Hall of Fame turns down Community Organizer

Ralph Alter
When fully immersed in the joy of following our favorite sporting heroes and teams, it's easy sometimes to lose track of the fact that most sports writers are first and foremost, journalists. Most of them matriculated from university journalism mills and associate during their workaday lives with other journalists, e.g. leftists. It should come as no surprise then, to find the annual lament by baseball writers at the grave injustice of Baseball's Hall of Fame's reluctance to enshrine Marvin Miller within its hallowed hall.
Mr. Miller was simply a successful community organizer who helped agitate professional baseball players to beef up their union solidarity to the point that they succeeded in realizing huge financial gains while effectively ruining the sport for the fan. Mainstream journalists view Miller's role somewhat less caustically:

Whether or not one believes players deserve the kind of money that Miller enabled them to earn is beside the point. The fact is that players, before Miller's involvement, were treated as owner's property, and he, nearly single-handedly, freed them of their servitude.

I bet you didn't realize that professional ballplayers had come up from slavery. Miller helped negotiate the first collective bargaining agreement with major league owners in 1968, thereby raising the minimum major league player's salary to $10,000 annually. The average player's salary this year is $3.15 million.

Miller was also instrumental in the development of arbitration as a bargaining tool, and helped eliminate MLB's reserve clause leading to free agency. While an enormous financial windfall to the players, free agency has made it nearly impossible to follow one's favorite team, and fans are nearly reduced to rooting for the uniform, since one hardly knows which players will remain on their favorite team from year to year.

Tim Joyce, the author of the latest Marvin Miller whining, suggests that the amount of money players receive is beside the point. With the average cost of taking a family of four to a Red Sox game now reaching $334.71, I submit that player salaries are not beside the point. Consider the fact that relative journeyman outfielder, Jayson Werth just signed a 7 year contract for $126 million: does that ridiculous contract not contribute to the cost of a day at the ballpark?

Werth has played 8 years in the big leagues with a .272 lifetime average, 120 HR's and 406 RBIs. His stats are comparable to those of Sam Chapman, Gus Zernial and Wally Westlake, not exactly household names. So thanks to Mr. Miller, I can expect the price of a hot dog and a beer to continue for the pleasure of watching players with no loyalty to my team or my town, and no great abundance of skill, grow rich and arrogant.

Marvin Miller, still alive at 93, belongs in Baseball's Hall of Fame like Barack Obama belongs in General Motors Hall of Fame. Selling out the consumer for the benefit of selfish unions deserves chastisement or punishment, not accolades. May Mr. Miller live to be 150 and still not see his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.


Ralph Alter is a regular contributor to American Thinker.

When fully immersed in the joy of following our favorite sporting heroes and teams, it's easy sometimes to lose track of the fact that most sports writers are first and foremost, journalists. Most of them matriculated from university journalism mills and associate during their workaday lives with other journalists, e.g. leftists. It should come as no surprise then, to find the annual lament by baseball writers at the grave injustice of Baseball's Hall of Fame's reluctance to enshrine Marvin Miller within its hallowed hall.

Mr. Miller was simply a successful community organizer who helped agitate professional baseball players to beef up their union solidarity to the point that they succeeded in realizing huge financial gains while effectively ruining the sport for the fan. Mainstream journalists view Miller's role somewhat less caustically:

Whether or not one believes players deserve the kind of money that Miller enabled them to earn is beside the point. The fact is that players, before Miller's involvement, were treated as owner's property, and he, nearly single-handedly, freed them of their servitude.

I bet you didn't realize that professional ballplayers had come up from slavery. Miller helped negotiate the first collective bargaining agreement with major league owners in 1968, thereby raising the minimum major league player's salary to $10,000 annually. The average player's salary this year is $3.15 million.

Miller was also instrumental in the development of arbitration as a bargaining tool, and helped eliminate MLB's reserve clause leading to free agency. While an enormous financial windfall to the players, free agency has made it nearly impossible to follow one's favorite team, and fans are nearly reduced to rooting for the uniform, since one hardly knows which players will remain on their favorite team from year to year.

Tim Joyce, the author of the latest Marvin Miller whining, suggests that the amount of money players receive is beside the point. With the average cost of taking a family of four to a Red Sox game now reaching $334.71, I submit that player salaries are not beside the point. Consider the fact that relative journeyman outfielder, Jayson Werth just signed a 7 year contract for $126 million: does that ridiculous contract not contribute to the cost of a day at the ballpark?

Werth has played 8 years in the big leagues with a .272 lifetime average, 120 HR's and 406 RBIs. His stats are comparable to those of Sam Chapman, Gus Zernial and Wally Westlake, not exactly household names. So thanks to Mr. Miller, I can expect the price of a hot dog and a beer to continue for the pleasure of watching players with no loyalty to my team or my town, and no great abundance of skill, grow rich and arrogant.

Marvin Miller, still alive at 93, belongs in Baseball's Hall of Fame like Barack Obama belongs in General Motors Hall of Fame. Selling out the consumer for the benefit of selfish unions deserves chastisement or punishment, not accolades. May Mr. Miller live to be 150 and still not see his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.


Ralph Alter is a regular contributor to American Thinker.