Marvin Miller, Union Leader Who Brought Free Agency To Baseball, Dies | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Marvin Miller, Union Leader Who Brought Free Agency To Baseball, Dies

Marvin Miller, "arguably the most significant figure in 20th century baseball" according to Morning Edition commentator Frank Deford, has died.

The former head of the Major League Baseball Players Association was 95.

His death was confirmed to The Associated Press by a daughter and to USA Today by the union. According to the AP, Miller was diagnosed with liver cancer this summer.

As Frank said on Morning Edition in December 2010, Miller was "certainly no less important to the national pastime than was Jackie Robinson or Branch Rickey or Babe Ruth. For that matter, because Miller outsmarted the entire establishment, giving baseball players free agency and abolishing the illegal reserve clause, he not only turned the business of baseball on its ear but effectively overhauled all professional sports in the United States."

Miller should be in baseball's Hall of Fame, Frank says.

USA Today reminds us that:

"Miller negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement in sports history in 1968, and in 1974, successfully ended the reserve clause, enabling players to achieve free agency after six years of service. He also raised the minimum salary from $6,000 to $10,000. Today, the minimum salary is worth $480,000. Miller also bargained for salary arbitration, which has been responsible for salaries to soar for players before entering free agency. Miller led the union through five collective bargaining agreements during his tenure."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Key Civil War Generals The Subject Of New Smithsonian Exhibit

A new exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery focuses on Civil War generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.
NPR

Is Foster Farms A Food Safety Pioneer Or A Persistent Offender?

The California chicken producer has been dogged by food safety problems at its plants for months. But Foster Farms may also now be one of the country's cleanest, safest sources of chicken products.
NPR

Congress Has The Ability To Fix Immigration Crisis, Obama Says

His remarks in Dallas followed a meeting with faith leaders and local officials, including Gov. Rick Perry, to discuss the large number of unaccompanied minors at the border.
NPR

What Burritos And Sandwiches Can Teach Us About Innovation

Is a burrito a sandwich? The answer may sound simple to you ... but the question gets at the very heart of a tension that's existed for ages.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.