Marvin Miller gets another shot at MLB's Hall of Fame as a member of the Modern Era ballot

A young fan visits the plaque room at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Marvin Miller has another chance to get a plaque in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Marvin Miller — the man responsible for strengthening the players’ union — is once again up for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Miller is among the 10 baseball figures on 2020’s Modern Baseball Era ballot.

Miller is joined by Tommy John, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker, among others, on the Modern Era ballot. A committee of 16 people — which will include members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, baseball executives and baseball writers — will vote on whether those men belong in the Hall of Fame at the 2019 Winter Meetings in December.

That committee will also consider Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson and Dave Parker.

In order to receive induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, players on the Modern Era ballot will need to receive 12 votes from that 16-person committee.

What is the Modern Era ballot?

The Modern Era ballot exists to re-open the candidacies of MLB players, executives, umpires and managers who did not get inducted to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame has multiple Era Committees that meet every couple years to vote on baseball personalities from different eras. The Modern Era — for example — covers the game between 1970-1987. Only baseball personalities from that time can be considered on the Modern Era ballot.

Will anyone from the 2020 Modern Era ballot be inducted?

Given how few people are on the committee — and the fact that the committees change members each vote — it’s impossible to know whether anyone will be inducted from the Modern Era ballot in 2020. The last time the Modern Era ballot was voted on — Garvey, John, Mattingly, Miller, Parker and Simmons were all considered. That vote took place in 2017.

Simmons came the closest to being inducted from that group, falling just a vote short. Miller received seven votes. Garvey, John, Mattingly and Parker all received fewer than seven votes.

It’s unclear whether those number will repeat. It all depends on the committee chosen to vote on those players. Conventional wisdom suggested Chicago White Sox designated hitter Harold Baines didn’t have the numbers to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but a favorable committee got him in last December.

While Simmons was the closest to induction in 2017, Miller remains the most contentious person on the ballot. His strides in establishing the union are undeniable, and he clearly had a significant impact on the game. But his fight for players’ rights often put him at odds with team executives.

Some of those executives could determine Miller’s fate when the Modern Era ballot committee meets in December.


Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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