Marvin Miller, Union Leader Who Changed Baseball, Dies at 95
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Source: NY Times
When Mr. Miller was named executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1966, club owners ruled much as they had since the 19th century. The reserve clause bound players to their teams for as long as the owners wanted them, leaving them with little bargaining power. Come contract time, a player could expect an ultimatum but not much more. The minimum salary was $6,000 and had barely budged for two decades. The average salary was $19,000. The pension plan was feeble, and player grievances could be heard only by the commissioner, who worked for the owners.
By the time Mr. Miller retired at the end of 1982, he had forged one of the strongest unions in America, creating a model for unions in basketball, football and hockey. The average player salary had reached $241,000, the pension plan had become generous, and players had won free agency and were hiring agents to issue their own demands. If they had a grievance, they could turn to an arbitrator.
And Mr. Miller had taken his place among the most important figures in baseball. Peter Seitz, the impartial arbitrator who invalidated the reserve clause and created free agency in 1975, called him “the Moses who had led Baseball’s Children of Israel out of the land of bondage.”
Still, though his contributions to baseball were considered to be on a par with those of Babe Ruth, who made the home run an essential part of the game, and Branch Rickey, who broke the major leagues’ color barrier when he signed Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers, Mr. Miller has not been recognized by the Baseball Hall of Fame.
of http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014318241 (just 1 minute earlier - probably only appeared after you started composing this!). But we want to keep the discussion in one place, so we'll keep the first one posted open, and lock this one. Sorry.