Labor Leader Changed Professional Baseball
Byline: From Daily Herald wire reports
Marvin Miller was a labor economist who never played a day of organized baseball. He preferred tennis. Yet he transformed the national pastime as surely as Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, television and night games.
Miller, the union boss who won free agency for baseball players in 1975, ushering in an era of multimillion-dollar contracts and athletes who switch teams at the drop of a batting helmet, has died at 95.
"I think hes the most important baseball figure of the last 50 years," former baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent said. "He changed not just the sport but the business of the sport permanently, and he truly emancipated the baseball player and in the process all professional athletes. Prior to his time, they had few rights. At the moment, they control the games."
Miller led players through three strikes and two lockouts. Baseball has had eight work stoppages in all.
When he took over, the union consisted of a $5,400 kitty and a battered file cabinet, and baseballs minimum salary …
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Publication information: Article title: Labor Leader Changed Professional Baseball. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL). Publication date: December 2, 2012. Page number: 18. © 2009 Paddock Publications. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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