NASHVILLE - Bowie Kuhn, the late commissioner, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday, while former union leader Marvin Miller was rejected by a revamped Veterans Committee.
"Bowie was a close friend and a respected leader who served as commissioner during an important period in history, amid a time of change," commissioner Bud Selig said, adding: "I was surprised that Marvin Miller did not receive the required support, given his important impact on the game."
Former Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley; managers Dick Williams and Billy Southworth; and ex-Pittsburgh owner Barney Dreyfuss, father of the World Series, also were elected.
Manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey each missed induction by a single vote. Miller got only three of 12 votes.
"I think it was rigged, but not to keep me out," Miller said. "It was rigged to bring some of these [people] in. It's not a pretty picture. 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."
The Veterans Committee was changed twice since 2001, when charges of cronyism followed the election of glove man Bill Mazeroski. The original 15-member panel was expanded to include every living Hall of Famer, but that group failed to elect anyone in three tries.
It was replaced by three separate panels - one for players, one for managers and umpires, and one for executives and pioneers, leaving Miller's fortunes in the hands of the same group he fought in collective bargaining and the courts.
Under the previous system, Miller received 63 percent of the votes while Kuhn got 17 percent.
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."