MLB union legend Marvin Miller dies at 95
Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports
3:39PM EST November 27. 2012 – Marvin Miller, 95, who formed the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1966 and helped transform sports economics, died Tuesday morning, the union announced.
Miller, who turned the union into one of the most powerful in the country, negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement in sports history in 1968. Six years later, he successfully challenged the “reserve clause” when Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally played out the option years of their contract. Players were granted free agency after six years of major league service, which was formalized in the next collective bargaining agreement.
The minimum salary was $6,000 when Miller formed the union, and today, the minimum salary is worth $480,000. Miller also bargained for salary arbitration, which has been responsible for salaries to soar for players before entering free agency. The average salary was $3.4 million in 2012. He also helped players negotiate the right to arbitration to resolve grievances.