Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Modern Era Committee, it was announced today.
Miller, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 95, headed up the MLBPA from 1966 to 1982, a position that made him the prime antagonist of owners during that period. Miller’s leadership of the player’s union led to strikes, but also won the players free agency, and transformed the game from one where players were essentially indentured servants under the reserve clause, workers incapable of leaving the employ of their team unless they left the game of baseball altogether, to one where players have freedom of movement and the ability to get closer to what a free market would pay.
The 70 year old Simmons was a switch-hitting catcher who made his major league debut in 1968 at the age of 19, and spent parts of 21 seasons in the majors with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves. Simmons was an offensive-oriented catcher who hit for average, had some power and drew walks, and his 50.3 career bWAR is 10th all time among catchers.
Boston Red Sox outfielder Dwight Evans and Detroit Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker were both on the ballot, and I think both deserve to be in the Hall, but neither received the requisite votes. Also appearing on the ballot but not making it were Dave Parker, Steve Garvey, Thurman Munson, Tommy John, Dale Murphy and Don Mattingly.