You may visit the Marvin Miller "In Retrospect" page here.



Still Our Leader...And as Feisty as Ever:   Marvin Miller Blasts Corporate Pay  (April 25, 2012)

Radio story by Peter King of CBS radio  (Dec. 22, 2010)

Audio of Frank Deford's NPR commentary  (Dec. 2, 2010)






This website was spawned by a few older major leaguers who understand what Marvin Miller has meant to all former and current Major League baseball players. We are not techies, so please excuse the fact that the site is a work in progress.

As the director of the Major League Baseball Players Association (from 1966 to 1982), Marvin led us from a history of no rights to parity with the owners. Most of us were very respectful of our opportunity to play a sport for a living, and certainly didn’t want to offend our employers. But Marvin pointed out how grossly unjust the situation was. With grace and dignity, he slowly but surely led us into a position of equality.

Those of us whose careers ended before free agency began in 1975 rarely made enough during the seasons to support ourselves and families without working in the off-seasons, never mind saving for the future. Thanks to this man, we now enjoy pensions, often greater than our salaries during our playing days.

Owners of baseball teams also benefited from his leadership. Although enduring some bumps in the road, especially for the fans, the game has prospered like no other time in the history of the sport, both during his tenure and since he retired, because of the enduring influence his work had on baseball.

Players, managers, and coaches in every major sport, not just baseball, profited from Marvin’s concepts. Every professional athlete, whether he's Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky, or the last man on the major league roster, should have tears of gratitude streaming down his face. Tiger Woods and others ought to realize that the salaries and other benefits they have accrued in their sport are owed more to Marvin’s work than any other factor.

This website is created for baseball players, and indeed all professional athletes, regardless of the sport, to say thank you. A few select media and ownership people will share their thoughts as well.

A thank you to the man who changed the professional sports world more positively and profoundly than anyone else.

•          •          •          •          •

If you can still pick up the signs, come recall a piece of our history that you probably haven’t thought about in years. For the complete story, I urge you to read Marvin’s book, A Whole Different Ball Game.

Please take a few minutes to send me an email expressing your gratitude for Marvin’s efforts, and I’ll put your comments in the comments section below so that Marvin, now in his 90's (and is still denied access to the Baseball Hall of Fame) will know that he is not forgotten, and deeply appreciated.

Marvin is respected not only by we former players but also by members of the media and people from the owners’ side of the game like Ray Grebey, who served as the owners’ representative in the formative negotiations with Marvin and the players. (You can see Ray’s recent letters to the Hall of Fame committee in the Articles and Documents section below.) If Ray Grebey can step to the plate for Marvin, we (former and current) players have got to get in the game and let him know how we feel.



                 


Comments from Players and
Other Baseball People
(the most recent are listed first)


Send an email to Bob@ThanksMarvin.com and we will post your comments below. Please include the years that you were active.

[Dec. 29, 2010] The first time I heard Marvin speak in Pompano Beach in the spring of 1966, it was an “E.F. Hutton“ moment for me -- we all stopped and listened! I knew that I would be better off by being around him and Dick Moss. I’m proud to have been a player rep for my 11 years in the big leagues even though it cost me my job in the spring of 1977 (according to Charlie Finley!). Thru Marvin’s efforts my wife and I have been beneficiaries of our pension for over 20 years now. Thanks, Marvin, for all you have done for us!

     — Dick Bosman
     '66-'77: Senators, Rangers, Indians, A's

[Dec. 22, 2010] Marvin, Many thanks for what you gave the baseball world. Being a player rep for three different teams, I was very fortunate to receive many benefits from your leadership. I often said that it's too bad all the other players didn't have those same opportunities. Your patience, understanding and preparation were some of the lessons I received which helped my quests in other job opportunities. Always,

     — Dave Giusti
     '61-'78: Astros, Cardinals, Pirates, A's, Cubs

[Dec. 22, 2010] We kept putting off sending this email as we are having a difficult time finding words that will adequately express our gratitude, admiration and respect for Marvin and all that he did for baseball players. I want to add a personal note in that I have always said that Marvin was one of the most interesting people it has been my honor to meet. I had that opportunity since Dave was a player rep for three teams and we occasionally had the pleasure of going to dinner with Marvin and his wife during spring training.

     — Ginny Giusti, wife of player Dave Giusti

[Dec. 4, 2010] Marvin, I remember the spring of 1966 when you came to our clubhouse at Tinker Field in Orlando to introduce us to the plan for our pension. Most of us had no idea what this would mean in the future for those of us with meager salaries. Seven full years has given me a pension of more than double my best salary year. Thank you for your vision and insight Marvin. May God bless you richly with many more birthdays.

     — Dick Stigman
     '60-'66: Indians, Twins, Red Sox

[Nov. 2010] Hey Marvin, Sometimes we all live in a cave and I have to admit that I just heard today about this website that I can personally thank you for what you have accomplished over your life and brilliant career. Coming up to the Majors in 1970 and seeing first hand what you accomplished once you became our Executive Director for the Players Association, I want to say thank you!... Baseball has come a long way over the years and all the positive is because of your leadership. I hope and pray that the Veterans Committee get it right this time and get you elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I know everyone that has known you over the years knows this should have happened many years ago.... Good health to you and my prayers are with you always. Respectfully,

     — Bert Blyleven
     '70-'92

If you cashed your pension check this month...and all of these years, and haven't done anything to say thank you to the man who literally put it in your mail box...you should be ashamed of yourself!

