November 27, 2012 3:45 PM by Wade Blogs
Marvin Miller passed away at the impressive age of 95 from liver cancer in his Manhattan home this morning. Many of you reading this have no idea who Marvin Miller is and why he is so significant in the world of sports. Mr. Miller was the executive director of the MLB Players Association from 1966-1983 and was the man responsible for “striking” of athletes in their particular sport. In 1975 he fought the MLB owners to allow players to exercise their right to choose who to play for on the open market. Before free agency, the team owned you until they traded you. Mr. Miller believed that free agency would make the sport more profitable for both sides and add more parity and competitiveness to the league. Boy was he right!
The MLB’s revenue was $50 million dollars in 1967 compared to the 2012 seasons estimated revenue of $7.5 BILLION. I am not saying free agency made it possible for the revenue to grow astronomically, but obviously helped. Miller fought for the owners to provided a better life for the ball players that made them rich. Baseball salaries increased by nearly 500% under Miller’s reign as union boss. Yet this man is not in the Hall of Fame.
Say what you will about a leagues union disputes and lockouts. Say what you will about unions. This is not a post to chastise nor praise unions. This is a post to recognize a man who served his people to the best of his ability and changed the game for the better.
Rest Easy Mr. Miller, you will be enshrined soon enough in Cooperstown.