Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Marvin Miller, 1917-2012

Marvin Miller has died.  He may have been the most important person in baseball since Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson reintegrated the game 65 years ago.

He is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  He lived to be 95, and they didn't elect him.

Why? Because he pissed the team owners off, that's why.

Here's Tom Verducci's article on him for SportsIllustrated.com... through Comunitee.com, a website I help produce at work.

He'll probably never be elected.  They elected his two main antagonists, Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley and O'Malley's puppet Commissioner, Bowie Kuhn.  They didn't elect Miller.

But when Ken Burns was doing interviews for his Baseball miniseries, he made sure he interviewed Miller.

Every professional athlete in this country, and every sports fan, is better off for Marvin Miller having gotten involved.

The owners don't see it that way, even though he, far more than they, is responsible for Major League Baseball teams going from being worth $5 million half a century ago to being worth $500 million or more today.

These are very intelligent men, who become idiots thanks to their own greed.

Miller made sure that players had their say.  As Ken Singleton, then an outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles and now a broadcaster for the Yankees, put it a few years ago, "The owners have been screwing us for a hundred years.  We've got 75 years to go."

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