     — Bob Locker
     '65-'75: White Sox, Pilots, Athletics, Brewers, Cubs

Marvin Miller did so much for the game of baseball in representing the players. It was through his efforts that I was able to receive a pension from baseball. My deepest and heartfelt thanks, Marvin, for what you did. You deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.

     — Mike Hedlund
     '65 & '68-'72: Indians, Royals

During the year our "union" was going to name an Executive Director, they allowed the candidates to give a 1-hour talk to the players in each camp, including the Indians camp in Tucson during spring training. When completed, Birdie Tebbetts (Indians manager) had his own meeting with us players, and continually referred to Marvin as a "communist." Thus the reason why (with our Indians team), I was the only vote for Marvin.

     — Sudden Sam McDowell
     '61-'75: Indians, Giants, Yankees, Pirates


I was a player rep for the Chicago White Sox and among the group of player reps that had the responsibility of hiring a director for our players association (union). How fortunate we were to discover Marvin Miller. He not only served the players well, but he had a huge impact on all of baseball and all professional sports. It was a pleasure to have been a part of Marvin Miller’s legacy. Thank you, Marvin, and happy birthday.

     — Eddie Fisher
     '59-'73: Giants, White Sox, Orioles, Indians,
          Angels, Cardinals

I played ball for the Senators, Rangers, Indians, and Yankees in the '70's and '80's. Marvin Miller was a hero in our household during that time. The players today may not even know who he is but they have much to be grateful for to this fine man. It took me ten years to make what many players make in a couple days now. He will definitely have my vote and my wife's as well.

     — Toby Harrah
     '69-'86: Senators, Rangers, Indians, Yankees

I believe so strongly that Marvin Miller deserves a place in the Hall of Fame that I did the one thing I could do about it—I wrote a play. It's called American Pastime and it's about Marvin and Curt Flood and how Flood's lawsuit helped lead the way to free agency.... Marvin gave me two long interviews before I started writing in 2008 that were very helpful. The play was recently a winner in the Firehouse Theatre National New Play competition in Richmond, VA, where it was presented in a staged reading. The play makes a strong case for Marvin's right to be in the Hall of Fame.

     — Mike Folie
     Playwright ... http://www.mikefolie.com

Here are some of the people who have expressed to me their dismay that Marvin Miller is not in the Hall of Fame: Tom Seaver, Bobby Valentine, Roland Hemond, Faye Vincent, James Anderson, Jim Bouton, and Peter Gammons (MLB.com).

     — Ray Grebey
      Director of Player Relations for MLB (until 1983)


Marvin deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as someone who mightily impacted Major League Baseball, forever. He directly affected the future of thousands of men’s lives with his guidance and counsel during those early turbulent years of collective bargaining. It’s a tragedy that most of today's players probably don’t even know who he is, but are profiting handsomely from the work he did. Having lived as long as I have, I know that life is not fair and one should never approach life thinking it is, but leaving Marvin Miller out of the Hall of Fame is not FAIR. Just as there are other deserving men who should be in the Hall, the committee should open their eyes and wake up to this great injustice that Marvin is experiencing. I am grateful that he came into my life in baseball and want to publicly thank him. Every time the check hits the bank I will remember him and the quiet, unassuming, and articulate manner in which he conducted himself. That check every month should always remind us of him. Thank you and God bless you, Marvin.

     — Fred Beene
      ’66-’76: Orioles, Yankees, Indians

Marvin Miller is one of the great, transformative figures in sports. There is no better proof of his power, and his impact on the game of baseball, than the convoluted efforts of the baseball establishment to deny him admission to its Hall of Fame. And if athletes in other sports had the time or inclination to understand their own financial histories, Marvin would be a shoo-in for their Halls of Fame as well.

     — Jim Bouton
     ’62-’70 & ’78: Yankees, Astros, Pilots, Braves

Marvin, not sure if you remember me, but I just wanted to thank you for what you have done for the sport that I love. I thought you were my age, and I am stunned that you have had more birthdays than me. Everyone who has ever put on a uniform, owes their financial sports coffers to you and your staff. Thank you again, and happy birthday.

     — Richie Scheinblum
     ’65-’74: Indians, Senators, Royals, Angels,
          Reds, Cardinals

Thanks Marvin for all you did for Baseball. You deserve to be in the Hall of Fame! Take care.

     — Harold King
     ’67-’74: Astros, Braves, Rangers, Reds

Bob, thanks for the address, etc. I sent Marvin a birthday card/message. He is indeed a special guy!

     — Jerry McNertney
     '64 & ’66-’73: White Sox, Pilots, Brewers,
          Cardinals, Pirates

Ray Grebey, the former MLB negotiator, is leading another effort to get Marvin elected. He has formed a fine committee to help. I am one member. I have a new oral history book out, It’s What’s Inside the Lines that Counts. In it there is Marvin's oral history. Many have noticed and see it as my effort to help his cause. His story is fascinating.... The election of [Bowie] Kuhn [to the Hall of Fame] and the rejection of Marvin was absurd.

     — Fay Vincent
     Commissioner of Major League Baseball, '89-'92

I played for the Cubs and Reds 1971-81, and was player rep for the Reds in ’79. Working with Marvin was an incredible experience and an honor. Simply put, none of us would be where we are today without him. My wife and I are forever grateful to Marvin, and have no doubt whatsoever that he belongs in the Hall of Fame. Thank you Marvin. And Happy Birthday.

