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Wednesday, February 28, 2007


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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.

The Hall is becoming the rich man's Gold Glove award. It's quite sad.

Does anyone know if spring training audio on MLB is free or if you have to pay?

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.

In light of yesterday's, um, activity, I hereby retract any defense of Chass that I offered two years ago.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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)

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).

Fun for both sides of the war. Enjoy:

> 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.

The Scooter has a vote? Come one. I love the Scooter, but come on.

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