Bill Madden, Scab, Joins Dick Young In The Baseball Hall Of Fame

So the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend enshrined Daily News writer Bill Madden in its writers’ wing, where he joins Grantland Rice, Red Smith, Shirley Povich, and the misanthropic Dick Young.

In their rush to salute Madden--whose biography of George Steinbrenner has made best seller lists thanks to the death of the Yankees owner--fellow sportswriters have understandably avoided Madden’s disgraceful behavior during the bitter five-month long strike at the Daily News.

Shortly after the Newspaper Guild hit the streets in late-1990, Madden crossed the picket line along with several other sportswriters, including Michael Kay, now the Yankees TV play-by-play man. While striking colleagues manned barricades outside the News offices on East 42nd Street that frigid winter, Madden filed stories for a paper staffed with a cadre of scabs, many imported in a bid to break the union. His important dispatches included musings on how the acquisition of Vince Coleman would impact the Mets.

And while some scabs were embarrassed by their decision to knife striking coworkers, Madden was far from contrite. One night, picketers traveled to the Manhattan hotel where the annual Baseball Writers Association of America dinner was occurring. There, they handed out leaflets naming Madden, Kay, Bob Klapisch, and the other Daily News sportswriters who had turned scab.

Which did not sit well with the delicate Madden, as New York Newsday reported in February 1991:

“According to striking sports writers and Guild members, Klapisch, Kay and Madden came outside and argued with the strikers. Madden, they claim, was "out of control." "He whacked the leaflets out of the hands of one guy and started swearing and stamping on them. And he said we were a disgrace," said one striking sportswriter.

In some corners, the statute never tolls on boorish behavior like this, despite Cooperstown ascension. On a related unrelated note, 93-year-old Marvin Miller, former executive director of the player’s union, was again this year denied entry into the Hall of Fame.