Marvin Miller, who guided major league players into the free agency era as executive director of the MLB Players Association from 1966 to 1982, and eight-time All-Star catcher Ted Simmons were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday night.
Simmons appeared on 13 ballots and Miller on 12, giving both at least 75 percent of those cast by the 16-member Modern Baseball Era committee, a second chance for those not voted in by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America previously. Simmons had fallen one vote short of induction in the last Modern Era vote in 2017.
Eight players did not gain induction via the committee. The next closest were Dwight Evans (eight votes), Dave Parker (seven), and Steve Garvey and Lou Whitaker (six each). Also on the ballot were Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson and Dale Murphy.
When Miller took charge of the players’ union, the minimum salary for players stood at $6,000 and had changed little for two decades, according to the New York Times. Players made an average of $19,000, and any grievances were heard by the MLB commissioner, who worked for the owners.
When Miller retired, the average salary was up to $241,000, and the so-called reserve clause, which bound a player to his team without recourse, was struck down by an arbitrator.
Miller, who fell one vote short of the Hall after a format change in 2010, died in November 2012 at age 95.
Simmons, a switch-hitter who played in parts of 21 seasons starting in 1968, finished with a batting average of .285 with 2,472 hits, 483 doubles, 248 homers and 1,389 RBIs. He spent 13 seasons with the Cardinals, five with the Brewers and three with the Braves.
Simmons helped the Brewers, then playing in the American League, into the World Series in 1982. He finished as high as sixth in voting for Most Valuable Player – in 1975 with the Cardinals.
The Hall of Fame induction is scheduled at the shrine in Cooperstown on July 26, joining any players voted in by the BBWAA. Results of that balloting are to be announced on Jan. 21.