On Sunday night this year’s Modern Baseball Era Committee voted Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller into the Hall of Fame.
This year’s 16 member committee included six Hall of Famers – George Brett, Rod Carew, Dennis Eckersly, Eddie Murray, Ozzie Smith, and Robin Yount, six former executives – Sandy Alderson, Dave Dombrowski, David Glass, Walt Jocketty, Doug Melvin, and Terry Ryan, and four media/historians Bill Center, Steve Hirdt, Jack O’Connell, and Tracy Ringolsby. The Modern Era Committee considers players and executives who made their greatest contribution to the sport from 1970 to 1987.
Each member of the committee were allowed to include up to four names on their ballot. The candidates were Marvin Miller (MLBPA), Dwight Evans (Red Sox, Orioles), Steve Garvey (Dodgers, Padres), Tommy John (Indians, White Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, Angels, Athletics), Don Mattingly (Yankees), Thurman Munson (Yankees), Dale Murphy (Braves, Phillies, Rockies), Dave Parker (Pirates, Reds, Athletics, Brewers, Angels, Blue Jays), Ted Simmons (Cardinals, Brewers, Braves), and Lou Whitaker (Tigers).
Ted Simmons received 13 votes, Marvin Miller 12, Dwight Evans 8, Dave Parker 7, Steve Garvey 6, Lou Whitaker 6, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson, and Dale Murphy each received three votes or fewer.
Miller Finally Receives His Due:
Marvin Miller’s wait for inclusion into the Hall of Fame is finally over. We will no longer have the yearly back and forth of discord that he isn’t in the Hall of Fame. He deserved to be enshrined years ago.
Miller served as the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966-1982. Prior to him taking over the MLBPA, their was no free agency, teams could just renew players to whatever they felt was fair. Under Miller’s leadership the MLBPA evolved into the strongest union not only in sports, but possibly in the United States.
During his tenure with the MLBPA the average player’s salary rose from $19,000 in 1966 to $326,000 in 1982. Current executive director of the MLBPA Tony Clark statement on Hall of Famer Marvin Miller: “Players are pleased that Marvin will now take his rightful and long overdue place in the Hall of Fame in recognition of the monumental and positive impact he had on our game and our industry.”
Simmons Recognized In Catching Heavy Era:
Simmons fell one short shy for election by the committee last winter in Las Vegas. Simmons accomplishments are often overlooked because of the other catchers he shared the spotlight with in the 1980’s were higher profile – Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Carlton Fisk, and Thurman Munson.
Simmons spent parts of 21 seasons in the big leagues starting in 1968 with the St. Louis Cardinals where he played for 13 season through the 1980 season. He was traded by the Cardinals to the Milwaukee Brewers in December of 1980. The Brewers traded him to the Atlanta Braves where he finished his career from 1986 through 1988.
He remained with the Brewers from 1981 through the 1985 season. He caught 1771 games and won the silver slugger award in 1980 as well as being named to eight All-Star squads. He finished with a career .285/.348/.437 slash line with 248 homers. His career OPS+ was 118 which is good for any position, especially a catcher.
He also compiled a career WAR of 50.4 which has only been done by eight other catchers. The great eight are all Hall of Famers and include Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Ivan Rodriguez, Carlton Fisk, Gabby Hartnett, Yogi Berra, Mike Piazza, and Bill Dickey.