
    Bill Mazeroski
    Willie McCovey
    Paul Molitor
    Joe Morgan
    Eddie Murray
    Stan Musial
    Phil Niekro
    Jim Palmer
    Tony Pérez
    Gaylord Perry
    Phil Rizzuto
    Robin Roberts
    Brooks Robinson
    Frank Robinson
    Nolan Ryan
    Ryne Sandberg
    Mike Schmidt
    Red Schoendienst
    Tom Seaver
    Ozzie Smith
    Duke Snider
    Bruce Sutter
    Don Sutton
    Earl Weaver
    Billy Williams
    Dave Winfield
    Carl Yastrzemski
    Robin Yount
    Ford C. Frick Award Recipients (14)
    Marty Brennaman
    Herb Carneal
    Jerry Coleman
    Gene Elston
    Joe Garagiola
    Ernie Harwell
    Milo Hamilton
    Jaime Jarrin
    Harry Kalas
    Felo Ramírez
    Vin Scully
    Lon Simmons
    Bob Uecker
    Bob Wolff
    J.G. Taylor Spink Award Recipients (8)
    Murray Chass
    Charley Feeney
    Peter Gammons
    Jerome Holtzman
    Hal McCoy
    Jack Lang
    Ross Newhan
    Tracy Ringolsby
    Former Veterans Committee Members (1)
    John McHale (term expires after 2007 election)

    SF February 28, 2007, 4:16 pm
  • The problem for Miller lies in the criteria for induction. It’s also why Boras will never be inducted. They fit none of the categories, as far as I can tell. YF: is there a special exemption for a lawyer like Miller, who wasn’t a team executive? Or does being Exec. Director of the MLBPA qualify as being an “executive”. It seems to me that this implies a team or league executive, not a union executive. Am I wrong in this assumption?
    Eligible Candidates — Eligible candidates must be selected from:
    (A) Major League players who competed in any portion of at least ten (10) championship seasons and who have been retired as players for at least twenty-one (21) years. In addition, players whose service in the Negro Baseball Leagues prior to 1946 and the Major Leagues thereafter total at least ten years or portions thereof are defined as eligible candidates.
    (B) Baseball Executives and/or Managers and/or Umpires who have been retired from organized Baseball as Baseball Executives and/or Managers and/or Umpires for at least five (5) years prior to the election. If the candidate is 65 years old at the time of retirement, the waiting period is reduced to six (6) months. If the candidate reaches the age of 65 during the five-year waiting period the candidate becomes eligible six months after the candidate’s 65th birthday.
    (C) Those whose careers entailed involvement as both players and managers/executives/umpires will be considered for their overall contribution to the game of Baseball; however, the specific category in which such individuals shall be considered will be determined by the role in which they were most prominent. In those instances when a candidate is prominent as both a player and as a manager, executive or umpire, the BBWAA Screening Committee shall determine that individual’s candidacy as either a player (Players Ballot), or as a manager, executive or umpire (Composite Ballot). Candidates may only appear on one ballot per election. Those designated as players must fulfill the requirements of 6 (A).

    SF February 28, 2007, 4:19 pm
  • Stan Thewes February 28, 2007, 4:41 pm
  • > I would guess that enough of the voters played before Miller’s influence on player rights could affect them
    VicSF: That’s a very interesting supposition. To extend that thought, I wonder if his efforts on behalf of later players may have even fostered some level of resentment by players from the plantation eras, but that’s probably a reach on my part.
    SF: thanks for the research. It’s certainly helpful in concluding why Miller, viewed by the letters, may not be included. I’m curious for people to name another singular person(s) outside of Jackie Robinson who had a more profound impact on the totality of the game since World War II.
    PaulSF: I guess by mentioning Boras, its just following my “impact” statement to its most vicious conclusion, but Boras is only one of dozens of power brokers whose jobs came into being because of Miller’s influence.
    > In none of the Jamesian HOF categories does Santo come close to HOF status.
    Yet a few years ago, James ranked Santo the sixth-best third baseman of all time, and squarely in the middle of the current members of the Hall who primarily played third. (My direct reading is weak on this; for the most part I’m parroting an extremely well-read, die-hard Cubs fan with whom I’ve talked at great length on this topic and came out sold on Santo.) Anyway, we are coming back to contextual arguments. In his era, Santo was dominant. Compared to the historic field, he stacks up.

    attackgerbil February 28, 2007, 6:02 pm
  • The Scooter has a vote? Come one. I love the Scooter, but come on.

    YF February 28, 2007, 9:35 pm

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