Richards: The quest of Marvin Miller: A briefcase for a lance

From Lawrence Richards at The National Pastime Museum on November 22, 2016:

On November 27, 2012, a New York Times article was headed, “Marvin Miller, Union Leader Who Changed Baseball, Dies at 95.” A respectful, notable headline by all means, but considering Miller’s transcending influence, not only on baseball, but on all professional sports, it was somewhat tepid. A few other views:

“Marvin Miller is as important in the history of baseball as Jackie Robinson.” —Hank Aaron

“(After Babe Ruth) the second most influential man in the history of baseball.” —Red Barber

“No man in our time had more impact on the business of baseball than Marvin Miller.” —Tom Seaver

“The most important baseball figure in the last 50 years. He truly emancipated the players.” —Fay Vincent

With the reader’s permission, one more quote, definitely self-serving.

“The fact of so many knowing so little about Marvin Miller’s accomplishments is astounding.” —Lawrence Richards

The viselike grip owners maintained over their players in 1966 hadn’t changed much since the 1890s. The reserve clause allowed them to keep players indefinitely, a blatantly unconstitutional state of affairs. Negotiating power? Take the owner’s contract offer or don’t play. Want to be released, traded, or sold to another team? Only if the club allows. A problem with your team? Go see the commissioner—realistically, an employee of the owners.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: November 22, 2016. Last Updated: November 22, 2016.