12/06/2010 11:44 AM ET
Statement from MLBPA founding executive director Marvin Miller regarding the Hall of Fame Expansion Era Committee election results
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The following statement was issued today by Major League Baseball Players Association founding executive director Marvin Miller regarding the Hall of Fame Expansion Era Committee election results.
"The Baseball Hall of Fame's vote (or non-vote) of December 5, hardly qualifies as a news story. It is repetitively negative, easy to forecast, and therefore boring.
"Many years ago those who control the Hall decided to rewrite history instead of recording it. The aim was to eradicate the history of the tremendous impact of the players' union on the progress and development of the game as a competitive sport, as entertainment and as an industry. The union was the moving force in bringing Major League Baseball from the 19th century to the 21st century. It brought about expansion of the game to cities that had never had a Major League team. It brought about more than a 50 percent increase in the number of people employed as players, coaches, trainers, managers, club presidents, attorneys and other support personnel, employees of concessionaires, stadium maintenance personnel, parking lot attendants, and more. It converted a salary structure from one with a $6,000 a year minimum salary to a $414,000 a year salary from the first day of a player's Major League service. The union was also the moving force for changing the average Major League salary from $19,000 a year to more than $3 million a year, and the top salary from $100,000 to more than $25 million a year. The union was a major factor in increasing the annual revenue of all Major League clubs, combined -- from $50 million a year before the union started in 1966 to this year's almost $7 billion a year. That is a difficult record to eradicate -- and the Hall has failed to do it.
"A long time ago, it became apparent that the Hall sought to bury me long before my time, as a metaphor for burying the union and eradicating its real influence. Its failure is exemplified by the fact that I and the union of players have received far more support, publicity, and appreciation from countless fans, former players, writers, scholars, experts in labor management relations, than if the Hall had not embarked on its futile and fraudulent attempt to rewrite history. It is an amusing anomaly that the Hall of Fame has made me famous by keeping me out."