After it was announced that Marvin Miller will once again miss out on the Hall of Fame, Donald Fehr, his successor as head of the MLBPA—and current executive director of the NHLPA—released this statement:
In the first half of the 20th Century, no single person was more important to Baseball than was Jackie Robinson. In the second half of the 20th Century, that recognition unquestionably belongs to Marvin Miller.
I had the honor and privilege to work with and for Marvin for the last 6 years of his tenure as the MLBPA's Executive Director, and I know from personal experience the impact he had. I learned from him, and followed his example. The strength and integrity of the MLBPA in the 31 years since Marvin's retirement can be traced directly to his legacy. All he wanted was to make certain that players were fairly treated. That was his job and his goal, and generations of players—past, present and future—do and will thank him for the fact that they were and are. His positive impact on Baseball simply can't be overestimated.
Marvin should have been elected to the Hall many years ago. It is a sad and sorry state of affairs that he has not been, and continues to reflect poorly on the very organization that has as its purpose recognizing and celebrating Baseball's best.
And here's current MLBPA executive director Tony Clark:
Words cannot adequately describe the level of disappointment and disbelief I felt when learning that once again the Hall of Fame has chosen to ignore Marvin Miller and his unparalleled contributions to the growth and prosperity of Major League Baseball. Over the past 50 years, no individual has come close to matching Marvin's impact on the sport. He proved to all involved in Major League Baseball, and to outside observers, that a healthy collective bargaining environment would benefit all the game's stakeholders. Today, players, owners, front office personnel, fans and the media owe Marvin a debt of gratitude. Despite the election results, Marvin's legacy remains intact, and will only grow stronger, while the credibility of the Hall of Fame continues to suffer.
There's not a ton more to say, other than to point out the Veteran's Committee is loaded with pre-free agency players, who were too early to reap the benefits of Miller's work, and executives, who have millions of reasons to despise him.
Some consolation can be found in the fact that Miller, before his death 13 months ago, expressed his desire never to be in the Hall of Fame.
"I've never campaigned to be in the Hall and have asked not to be included on any ballot," Miller says. "But they continue to put me on the list and then rig the election. Considering who runs the place, not being a part of it gives me credibility as a union leader. That's how I hope it stays long after I'm gone."
Cooperstown is supposed to tell the story of baseball. Nothing tells that story better than the fact that Bowie Kuhn is there and Marvin Miller isn't.