Baseball players with multimillion multi-year deals like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Max Scherzer, Giancarlo Stanton, Manny Machado, and Zach Grienke have Marvin Miller to thank for all the money they are making playing the America’s Pastime.
So do current free agents like Gerrit Cole, Steven Strasbourg, Anthony Rendon, and Marcell Ozuna. They are, depending on the player and signing team, about to get between $15,000,000 and $30,000,000 a year for between four to seven years.
They can thank Marvin Miller for that too.
They can also thank others like former baseball players Curt Flood, Catfish Hunter, Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally whose stands against the baseball reserve clause that tied players to their team, paved the way for free agency in baseball and other sports.
Marvin Miller, the leader of the Baseball Players Union from 1966 to 1982, helped liberate baseball players from indentured servitude to their ball clubs and made it possible for players to go to salary arbitration, earn a minimum living salary, and free agency.
He helped steer ballplayers “through five work stoppages” and made it possible for the players today to earn millions of dollars a year to play a game.
He is one of the most influential men in baseball history for over 50 years.
On December 8, 2019, the Modern Committee of the Baseball Hall of the Fame elected Marvin Miller to the Hall of Fame for his contributions to the game.
It was the eighth time Mr. Miller, who passed away in 2012, had been considered for Hall recognition.
It is a shame that the voters at the Hall had to wait until the eighth time and seven years after Mr. Miller’s passing to admit him.
Marvin Miller was a giant in American Labor Relations History.
It is only right that he is recognized for his historic contributions to the improvement in baseball player living and salary conditions.
Welcome to the Hall of Fame Marvin Miller.