The Baseball Hall of Fame welcomed two new members on Sunday, as longtime Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Marvin Miller and eight-time All-Star catcher Ted Simmons were elected to Cooperstown by the Modern Era committee.
Simmons received 13 of 16 possible votes from the committee, while Miller got the 12 votes needed to secure election.
Miller, who died in 2012, was elected the MLBPA's first full-time executive director in 1966 and served in the position until his retirement in 1982. Under his guidance, the players' union successfully fought to abolish the reserve clause that tied players to their teams for life at minimal salaries. Miller's work led to a dramatic increase in players' salaries and the beginning of the modern era of free agency.
"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," current MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said.
Miller fell short of election on multiple occasions both before and after his death, most recently in 2018.
In 2008, Miller - angered by a perceived anti-union bias that he felt was keeping him out of the Hall - publicly asked to no longer be considered for election. Since his death, Miller's family has signaled that they'll honor his wishes and not participate in his induction ceremony.
While the family hasn't made a statement about Sunday's vote, Miller's son Peter told Sports Illustrated's Emma Baccellieri that he feels "bound to honor" his father's wish during an interview two weeks ago.
Gene Orza, a former high-ranking executive in the MLBPA who worked closely with Miller, confirmed Sunday that the Miller family will not be taking part, according to Jayson Stark of The Athletic.
Simmons starred for 21 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Atlanta Braves. He is regarded as one of the best offensive catchers in history, sporting a career .285/.348/.437 line with 2,472 hits, 248 home runs, 483 doubles, and 1,389 RBIs.
Simmons is also one of only 10 catchers to have been worth at least 50 career WAR, according to Baseball-Reference.
"If it weren't for the analytics people, my career as a potential Hall of Famer probably would have been shut down and forgotten a long time ago," Simmons said, according to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com.
Sunday's vote makes Simmons the first player to ever gain election via the committees after going one-and-done on the main writers' ballot, according to Jay Jaffe of FanGraphs. He received just 3.7% of the vote during his lone appearance on the BBWAA ballot in 1994.
The Hall of Fame's Class of 2020 - which will include Miller, Simmons, and whoever is elected via the BBWAA ballot - will be officially inducted into Cooperstown on July 26, 2020. The BBWAA will announce its election results on Jan. 21.
The Modern Era Committee will next meet in December 2022.