     — Bill Bonham
     '71-'81: Cubs, Reds

Being involved in player negotiations and a player representative for the Padres with Randy Jones and with the Angels during the strike year of 1981 with Don Baylor. I was fortunate enough to see what Marvin Miller did for us all. Seeing first hand how the owners saw things differently than the players and Marvin made sure that the owners saw thing as fair from the view of the players. Marvin has saved a number of families because of our pensions as well as the constant areas that needed attention, especially revenue sharing. It is absolutely sad that such an important member of our society can not be honored for the work he did with baseball and especially for the players. The Hall of Fame is for the players and others who have participated with excellence and made a mark in our game. Marvin Miller must be and should be inducted in the Hall of Fame because he represented US the society of Baseball and definitely made a mark on the game as we know it today. Marvin has my thanks and definitely my vote for the Hall of Fame. Thank you, Marvin.

     — John D'Acquisto
     '73-'82: Giants, Padres, Cardinals, Expos,           Angels, Athletics

Marvin, thank you for the changes you brought about in baseball: improved wages and conditions, and reduction of the years required to get a pension (from 10 down to 4 during my playing time). If you aren't qualified to be in the Hall of Fame, then neither is anyone else who didn't actually play, and that means no front office personnel, sportscasters, writers, and probably some players, too!

     — Gary Waslewski
     ’67-’72: Red Sox, Expos, Cardinals,
           Yankees, Athletics

I am very glad that you started this site. I was hoping that there would be an event where players could personally show their affection and appreciation for Miller's work on our behalf, but I guess that was not possible. An advocate, an educator and a friend. Everyone should not only read Marvin's book (and compare it to Kuhn's "Hardball" and laugh) but also "Lords of the Realm" by John Helyar or "The Imperfect Diamond" by Lee Lowenfish to get an idea of the history and what Marvin actually accomplished.

     — Bob Tufts
     ’81-’83: Giants, Royals

I remember being a rookie in my first major league camp with the Reds and the announcement was made that Marvin Miller from the Players Association was coming the next day. We waited in anticipation for his arrival that next morning, and as he spoke and explained to us the state of the union, many of us stared in awe at the man explaining to us things that we couldn't even begin to comprehend until years later. On Marvin's 93rd year on this earth, the time has come for him to be recognized by not only the players in HIS union, but also the players that rule, enjoy and respect the game. Happy Birthday Marvin, and the one wish that I hope for you is "Cooperstown". "It's Time"
Respectfully,

     — Kurt Bevacqua
     '71-'86: Reds, Indians, Royals, Pirates, Brewers,
          Rangers, Padres

Marvin, thank you so much for all you've done, not just for me and my family, but the whole family within the MLBPA! Without your leadership and hard work I honestly don't know where we'd be today. We owe an awful lot to you. My only hope is that the current players take the time to read up and understand where we/they came from and all the sacrifices that were made. You have a special place in my and my family’s hearts for all you've done for us. God Bless you and your family and we hope you have a great day!

     — Bob Horner (& Chris Horner & family)
     ’78-’86, ’88: Braves, Cardinals

Marvin Miller was (and to some extent still is), without a doubt, the most influential figure in Major League Baseball. Marvin changed the labor rules in Major League Baseball so that everyone involved could benefit from playing this great game. He did it with style. He did it with finesse. He did it with resolve. As a player rep in 1984 and 1985, I got to see first hand what an influence Marvin was. He continued to assist players with gaining equal ground even after he officially left office as Executive Director. He was instrumental in educating the players and his successor, Donald Fehr. Even though I had more direct involvement with Don, you could see the influence of Marvin. I can't thank Marvin enough for what he has done.

     — Chris Codiroli
      ’82-’88; ’90: A's, Indians, Royals

I had the privilege of being on the Dodgers during Marvin’s first year of active participation with the Player’s Association. How great to know how well he is doing at 93 and to know how much so many owe to him and his untiring work over the years. MANY THANKS, MARVIN, FOR YOUR DEDICATION AND SERVICE! I also look forward to the day when ex-Major Leaguers like myself, who fell short (due to arm injury in my case) of the then-required 4-year minimum and did not receive a pension program such as the one offered today which is regardless of time served in the Majors. There are not many of us still in that category still remaining, and in light of the fact that the most I ever made at that the parent-club level was $20,000 per year, those like myself hope that some day we may be included in the pension program as well. Nevertheless, once again, my gratitude and salute to Marvin. He’s a true champion!

     — Sandy Vance
     ’70-’71: Dodgers

Thank You Marvin, I know you don't remember me but I was able to get 6 years in the Major Leagues with 4 different teams. I played for the Giants, A's, Indians, and Pirates, my career span from 75 -81 and I'm so very thankful for all of the leadership you had given us over the years. May God Bless you. Happy Birthday!

     — Gary Alexander
     ’75-’81: Giants, A’s, Indians, Pirates

Thanks for this opportunity to acknowledge the great contribution Marvin Miller made to baseball. Without his leadership there is no way the MLB Player's Association would be the Player's Association by which all others are measured. All players can thank Marvin for our pensions and the salary structure that is in place today. His omission from the Hall of Fame is extremely disappointing. I am hopeful that the Hall of Fame Committee will strongly reconsider Marvin' s admission into the HOF! Once again thanks Marvin, here's wishing you a Happy Birthday and good health.

