A Few Thoughts On Marvin Miller


Marvin Miller passed away at the age of 95 today, and the baseball world is in mourning. Miller gave a lot to the game of baseball and to sports in particular. Say what you want about sky-high sports salaries or whatever. The fact is, Miller got the players what they were actually worth and for that he should be appreciated and it is a shame that he is not in the hall of fame.

Don Fehr is in the middle of another labor dispute in charge of the NHLPA. He worked under Marvin Miller before taking over from him in 1983. Fehr is the second-longest head of the MLBPA behind only Miller. [Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE]When I was younger, and when I say younger, I mean 9 years old, I hated the players and Donald Fehr. After all, I was 9 in 1994 and I was ignorant of players striking to get an extra million dollars. I was ignorant. I didn’t know about the struggles and where the players were coming from. I didn’t realize the owners just wanted to pocket more profits. Now, I still don’t like the result of the 1994 strike, but let’s face it. As a recovering Expos fan, I can admit the strike is not the only reason there is now a team in Washington. There was a lot that went wrong but the strike definitely didn’t help.

A couple of years ago I read a book on Curt Flood and could not believe how hard he and Miller had to fight for something we see as so basic today. Miller helped Flood a lot with that battle and Miller was right to. They never would have imagined salaries the way they are today, but that’s what the market gave them. Don’t blame Miller or the players for that. If suddenly in a no-collusion world no one offered big salaries any more, there would be no more big salaries and everyone would adjust. But when teams are for the most part making money, the players should be getting their fair share.

I don’t know why baseball has held Miller out of the Hall of Fame. Well, I know why – the veteran’s committee is full of old owners from Miller and players before Miller came around. They are bitter and it’s almost as big of a travesty that Miller isn’t alive to see his future induction as it is that hockey coach Pat Burns will miss his.

The main reason that people held Miller out of the Hall of Fame is that he beat them. It’s ironic, because the Hall of Fame is full of guys that made a living by beating the other side.