Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted
Sport: Baseball Official/Administrator
United States
Born: April 14, 1917, in New York, New York
November 27, 2012

Marvin Miller is the labor negotiator who changed the character of elite sports. The first executive director of Major League Baseball’s Players Association (MLBPA), from 1966 to 1981, Miller presided over the suspension of baseball’s “reserve clause” that bound players to the team that held their contract, the introduction of “salary arbitration” in player-management
disputes, and the birth of “free agency” that allowed a player movement to seek the best offer for his services.

The MLBPAwon $20 million in salary and pension benefits in Miller’s first six years. Minimum salaries went from $6,000 to $13,500, travel was first class, liberal meal allowances were initiated, and players’ financial gains soared directly and indirectly from increased pension benefits. By the time Miller stepped down as executive director, players’ salaries averaged
more than $500,000!

Miller spent the better part of his adult life in labor management. Prior to his involvement with baseball, he was associated with the United Steelworkers of America for 16 years in various positions, including as its chief economist and associate director of research.

Miller negotiated the MLBPA’s first five labor contracts and successfully led players in the strikes of 1972 (13 days) and 1981 (50 days). His 16 years as the MLBPA executive director had a direct and irrevocable influence on baseball and drew the blueprint for significant changes in all professional
and amateur sports.

Wrote Pulitizer Prize–winning columnist Red Smith: “When you
speak of Babe Ruth, he is one of the two men, in my opinion, who changed baseball the most. The second most influential man in the history of baseball is Marvin Miller.”

Miller was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in December 2019.

He published his autobiography, A Whole Different Ball Game (Birch Lane Press) in 1991 with co-author Nill James.

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