     — Barry Foote
     ’73-’82, ’90-’93: Expos, Phillies, Cubs, Yankees,
           White Sox, Mets

Marvin, thank you for your hard work. You were always gracious and considerate. May God bless you and give you many more birthdays. Sincerely,

     — Steve Dillard
     ’75-‘82

Thank you Marvin for all that you have done for the great game of baseball. I, for one, directly benefited from your leadership. You and Dick Moss mean so much to our organization. Happy birthday Marvin, we all love you dearly.

     — Jack Heidemann
      ’69-’77: Indians, Cardinals, Mets, Brewers

Thank you Marvin for the insight, courage and sense of fairness you shared from your soul with a bunch of guys that just wanted to "play baseball". Those spring training meetings beginning in 1969(for me) have been a very positive impact for my entire life and especially in the workplace. You are and always will be the most significant person that I met in Baseball. Happy Birthday and your being in Cooperstown would be more of a tribute to the HOF and those in it and it would be for you! Thanks for exposing "A Whole Different Ball Game." Kindest Personal Regards,

     — Ernie Mcanally
     ’71-’74: Expos

Marvin, for your impact on labor relationships in this country and for countless other overwhelming attributes you possess, I am just so honored to have been in the league when you were still executive director of the most powerful union in North America. Thank you.

     — Billy Sample
     ’78-’86: Rangers, Yankees, Braves

Happy birthday, Marvin, and thanks for all you did for me and for all of us starting with that memorable period of time in 1967. Warm regards,

     — Jim Kaat
     

Happy Birthday Marvin! I was an Alternate Player Rep and Player Rep in those days. He certainly changed the game of baseball, for the better for everyone in the game.

     — Darrel Chaney
     ’69-’79: Reds, Braves

I was part of a group of Houston Astros who almost buckled during the first strike. As time went on we began to wonder where the money would come to pay for rent, utilities, kids, etc. I remember "secret"meetings where we would discuss the merits of the strike. Fortunately we had the sense to tell Marvin what we were thinking. And fortunately he had the convincing power to talk us out of it. We are all glad he did. Marvin was always available either in person or on the phone. What a great and valuable resource he was to baseball players and all professional athletes.

     — Tom Griffin
      ’69-’82: Astros, Padres, Angels, Giants, Pirates

Happy Birthday Marvin. I was fortunate enough to play during your era. You made the baseball union the strongest of all of professional sports. Don has done the same. The only difference I see between you and Don is that you made all of us aware of what happened before us. We appreciated the pioneers that made the game the national pastime and we were the pawns that went on strike twice so that baseball players today start at salaries that we worked many years to achieve. Unfortunately, Don and the current administrators don’t look back very often. When the players were on strike in ’94, our insurance benefits were stripped. I ended up a 42-year-old scab just so I could afford to keep insurance for my son who had severe asthma. You were our pioneer. Thanks!

     — Doug Corbett
     ’80-’87: Twins, Angels, Orioles

Thank you, Marvin, and Happy Birthday. You came into baseball at a great time. All of the players today benefit from all of the hard work and dedication you put into our association. Because of your leadership, my family and I enjoy a better life through the pension plan that you helped us fight for. I hope you have a great day and please know that you are loved and respected. We are supporting you for the Hall Of Fame. Best Wishes.

     — Frank White
     ’73-’90: Royals

To Marvin Miller: Let me join in with the many other ex-professional ball players to wish you a very happy 93rd Birthday. I was playing in the majors during the ’64-’66 era and distinctly remember you making the rounds to speak with each team in spring training of 1966. Jim Bunning had lined you up to direct the player's association and you had to be approved by each team. I was a member of the New York Mets at that time, sitting in a clubhouse in St. Petersburg, Florida, and heard you say there would be a time when you would have to ask us to strike as players. Because of the reserve clause, you would have no leverage except our willingness to collectively walk out. I distinctly remember also your saying that if the word “strike” went against our grain as players, to not even consider hiring you. That was a watershed event in the history of baseball and the players sensed it. I signed with the L.A. Dodgers in 1964 for the minimum salary of $7,500, a far cry from what the players enjoy today. Unfortunately, I was two years shy of qualifying for the minimum pension that is being given to some players of my era today but, if not for your pioneering efforts, where would baseball and other professional sports players be today! I hope you are able to reflect back with a tremendous sense of pride on how much you contributed to the elevation of financial standing and respect for today's players. God bless you and best wishes for many, many more birthdays.

     — Larry Miller
     

Met Marvin actually when I was at Yankees major-league camp, non-roster, 18 years old, told a story about the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley-owned at the time, this was prior to the first strike, Cubs owned field, parking, concessions, no night games, payroll under a million, and claimed an $800,000 loss, laughing all the way to the bank. I made my heyday in ’74 with Montreal Expos. Thank you, Marvin.

     — Don DeMola
     

I want to thank Marvin for the many ways that he changed the rules to benefit myself and all players. It was difficult to make ends meet when I first started in the Major Leagues, making $7000 the minimum salary while living in Manhattan. But things got better and we owe it all to you, Marvin. I was one of those who helped start the Players Association in 1964, I appreciated you talking on our level and explaining things. Thanks again.

     — Ron Hunt
     '63-74: Mets, Dodgers, Giants, Expos, Cardinals.

The good Lord gave me two of the most important gifts a man could ever want on the 14th of April: my birth and the birth of Marvin Miller. Thank you, Marvin.

