The controversial commissioner Bowie Kuhn was finally elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame Monday after years of futility. Kuhn, who was vilified in Jim Bouton’s classic novel “Ball Four“, was elected alongside former Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, ex-Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss and managers Dick Williams and Billy Southworth. While many of the old time baseball executives are surely pleased by this announcement there are many others who cry foul.
Marvin Miller, the champion of free agency, called the voting “rigged.” Miller received 63% of the vote earlier this year, while Kuhn got a weak 14%, far short of the Hall requirements. Recently, though, the Veterans Committee was revamped for the second time since 2001 and, voila! Kuhn strolls into the most hallowed hall in baseball. As Miller stated, it all looks a little fishy.
The new committee is made up of seven baseball managers, people who almost certainly despise people like Miller. Hatred aside, Miller is more than deserving of the Hall. He pioneered free agency and player rights, beating down the resistant Kuhn on several occasions. As always, baseball is showing its tendency to avoid change and stick with its own. Miller has been blatenly cast out, and this act serves to tarnish the greatness of the Hall of Fame.