RIP Marvin Miller: The Most Important Man In Baseball

(April 14, 1917 – November 27, 2012) The Man Who Made The MLBPA One Of The Most Powerful Unions in America. And Athletes Into Millionaires.

1. Before Moving To MLB, Miller Was An Economist For The Machinists’ Union. And Labor Leader For The United Auto Workers and United Steelworkers

2. Players Had Virtually No Rights or Bargaining Power Prior To Miller Taking Office in 1966.

3. Free Agency, Salary Arbitration and Minimum Salaries In Pro Sports, Were All The Work Of Marvin Miller.

4. Miller Fought To Raise Salaries From $6000 to $10,000 in 1966. In 2012, Top Players earn up to $32 million a season, the average salary is more than $3 million with a league minimum of $480,000

5. In 1969, Miller Fought Very Hard Against ‘The Reserve Clause’ Which Binded Players To Their Teams

Teams Basically Owned Players For Their Careers. Most Notably Was Cardinals Centre fielder Curt Flood. Who unsuccessfully sued MLB for trading him to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1969.

6. April 5, 1972 Marvin Miller Prompts The First Ever Player Strike.

7. In 1974, Miller Negotiated To Make Jim “Catfish” Hunter The First Free Agent In MLB

8. In 1975 LA Dodgers Pitcher Andy Messersmith Was Represented By Miller To Fight Contract Renewal For No More Than 1 Year

9. Miller Was Very Opposed To Drug Testing, Which He Believed Violated Players’ Rights

10. MLB’s revenue has grown from $50 million in 1967 to $7.5 billion this year. Thanks To The Intrigue of Free Agency.

11. “Baseball is my racket, When it comes to negotiating … that’s Marvin’s racket.”- Pete Rose

12. “As Important to the game of Baseball as Jackie Robinson.”- Hank Aaron

13. Despite His Incredible Contributions To The Game, Marvin Miller Has Yet To Be Voted Into The Baseball Hall of Fame.

Primarily because many of the voters consider Miller to have ruined the game of baseball by high salaries and enhanced player rights.

14. “Marvin Miller should be in the Hall of Fame if the players have to break down the doors to get him in.”-Hank Aaron

15. “They should vote him in and then apologize for making him wait so long” -Joe Morgan

16. “Marvin’s exclusion from the Hall of Fame is a national disgrace.” -Tom Seaver

17. In 2007, “Enshrinement would be nice, but when you’re my age, questions of mortality have a greater priority than a promised immortality.”-Marvin Miller

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