     — Joe Lahoud
     ’65-’78

In '76, I was in my 6th season in the minors (Sacramento, AAA Rangers). In June, I got called up for a cup of coffee (19 days). I was sent back to AAA and was not called up in September. Over the winter, the Rangers traded me to the Yankees for Sandy Alomar, Sr. After the Yankee '77 spring training, I was sent Syracuse for my 3rd straight season in AAA ball. I was 28 years old and broke. I was on baseball's "death row". In June of '77, Marvin called to inform me that I was one of 11 players covered in "Attachment 11" to the new basic agreement. In his wisdom that enveloped most people in the game, Marvin had the foresight to "protect" 11 players who were called up in '76 and then sent back down. Attachment 11 players could be free agents at the end of the '77 season! I felt like a prisoner getting a last-second pardon! I owe so much to Marvin Miller! When the Yankees found out that they had traded Sandy Alomar (against the wishes of Billy Martin) for a potential free agent they were extremely upset! The Yanks flew me to NY from Syracuse to offer me a contract. Gabe Paul and George Steinbrenner offered me a 2-year guaranteed contract and a call up in September. On the advice of my Syracuse teammate, Gene Locklear, I turned the Yankees down. George proceeded to call me a dumbass and informed me that I would not be called up in September. In November of '77, I signed a one-year contact with the White Sox with the right to be a free agent after the '78 season. I went on to play 9 seasons in MLB and was on a World Series team in '85. God Bless Marvin Miller. He deserves to have his own room in the Hall!

     — Greg Pryor
     '76, ('77 Death Row,) '78-'86: Rangers, White Sox, Royals

Marvin, Happy Birthday and THANK YOU, not only from the bottom of my heart, but my family's as well. Without your outstanding leadership we, as well as every other modern-day and former Major League player and his family, would not be enjoying the financial benefits we all enjoy today. We owe so much to you. I sincerely hope the Hall of Fame Committee elects you into the Hall as soon as possible. You deserve it. God Bless you always.

     — Ron Reed
     ’68-’84: Braves, Cardinals, Phillies, White Sox

Marvin Miller is a great inspiration to us all. His accomplishments in and dedication to the game of baseball have left a profound effect on sports. This great American disserves to be in the Hall of fame. Have a happy birthday Marvin, and thanks for everything!

     — Jose Valdivielso
     ’55-’62: Senators, Twins

Dear Mr Miller, Just want to say Thank You for your work and dedication to this great game of baseball. When I first came up to the Major Leagues, we were handed a copy of your book so that we would know the history of our union and how our rights had come to pass. Great reading and an eye-opener. As a Minor League pitching coach, I see first hand that we have somewhat lost our knowledge of where we have come from, and it somewhat saddens me. We, as an industry, will never be able to repay you for what you have given us, but I personally would like to say Thank You, and wish you a very Happy Birthday!

     — Xavier Hernandez
     ’89-’98: Blue Jays, Astros, Yankees, Reds, Rangers

Happy 93rd birthday, Marvin Miller! Being a marginal major league player I want to thank you for both a livable wage back then and an outstanding pension plan now! I am very proud to have played under your reign! You absolutely belong in the Baseball Hall of Fame! Wishing you all the best and thanks again!

     — Chuck Hartenstein
     ’65-’77: Cubs, Pirates, Cardinals, Red Sox, and Blue Jays.

Marvin, Happy Birthday to a true Hall of Famer who strengthened the game. I am in true appreciation for not just what you did for us as players but for the class and humility with which you did it. You always presented us with the facts and negotiated for both the rights of the players and for the good of the game. I just wish you would have settled that Collusion thing a couple of years earlier. :) The game is in great shape and you are such a big part of the reason. Thanks again and may you enjoy many more anniversaries of your 50th birthday. In appreciation,

     — Geof Zahn
     Dodgers, Cubs, Twins, Angels

Just want to say Thank You and a very Happy 93rd Birthday to Marvin Miller today! I, for one, appreciate everything Mr. Miller accomplished for players. He is a true gentleman. (Regretfully, I personally have never received a pension from MLB or recognition for years served in the WWII.)

     — George E. Yankowski, Catcher
     ’42: Philadelphia Athletics
     ’43-’45: World War II
     ’49: Chicago White Sox

Happy Birthday Marvin. I'm happily retired in Florida with much thanks to you and your efforts for the many years you worked to make it happen. I'm sure my years in Baseball would never have returned the retirement benefits I'm receiving without you, so I thank you every day. God Bless You and your family.

     — Sam J Ellis
     

Thanks to Marvin Miller today’s baseball has a whole new look. Without him and free agency players might still be in the same predicament that players were in 50 years ago. I think of Mr. Miller every month when I get the confirmation of my pension check. Thank you, Marvin Miller.

     — Ken MacKenzie
     

It's with much gratitude I send you very happy birthday wishes. Your contribution to our great game is as much or more than anyone's. As a former player, I am so appreciative of your courage and efforts over your career. You may have caused some discomfort for several, but your touching of lives for generations yet to come is so worthy of being in the Hall of Fame. Thank you so much.

     — Buddy Biancalana
      ’82-’89: Royals

We ALL should thank God for Marvin Miller. I am one of those who is making more from my pension than I ever made as a player; too bad Marvin wasn't around earlier. What Marvin Miller did for baseball players spilled over into every major sport. All professional athletes should thank God for Marvin Miller!

