George Steinbrenner and Marvin Miller getting into the Hall of Fame is something that needs to happen, and probably will someday, even though both men have died and some of the urgency is gone. Steinbrenner and Miller make a return appearance on the newest ballot, which was released Monday, and there's a good chance they'll get sidestepped again.
Bobby Cox debuts on the ballot this year, along with Tony La Russa, Joe Torre, Dave Parker and Dan Quisenberry. Holdovers include Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Ted Simmons, Billy Martin, Miller and Steinbrenner. The ballot, a representation of baseball's "expansion era" (1973-present), will be voted upon next month at the winter meetings in Orlando.
Cox led the Atlanta Braves to 14 division titles, five National League pennants and the 1995 World Series championship. And let's not forget his first-place finish as manager of the Blue Jays in 1985, along with the organization building there and Atlanta to which he contributed.
Cox would seem to be a slam dunk. For that reason alone, Steinbrenner and Miller would seem like back-burner possibilities.
As owner of the New York Yankees, Steinbrenner made the flagship franchise of Major League Baseball relevant again in the 1970s. He not only spent money on free agents such as Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield, but he also hired and fired Billy Martin approximately 24 times, sometimes twice in the same day.
Miller, of course, gave the players union a collective confidence to take its own piece of the pie and be less subject to the serfdom owners previously had established. A powerful players union reshaped the game's economics. It could be argued that the impact Steinbrenner and Miller had on the game wasn't universally for the good, but it's called the Hall of Fame, and not the Hall of [something else], for a reason.
To make it, a hopeful needs 12 of 16 votes, or 75 percent. Miller missed making the Hall by one vote in 2010, when Gillick got 13 votes and was the only new member inducted. Steinbrenner got less than eight votes.
Here are the voters:
Hall of Fame members Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk, Whitey Herzog, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Morgan, Paul Molitor, Phil Niekro and Frank Robinson; major league executives Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Andy MacPhail, Dave Montgomery (Phillies) and Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox); and historians Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau), Bruce Jenkins (San Francisco Chronicle), Jack O’Connell (BBWAA) and Jim Reeves (retired, Fort Worth Star-Telegram).
The Hall frequently tinkers with how potential members get voted in, but it seems like they are sticking with the process that got Gillick elected in 2010.
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