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Miller not surprised he was left out, Kuhn voted in

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Marvin Miller heard the news that Bowie
Kuhn had been elected to the Hall of Fame and started laughing.

"That figures. You really could have done this in advance,"
Miller said.

Kuhn, the former commissioner who was defeated by Miller on
countless occasions, was given baseball's highest honor Monday
while Miller was turned down again.

Following charges of cronyism when Bill Mazeroski was elected in
2001, the Hall revamped the Veterans Committee and allowed all Hall
of Famers to vote. Reporters and broadcasters in the Hall also were
on the panel.

Miller, the revolutionary leader of the players' association
from 1966-82, received 35 of 79 votes (44 percent) in 2003, putting
him 25 votes short of the 75 percent needed. He jumped up to 51 of
81 (63 percent) earlier this year, falling 10 votes shy.

Kuhn's total declined from 20 in 2003 to 14 this year, leaving
him far short of election.

But after no executives were selected in either ballot, and no
players were picked in three tries, the Hall revamped the committee
again. Now executives are judged by seven current or former
management members, two ex-players and three reporters.

Kuhn got 10 of 12 votes when balloting was announced Monday, a
day after the committee met. Miller received just three.

Former Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley was elected with nine votes
after being selected on 38 percent of the ballots in 2003 and 44
percent earlier this year.

"This was done with precision. If you a set goal in mind, and I
think they did, it's not very hard," Miller said by telephone from
his New York apartment.

"I'm so able to count votes in advance. Nothing has dimmed with
age. No matter how various people involved in the Hall try to put a
different gloss on it, it was done primarily to have somebody
elected and secondarily to have particular people elected. I don't
think this election was about me," he said.

Miller is convinced the new format was designed to elect Kuhn
and other management favorites.

"I think it was rigged, but not to keep me out. It was rigged
to bring some these of [people] in. It's not a pretty picture," he
said. "It's demeaning, the whole thing, and I don't mean just to
me. It's demeaning to the Hall and demeaning to the people in it."

Hall chairman Jane Forbes Clark defended the process.

"There was no concerted effort other than to have very
qualified committee members evaluate very qualified candidates,"
she said. "There was a very open and frank discussion about each
of the candidates. Everyone on that committee knows Marvin and
respects what he did for the game. And that showed in the
discussions."

Ex-Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss also was elected by the
management/pioneers panel, and Dick Williams and Billy Southworth
by the managers/umpires committee.

Even current commissioner Bud Selig had backed Miller.

"I was surprised that Marvin Miller did not receive the
required support given his important impact on the game," Selig
said.

Current players' union head Donald Fehr called the vote "an
unfortunate and regrettable decision and said "the Hall of Fame is
poorer for it."

"Over the entire scope of the last half of the 20th century, no
other individual had as much influence on the game of baseball as
did Marvin Miller," Fehr said. "Because he was the players'
voice, and represented them vigorously, Marvin Miller was the
owners' adversary. This time around, a majority of those voting
were owner representatives, and results of the vote demonstrate the
effect that had."