     — Frank Funk
     ’60-’63: Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Braves

Because of Marvin Miller I, like many others have a life after baseball. For that Marvin I am truly grateful to you! The only SHAME regarding Marvin's absence in the Hall belongs to the current Hall members. Collectively, they have the power to make this happen now! To sit there and be okay without his seat is disgraceful.

     — Ellis Valentine, “The Howitzer”
     

Marvin Miller had such a huge impact on the success professional baseball has today and should most certainly be in the Hall of Fame. I will never forget Marvin coming around to all the spring training camps in the early 70's when I was just beginning my major league career. I remember listening to him tell each of us that if we all weren't prepared to commit 100% to stay the course if there was a strike or lockout our union would be broken. That if even one player crossed the line we were doomed. Needless to say we all heeded Marvin's words and we now have the strongest union in sports with the best pension anywhere. THANK YOU Marvin for making my retirement years financially sound. Happy Birthday.

     — Dick Drago
     '69-'82 Royals, Red Sox, Angels, Orioles, Mariners

Marvin, Thanks for all your efforts for us old timers. As NL Player Representative, I signed Marvin's first contract and still have a copy in my files. What a wonderful thing it turned out to be.

     — Johnny Edwards
     ’61-’74

Marvin, Happy birthday, and many more to come. You look great and I will look forward to reading your book. Thanks for all your great leadership and direction over the years that you spent working on behalf of all of us "old guys". My best,

     — Billy Cowan
     ’63-’72: Cubs, Mets, Braves, Phillies, Yankees, Angels

Marvin, we the Alomar family would like to wish you a very happy birthday and thank you for all you have done for the game and all the players. We can only say thank you, Marvin, and still that is not enough. We really are with you and you should be at the Hall of Fame like a true pioneer, for all the opportunities and benefits players have, thanks to you. Thanks once again and very happy birthday.

     — Sandy Sr, Sandy Jr, and Roberto Alomar
     

Marvin, have a Happy 93rd Birthday! You have my vote to be elected into the Hall of Fame. Thank you for being there and representing the players at a time when we really needed help. I didn't realize at the time how beneficial your leadership was, but today, I know and truly appreciate the benefits and pension that you have made available to me. You have helped me and my family have a better quality of life. Thank you again for always being there for the players. Good luck and God Bless.

     — Lou Klimchock
     ’58-’70: A's, Braves, Mets, Senators, Indians

Happy 93rd birthday, Marvin. Thank you for all you accomplished for Major League Baseball. You stood up for us when no one else would. Because of you, all professional athletes now benefit. I thoroughly enjoyed working with you while I was the Expos player rep. God bless. Best regards.

     — Bob Bailey
     

Dear Marvin, have a happy birthday and many more. I thank you every month. Sincerely,

     — Dave Revering
     

Happy Birthday and much gratitude to Marvin Miller. We are very thankful for the efforts and contributions of Mr. Miller to the game of baseball. Thank you again.

     — Elias Sosa
     ' 72-'83: Giants, Cardinals, Braves, Dodgers,
           A's, Expos, Tigers, Padres

I know every pension check I receive brings back memories of my Player Rep days with the Giants. I'll never forget my first year as a rep in 1972 and how you treated every individual as the most important person in that room. There were some pretty distinct things happening in baseball at that time and your valuable information and techniques allowed us, the players, to run the best Players Union in all of sports. I'll never forget one meeting we had with the owners and only 8 Players Reps and yourself. I had something to say, and the owner of the Twins looked at me and said "Son, let me tell you how it works". Marvin, you looked at me and said "Jim, he is not your Dad, don't ever let anyone talk to you that way in negotiations". Marvin, you were and still are the best thing that ever happened to baseball. I'm sure there are 30 teams’ worth of players NOW that will agree, along with a lot of retired ballplayers. Thank you, and Happy Birthday.

     — Jim Barr
     ’71-’83: Giants, Angels

My husband, Don Rowe played for the Mets in 1964 and made little money and no pension. Later he returned to baseball as a coach in the 80's and 90's. Thanks to the changes with the help of Marvin Miller, I now have a wonderful widow's pension for the rest of my life.

     — Marilyn Rowe
     

I was fortunate enough when I had the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues for 17 seasons, but I feel I was one of the lucky ones because I saw baseball from both sides of free agency. I came to the Majors in 1969 with the KC Royals when the minimum salary was $10,000 per year, not per game. It didn’t matter what I made: I was a big leaguer, playing the game we all love. We had a good team early in Kansas City that won the AL West in 1976. I had been married one year and had 6 years of service time. My wife flew for American Airlines: I made $16,000 in 1976, she made $19,000. She had the benefit of her union. We were just getting started.... Needless to say, baseball became a major industry because of the impact of Marvin Miller. Before Marvin was hired as the head of the Players Association, players rarely knew how much money our teammates were making. No one talked about contracts or negotiations simply because we didn’t have any options. How many of you former players were told by your GM not to tell anyone on the team what you made, but that your contract was the best? “We don’t want any bad feelings, so don’t tell anybody that we are really taking care of you”. Yeah, right!... With Marvin leading the way, players were taught about the finances of the game, how much money the owners were making because of our skills, and what a small percentage of those total revenues went towards player salaries. Thank God for Marvin Miller. As former players who know the history of the Players Association, we owe it to the players now, and future players, to tell the story of Marvin Miller. Without his direction and leadership, there would still be a reserve clause, no arbitration, no free agency, and certainly no pension.... I had the honor of sitting in negotiation sessions with Marvin on many occasions and watched firsthand how he battled to represent our interests.... Believe me, he is a Hall of Famer. He helped form the game we know today.... Thank you Marvin from me and my family. You taught us how to stand up and fight for what we deserved.

