Tear down the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Take it apart brick by brick if it’s not going to include Marvin Miller. Use those bricks to build something more useful, like housing for exploited workers.
That would be a fitting monument to Miller who once said, “Baseball players were the most exploited group of workers I had ever seen (back in 1965). They were even more exploited than Cesar Chavez’s farm workers.”
As the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, Miller helped bring a measure of justice to the monopoly that team owners enjoyed for more than 80 years.
With the help of men like Curt Flood, he tore up the reserve clause that bound players to their teams forever. And the game has flourished under collective bargaining agreements that now include minimum salaries, arbitration and free agency.
The new executives committee that Miller faced in this Hall of Fame vote was clearly assembled to make him pay for the all justice he achieved. The group was stacked against him with seven of the 12 members being management figures, owners and executives.
Former Commissioner Bowie Kuhn – who was elected to the Hall of Fame yesterday by the same committee that snubbed Miller – once predicted Armageddon for the game by saying free agency, “Would mean the loss to bankruptcy of the entire American League as well as several teams in the National League.”
Current Commissioner Bud Selig recently trumpeted the fact that baseball’s revenues climbed to a record $6.075 billion this year by saying, “As I told the clubs, we’re on a great high here.”
Miller’s vision for the game was clear. Kuhn’s clearly was not. But Kuhn is in and Miller is out.
If that’s justice in the Hall of Fame: Tear it down.