Monday, December 03, 2012

Marvin Miller was one of the biggest baseball figures of the last 50 years

(Marvin Miller with Joe Niekro and Nolan Ryan many years ago)

Marvin Miller died a few days ago:

"When Mr. Miller was named the executive director of the 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 secured his place on baseball’s Mount Rushmore by forging one of the strongest unions in America, creating a model for those in basketball, football and hockey."

Miller was good for the players and the game.  He, and the union, never forced an owner to offer a stupid salary.  Miller and the union put the players in a better negotiating position and took care of the many of the old veterans who earned nothing years ago.

Yes, some of the current salaries are ridiculous and small market teams were impacted.  However, I would give Mr Miller a very good grade for what he did for the players.

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