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Monday, December 3, 2007

The Hall of Fame has Jumped the Shark

The Veterans Commitee finally elected new members to the Hall of Fame this morning, the first since Mazeroski.

First of all, congratulations to managers Dick Williams and Billy Southworth. They are championship skippers who both deserve the honor they are getting. I'm sorry they have to be involved in this mess. Also congratulations are in order to Barney Dreyfuss, who was the owner of the Pirates from 1900 to 1932 and helped create the World Series. Barney is already a member of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Now to the dicey choices.

Walter O'Malley was also elected to the Hall of Fame. I don't like it, but I can't complain about it. He is one of the most famous baseball team owners of all time and he did radically change the game. So what if he was instrumental in ripping the heart (and the entire National League) out of one of the best baseball cities in America. He made some money and that's what counts. So congratulations, Walter O'Malley, I and the entire city of Brooklyn hope your money and Hall of Fame Plaque are useful to you as you burn in the depths of Hell for all eternity.

Now to the guy I really have a problem with.

Former Commissioner Bowie Kuhn was also elected to the Hall of Fame. Kuhn was a complete idiot as commissioner who bungled an attempt to rid the game of drugs, banned players from baseball right and left including Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle for life just for working as greeters at a casino, snubbed Hank Aaron when he became the all time home run king, tried to get Negro League Hall of Fame inductees segregated to a different wing to the building, and in his most lasting and relevant act as commissioner, watched ineffectually as the long standing reserve clause came crashing down due to the efforts of Curt Flood and Marvin Miller. Now Bowie was a complete buffoon as commissioner, but then again, most of them were. Kenesaw Mountain Landis kept the league segregated as long as he lived, and he's in the Hall of Fame. Bud Selig canceled a freakin' World Series and he's going to be in the Hall of Fame. Idiot commissioners in the Hall of Fame is nothing new. It's just how things are done.

Now about Marvin Miller, that guy who utterly pwned Bowie and completely changed the economics of baseball, if not every professional sport in the entire world. What of him? Where is he now? NOT ELECTED TO THE HALL OF FAME. AGAIN. Miller is 90 years old. He should have been elected unanimously by the Veteran's committee the last time they met. And the time before that. Now he has to wait two more years until the next ballot.There is absolutely no logical reason why the person who arguably had had the most influence in professional sports in the past half-century should be out of the Hall of Fame while the man he ran circles around should get voted in. The committee that votes to elect executives is made up of 12 members: two former players (Monte Irvin and Harmon Killebrew), three media members and 7 current and former MLB executives. I'm sorry, but you can't tell me that Marvin's exclusion is not out of spite by these MLB executives because he screwed up their license to print money while not having to share with the players. I thought I could never be madder about a Hall of Fame injustice after Buck O'Neil was inexplicably left out, but I think I'm just as mad now. This is a terrible, terrible decision, and I'm not the only one who feels this way.

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