Marvin Miller, 95, who formed the Major League Baseball Players Association and turned it into one of the most powerful unions in the country, died today, the union announced.
It is one of the great disservices that this man who had such an influential role in baseball’s history is not in the Hall of Fame. There is a great likelihood that he will be one day be inducted, but like Ron Santo it will be too late.
Under Miller’s leadership from 1966-1982, the MLBPA achieved the right to free agency and in 1968, negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement in professional sports, one that increased the sport’s minimum salary from $6,000 to $10,000.
We last heard from Miller on November 9, when he commented on the passing of Lee MacPhail,
“I am saddened to learn of Lee MacPhail’s passing. Lee was a good man, trustworthy and honest, and I had a decent relationship with him over the years. I offer my condolences to his son, Andy, and all his family and friends.”
The current executive director of the MLBPA, Michael Weiner, is suffering from an inoperable brain tumor and has been undergoing treatment since being diagnosed in August.
Voices Against Brain Cancer recently announced that Weiner is the recipient of the non-profit’s 2012 Vision of Hope Award. Michael will receive his award during Voices Against Brain Cancer’s annual “Join the Voices! Run/Walk” on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in Central Park in New York at 8:15 a.m. The charitable event features a five-mile run, a scenic walk, kids’ races and a fun family festival.
“You never know what fate has in store for you, and I’m grateful for the work that Voices Against Brain Cancer is doing on behalf of people like me. I am proud and humbled by this honor. I’ve received so much support from so many places, and I’m proud to try to give back. My only hope is to help raise additional awareness and funds for the research needed to combat this horrible disease,” said Michael.
Michael and his family will be joined by members of the MLBPA staff and many friends during the Run/Walk, and he encourages others to support the cause on Dec. 2. To join Michael’s team, please visit www.voicesinmotion.org/goto/FOM.
Every professional athlete and every fan owes Marvin Miller a debt of gratitude for his contributions to baseball and professional sports in general.