With the Hall of Fame’s “expansion era” committee scheduled to vote Dec. 9, this seems like a good opportunity to explore the Marvin Miller matter one more time. Maybe, for one reason or another, it will be the last time.
Over his objection to having his name appear on a Hall of Fame ballot, which he stated more than four years before he died in November 2012, Miller is one of 12 candidates (players, managers and executives) who will be discussed by a 16-man committee on the day of the vote.
Although Miller belongs in the Hall for his matchless impact on Major League Baseball, the Hall’s officials have bungled his status, perhaps deliberately, and now the electors should honor his wishes just as the Hall has dishonored him.
Despite his request to be omitted from consideration, the Hall and the Baseball Writers Association’s historical overview committee put his name on the 12-man ballot, and now the voters should do the honorable thing and not vote for him. Someone has to clean up the Hall’s mess.
If the voters think they can achieve that by electing Miller to the Hall, they are mistaken. If they elect Miller because they think he belongs in the Cooperstown mortuary, they will benefit not Miller but Hall officials, rescuing them from the shame that shrouds their fraudulent establishment.
They have dug their trough of muck; let them wallow in it.
This is the sixth time Miller’s name has appeared on a Hall of Fame ballot, meaning he is 0-for-5 in votes by assorted committees in various formats. It was after his third snub in 2007 that he told me of his desire to be omitted from future ballots, asked me what I thought of the idea and also asked me the appropriate way of going about communicating that desire.
I sympathized with his desire to no longer be abused by the Hall of Fame and suggested that he write to Jack O’Connell, secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers Association, a committee of whose members makes up the ballot.
Miller wrote the letter, but it had no effect. He was back on the ballot in 2009 and was rejected a fourth time. By this time, Miller, irate at the Hall’s ignoring his request, was calling the committee rigged to make sure he was not elected.
Miller died a year ago but not before reiterating his feelings to his children …