Kuhn elected to Hall of Fame; union adversary Miller left out again
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- At last, Bowie Kuhn beat Marvin Miller at something.
The late commissioner was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday while Miller was rejected by a revamped Veterans Committee stacked with those he regularly opposed -- and beat -- in arbitration and bargaining sessions that altered the history of the game.
Hall of Famers' Snapshots
• MLB Commissioner, 1969-1984
• Highlights of tenure included introduction of night baseball in World Series, introduction of free agency, addition of 6 MLB teams
• Owner of Dodgers from 1944-1979 (until his death)
• Team won 4 World Series titles during his ownership
• Moved Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles after 1957 season
• Instrumental in expansion of baseball to West Coast
• Owner at Dodgers at time of baseball integration (Jackie Robinson)
• Won 4 pennants, 2 World Series titles (1972, '73) in 21 years as a manager
• 1,571 wins (18th all-time), .520 winning pct. as manager
• Took 3 different franchises (Red Sox, Athletics, Padres) to World Series
• Won 4 pennants, 2 World Series titles (1942, '44) in 13 years as a manager
• .597 winning percentage, won 100-plus games in 3 straight seasons (1942-1944)
• Hit .297 in 13-year MLB career (1913-1929)
• Owner, Pittsburgh Pirates (1900-1932, won 2 World Series titles)
• Also owned Louisville Colonels, a team contracted after the 1899 season
• Helped arrange for the first World Series (1903)
-- Neyer blog on the fab five
"Bowie was a close friend and a respected leader who served as commissioner during an important period in history, amid a time of change," commissioner Bud Selig said, adding: "I was surprised that Marvin Miller did not receive the required support given his important impact on the game."
Former Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley, managers Dick Williams and Billy Southworth and ex-Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss also were elected.
Manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey each missed induction by a single vote.
Dreyfuss helped bring peace between the American and National Leagues by arranging the first World Series in 1903. O'Malley united the East and West Coasts under baseball's flag when he moved the Dodgers to Los Angeles after the 1957 season. Southworth and Williams won World Series titles.
Kuhn presided over the introduction of night games to the World Series and baseball's first, tentative steps into national marketing. But the game also changed in ways he fiercely resisted: Free agency, salary arbitration and dozens of other benefits that Miller won for the players as the head of their union.
The veterans panel has been changed twice since 2001, when charges of cronyism followed the election of glove man Bill Mazeroski. The original 15-member panel was expanded to include every living member of the Hall, but that group failed to elect anyone in three tries.
It was replaced by three separate panels -- one for players, one for managers and umpires and one for executives and pioneers, leaving Miller's fortunes largely in the hands of the same group he once fought in collective bargaining and the courts.
He did not come close, receiving only three of 12 possible votes. Under the previous system, Miller received 63 percent of the votes earlier this year while Kuhn got 17 percent .
Kuhn, who died in March at the age of 80, is the first commissioner elected since Happy Chandler in 1982.
Attendance tripled during Kuhn's tenure, from 1969-84. But during essentially the same era, Miller was leading the players to more lucrative and revolutionary gains, taking the average salary from $19,000 to $241,000 and pitching a virtual shutout against the owners when he went head-to-head.
Selig, a former owner and longtime bargaining foe of the players, has been one of the most vocal supporters of Miller's candidacy. Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, who was on the panel that considered Miller, said he was limited because he could only vote for four of the 10 candidates.
"Everybody on that list deserved to be there," Killebrew said, declining to reveal whether he voted for Miller. "He certainly had a tremendous impact."
The five elected this time will be inducted into the Hall on July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.. They will be joined by any players elected in traditional voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America to be announced Jan. 8.
Veterans Committee VotingCandidates must receive 75 percent of the vote by either a 16-member first-ballot committee or 12-member second ballot committee
Managers/Umpires: x-Billy Southworth (81.3 percent), x-Dick Williams (81.3), Doug Harvey (68.8), Whitey Herzog (68.8), Danny Murtaugh (37.5), Hank O'Day (25). Davey Johnson, Billy Martin, Gene Mauch and Cy Rigler each received fewer than three votes.
Executives/Pioneers: x-Barney Dreyfuss (83 percent), x-Bowie Kuhn (83), x-Walter O'Malley (75), Ewing Kauffman (41.7), John Fetzer (33.3), Bob Howsam (25), Marvin Miller (25). Buzzie Bavasi, John McHale and Gabe Paul each received fewer than three votes.
x = elected to Hall of Fame
Herzog and Harvey came close in voting by a 16-member panel. The Veterans Committee did not consider players this time, but will meet late next year to vote on candidates for enshrinement in 2009.
Dreyfuss, who received 10 of 12 votes, helped end the longtime feud between the American and National Leagues when he and Boston owner Henry Killilea agreed to meet on the diamond after the 1903 season.
The World Series was born.
Southworth, who was chosen on 13 of 16 ballots from the panel that considered umpires and managers, won four pennants and two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Braves.
"Billy Southworth oversaw one of the greatest eras in Cardinals history and it is gratifying to see his career accomplishments recognized by the Veterans Committee," Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement.
Williams was a spare part on O'Malley's Dodgers in Brooklyn but earned his way into the Hall as a manager, making his debut by taking the "Impossible Dream" Red Sox to the 1967 AL pennant and winning the '72 and '73 World Series with the Oakland Athletics.
Williams, the only one of the most recent inductees who is alive, said he and his wife, Norma, broke down and cried when they got the call on Monday morning.
"It just blew our mind," he said. "Under the [voting] regime they had previously ... I didn't think anybody would get there."
O'Malley moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles after the 1957 season -- a baseball version of the California Gold Rush that helped open the West to the national pastime. He received the minimum nine votes necessary for induction.
"Mr. O'Malley was a visionary by opening the gates to the West Coast. He linked the entire nation to the game of baseball," Dodgers Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda said. "What a contribution he's made."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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