The Union Recorder

Local Sports

November 27, 2012

Former baseball union head Miller dead at 95

NEW YORK — Marvin Miller, the soft-spoken union head who led baseball players in a series of strikes and legal battles that won free agency, revolutionized sports and made athletes multimillionaires, died Tuesday. He was 95.

Miller died at his home in Manhattan at 5:30 a.m., said his daughter Susan Miller. He had been diagnosed with liver cancer in August.

"All players — past, present and future — owe a debt of gratitude to Marvin, and his influence transcends baseball," current union head Michael Weiner said. "Marvin, without question, is largely responsible for ushering in the modern era of sports, which has resulted in tremendous benefits to players, owners and fans of all sports."

In his 16 years as executive director of the Major League Players Association, starting in 1966, Miller fought owners on many fronts, winning free agency for players in December 1975. He may best be remembered, however, as the man who made the word "strike" stand for something other than a pitched ball.

"I think he's the most important baseball figure of the last 50 years," former Commissioner Fay Vincent said. "He changed not just the sport but the business of the sport permanently, and he truly emancipated the baseball player — and in the process all professional athletes. Prior to his time, they had few rights; at the moment, they control the games."

MLB's revenue has grown from $50 million in 1967 to $7.5 billion this year. At his last public speaking engagement, a discussion at New York University School of Law in April marking the 40th anniversary of the first baseball strike, Miller maintained free agency and resulting fan interest contributed to the revenue increase.

"I never before saw such a win-win situation my life, where everybody involved in Major League Baseball, both sides of the equation, still continue to set records in terms of revenue and profits and salaries and benefits," Miller said. "You would think that it was impossible to do that. But it is possible, and it is an amazing story how under those circumstances, there can be both management and labor really winning."

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 04-19 Grigley signing 1.JPG Bravette joining Jackson State track

    Baldwin High School track and field underclassmen sat in awe of senior Alashawn Grigley Thursday, as she signed a National Letter of Intent to further her athletic and academic career at Jackson State University.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • 04-18 Chambers AOW 3.JPG UR ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Chambers leads Lady Trojan soccer

    While the season has been a difficult one for the John Milledge Academy girls’ soccer team, they wrapped up their regular season on a positive note with junior forward Kelsey Chambers posting big numbers in the final two games to earn Athlete of the Week honors.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04-10 GMC Prep Baseball 1.JPG GMC bats stale after break

    Coming off a brief hiatus from live competitions, Georgia Military Prep School baseball blew off some rust in their first game since spring break against First Presbyterian Day School at home Wednesday night.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lady Dogs notch two conference wins

    Winning seven of their last eight games, the Georgia Military College Lady Dogs softball team appears to be on a roll as they reach the final stretch of their regular season.

    April 4, 2014

  • 04-02 JMA Baseball 1.JPG JMA baseball still hot

    The John Milledge Academy baseball team earned its fifth consecutive victory Tuesday afternoon with a 6-0 home shutout of Augusta Prep.

    April 2, 2014 2 Photos

  • JMA logo NEW 2011.jpg JMA baseball heating up

    Westminster didn't put up much of a fight on Tuesday, as the John Milledge Academy varsity baseball team cruised to a 12-5 blowout win in Augusta.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • 03-28 AOW_James Bell.jpg UR ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Senior carries Braves offense

    In a sport known for its low scoring games, it is unusual for a soccer player to earn more than one goal in a single contest.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lee Hannah.JPG Hannah brings ‘Be Great’ attitude to BHS

    What will you do to be great?
    What legacy will you leave?

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • 03-26 JMA baseball_Zach Meeks.jpg JMA baseball team solid over Trinity Christian

    The John Milledge Academy baseball team returned from its school spring break looking impressive in a 7-1 win over visiting Trinity Christian School Monday afternoon in a non-region contest at Trojan Field.

    March 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baldwin takes two against Greene Co.

    Strong performances were had by both the girls' and boys' soccer teams at Baldwin High Friday night as each earned a win over Greene County at home.

    March 25, 2014