Pat Gillick, whose teams won three World Series titles in 27 years as a major league general manager, was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Monday by the Veterans Committee.
In his fifth time on the ballot, former players' association head Marvin Miller fell one vote short of the 75 percent needed for election and Dave Concepcion, a nine-time All-Star shortstop for Cincinnati's 1970s "Big Red Machine" teams, was third with eight votes from the 16-man committee that considered candidates from the expansion era, 1973 on.
George Steinbrenner, the New York Yankees owner from 1973 until his death in July, was among the candidates who received fewer than eight votes.
Gillick was a fine baseball man. Still...
Retired players sitting on the Veteran's Committee may have taken too many fastballs to the head, but why are the heads of the other jokers on that august body so far up their asses? The continued exclusion of Marvin Miller is a travesty. It was Miller who leveled the playing field so that players--the employees--could finally exert control over their own careers. As Hall of Fame broadcaster Red Barber put it, "Marvin Miller, along with Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson, is one of the two or three most important men in baseball history."
(And Dave Concepion got more votes than George Steinbrenner???)
The Lords of Baseball seemingly don't understand their own game.
Voting from the Veterans Committee for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame (12 of 16 votes needed for election):
• Pat Gillick (13 votes, 81.25 percent)
• Marvin Miller (11 votes, 68.75 percent)
• Dave Concepcion (8 votes, 50 percent)
• Fewer than 8 votes: Ted Simmons, Vida Blue, Steve Garvey, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Billy Martin, Al Oliver, Rusty Staub (Editor's note: my boyhood hero!) and George Steinbrenner.
And if Gillick belongs, what about his former boss? You know, the Boss?