     — Buck Martinez
     ’69-’86: Royals, Brewers, Blue Jays

Thanks for the opportunity to thank Marvin. I just received my first pension check a month after my 62nd birthday. I remember how important we thought the strike was to our pension plan back it 1972. Thirty eight years later I know firsthand just how important it really was. We all owe so much to him and I appreciate the opportunity to tell him that. Thanks, Marvin. I will never forget what you have meant to me and my family.

     — Tom Grieve
     '70, '72-'79: Senators, Rangers, Mets, Cardinals
     '80-'94: Rangers Farm Director & General Manager
     '95-present: Rangers TV analyst

Marvin represents the good that is happening in baseball. We the players thank Marvin. Happy birthday. I saw the changes in the game firsthand.

     — Dickie Thon
     ’79-’94

Marvin, First I would like to wish you a very Happy Birthday. I would also like to thank you so much for all the great things you did for our association and Major League baseball. There will never be another representative like you. Although I never had the privilege of working directly with you, I reaped the benefits of your tremendous leadership. The players of today will never know the impact you had on this great game. We are forever in your debt. The game misses you and will never be the same without you. May God bless you always and keep you close to Him. Thank you again and again. Always your friend,

     — Rick Dempsey
     

Marvin, Thank you for your guidance. My family wishes you a Happy Birthday, with hopes there will be many more.

     — George Thomas
     ’57-’71

Marvin, If one had to go to war, you couldn’t have a tougher or smarter guy in your foxhole than yourself. When I recall your early days with MLB, I get this grin on my face thinking about what a tremendous force the owners were about to encounter. Thank god you were on our side. Hall of Fame? Absolutely a no brainer!

     — Alan Foster
     ’65-’77: Dodgers, Indians, Angels, Cardinals, Padres

Thank you for letting us see the forest through the trees. Thank you!

     — Ken Smith
     ’81-’83: Atlanta Braves

Happy birthday, Marvin. I was the Player Rep for the Minnesota Twins when the major changes were taking place. They meant a lot to all the players. We cannot express our gratitude to the full extent. Thanks for the hard work.

     — Dave Goltz
     Twins, Dodgers, Angels

Marvin, Thank you for the impact you have had on baseball and all players. Your devoted energy for all of us is very much appreciated. If anyone deserves to be in the Hall of Fame you certainly do. Thank you again and Happy Birthday.

     — Andy Kosco
     '65-'74

Bob, wonderful thought on your site dedicated to this great man. Marvin stood for all of us, regardless of stats. There is no Hall of Fame without Marvin. When he is inducted it would be my pleasure to drive the limo. I love you, Marvin.

     — Al (The Bull) Ferrara
     '63-'70: Padres, Reds

Happy birthday, Marvin! I had the privilege to know and work with you Marvin as a friend and a player rep for a few years. Without you we would not be where our players are today and where baseball would not be as prevalent as it now. You have made a “mark” in life and baseball and I thank you for your courage, tenacity and making your former player a better life. I wish you a wonderful birthday. Fondly,

     — Jerry Moses
     ’65-’75 Red Sox ’65-’69,
          then 7 trades in 5 years

Many thanks to Marvin for all he's done for players, coaches, managers and their families. Because of Marvin's efforts, the Players Association and the players who gave their time, the lives of everybody in the game are better for it. Hope your birthday was a joyous one!

     — Jerry Reuss
     

Happy birthday, Marvin. You have made my retirement years much more enjoyable for my family because of your efforts for our pension plan and health coverage. I thank you every month.

     — Mike Paul
     ’68-’74: Indians, Rangers, Cubs

Happy Birthday, Marvin, and thank you for all you did, not just for me and my family, but for every player who ever suited up. Having seen your affects on the game from both sides, you, my friend, belong in the Hall of Fame, or there should be no Hall. You must know and feel good about the fact that you changed the lives of all players. THANK YOU.

     — Eddie Kasko
     ’57-’66: Cardinals, Reds, Astros, Red Sox
       ’70-’73: Manager, Red Sox

Marvin, Without your help I would never have gotten all of my time in for the pension. Thank You!!! You will never know what this has meant to me and my family. Sincerely and gratefully,

     — Ken Frailing
     

Thanks Marvin. Wish you could have stayed as leader of our Association forever. Thanks again.

     — Mike Hershberger
     ’61-’71: White Sox, A’s, Brewers

I had two occasions during my baseball career to speak with Marvin Miller. Once in 1973 while at Spring Training with the Texas Rangers: he came to talk with both teams that were playing a game that day. We gathered on the grass in centerfield and as we all listened very closely for about 10 minutes the other team’s manager came up (Leo Durocher) and told his players that the meeting was over and to start warming up. Marvin persuasively asked for more time as the grumpy Durocher walked away mumbling something.... The other time was in 1975 while playing with a Japanese professional team they disputed an incentive bonus clause in the contract that was worth $15,000 to me. I had nowhere to turn so I got Marvin’s phone number and called him. He picked up the phone and even though he did not know who I was he acted and sounded as if I were a Hall of Famer. I told him the situation and he said he would contact the Japanese club. They received a letter from Marvin the following week and the next day they paid me my bonus. Not sure what he said but it was obvious that he carried some weight with the Japanese.... I played pro ball from 1965 -1975 and had a “cup of coffee” with the A’s in ‘69 and ‘72. I never qualified for a baseball pension after all that time to enjoy the benefits of a retirement income but I appreciate Marvin Miller and what he did for us players and the game. He has made the biggest impact on the game of anyone not wearing a uniform. He has my vote for the Hall of Fame; he deserves his own wing.... Thanks Marvin!

