Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:34 AM
joeybee12 (48,370 posts)
Marvin Miller has died at age 95
Marvin Miller, the legendary leader of the Major League Baseball Playerís Association, has died at age 95. No word on the exact cause of death, but he had been ill for some time.
It is impossible to overstate Millerís impact on Major League Baseball. While some ó including Hall of Fame voters ó have long given Miller short shrift (or piled on utter disdain), baseball today cannot be understood without understanding Marvin Millerís contributions. He was a truly transformative figure who, after Jackie Robinson, did more to correct the excesses and injustices delivered onto players by baseballís ruling class than anyone.
When Miller took over as the head of the MLBPA in 1966 there was no free agency. Players were told by ownership what they would make the following year and if they didnít like it, tough. They couldnít switch teams. They couldnít do what any other worker can do and shop their services elsewhere. They were stuck thanks to baseballís reserve clause and the ridiculous Supreme Court decision which exempted baseball and its owners from the antitrust laws.
Miller took all of that on and he won. He started small, negotiating the unionís first collective bargaining agreement with the team owners in 1968, which raised the gameís minimum salary from $6,000 to $10,000. In 1970 he got the owners to agree to arbitration for the first time. In 1970 Curt Flood, with Millerís support and guidance, challenged baseballís antitrust exemption ó and the dreaded reserve clause, which kept players tied to one team against their wishes ó in the courts. Flood ultimately lost that case in the landmark 1972 Supreme Court decision. The decision did not, however, blunt Millerís resolve, and he took his fight to other forums.
He changed the game...I think...mianly for the better...salaries are out of control, but prior to that, the owners treated the players (who made the owners rich) like shit.
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