     — Bill McNulty
     ’65-’75

Thanks for all you did for all us old players. I remember my first year I had been recalled the year before for a few weeks My next recall in May, we were having our first child. We needed 60 days to qualify and contacted Marvin. He said go ahead have the baby your ok. Shortly after that, my wife had our first son. Thanks also for all the benefits we received during your time as our savior.

     — Bobby Wine
     

Thanks Marvin for the marvelous job you did not only for the players but for the game of baseball. They say a rising tide lifts all boats. That's certainly the case in baseball today. The game has grown in direct relationship to the economic growth and equity gains of the players, due to your tenacity and vision. We all owe you a huge debt of gratitude. Wishing you a belated happy birthday and many many more.

     — George Altman
     National League 1959-67

My many thanks to Marvin Miller for what he did for Major League Baseball. Happy Birthday, may you have many more, and my wish for years has been that you should be a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. No one person has had a bigger impact on MLB than Marvin Miller. May God continue to bless him.

     — Phil Roof
     ’60-’77: Braves, Angels, Indians, KC A's, Oak A's,
          Brewers,Twins, White Sox, Blue Jays

I want to express my sincere gratitude to Marvin for being a major part of the growing pains of the major league players union. We had our doubts about staying together to form the union, but Marvin was convinced that was the way to go and took the lead. I've been out of the game a long time but remember meeting him in the spring of '68 in Scottsdale. He gave the appearance of being a very gentle man but I can only imagine what a force he was at the negotiation table.... As the union grew stronger, the players have been able to find the real market for their talents and today most of them have become very wealthy. That is thanks to the efforts of Marvin Miller.... Thank you again for all your hard work and persistence. I'm still receiving a retirement pension and enjoying the health coverage of the major league baseball players benefit plan. Happy birthday and I hope you have many more.

     — Rich Nye
     Cubs, Cards, Expos

Marvin, I collect a much need pension each month thanks to you. For the many players who benefited from your leadership—thanks from the bottom of our hearts. Wishing you God’s richest blessings,

     — Bobby Randall
     ’76-’80

Marvin I would like to wish you a Happy Birthday. I also would like to say Thanks for being there for us.

     — Broderick Perkins
     ’78-’84: Padres, Indians

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARVIN. I will never forget what you did for our game.

     — Don Mincher
     ’60-’72: Twins, Angels, Rangers, Oakland A’s

A class act who has done so much for the players. Thanks for all you did best wishes on your special day. Sincerely,

     — Gary Lavelle
      SF Giants

Marvin, For your impact on labor relationships in this country and for countless other overwhelming attributes you possess, I am just so honored to have been in the league when you were still executive director of the most powerful union in North America. Thank you.

     — Billy Sample
     '78-'86: Rangers, Yankees, Braves

Happy birthday, Marvin! As a Player Rep in the early years it was an experience and enlightening to have worked with you. Thank you for changing the face of the great game of baseball. My hope is that someday all current players will appreciate all you have done for the game they so richly enjoy. God be with you. Thank you.

     — Ken Sanders
     '64-'76

Marvin: Many thanks for all you have done for baseball. Thanks to you, my family and I would like to say baseball has been very very good to us. It is a shame that you are not in the Hall of Fame at this time and I think about it a lot. May you have many more good years. Thanks again.

     — Tom Burgmeier
     '68-'84: Angels, Royals, Twins, Red Sox, A's

I remember the first time Marvin visited spring training and was introduced. Having grown up with a stepfather who was union organizer for the International Associations of Machinists, I was very familiar with the power of unions. In some respects, I agreed with the early needs but was not convinced for the need of them in what is known as the "Players Association". It became obvious as I listened that Marvin was astute, knowledgeable, and deeply committed to bringing all the players living standard to a higher level. As I listened, it became apparent that his belief in us as a unifying group could change the way baseball did its business. As they say, the rest is history and I am deeply appreciative of being the beneficiary of his work and efforts. To you Marvin, I can not thank you enough. It would not have happened without you.

     — Duke Sims
     '64-'74: Indians, Dodgers, Tigers, Yankees, Rangers



     
     



     
     



     
     



     
     



     
     



     
     



     
     



     
     



     
     



     
     



     
     



     
     



     
     









Soul Searching for Hall of Famers

Marvin Miller Belongs in the Hall of Fame
(Jordan Kobritz, 2007)


Miller Oversight a Hall of Fame Shame
(Jordan Kobritz, 2007)


Articles and Documents

Marvin Miller on Wikipedia

Take Me Out of the Hall Game
(Jay Jaffe, baseballprospectus.com, 2008)


Interview with Marvin Miller about 2008 Election
(Jay Jaffe, baseballprospectus.com, 2008)


Miller deserves to be in hall
(Peter Gammons, MLB.COM, 2010)


There's no worse Hall of Fame omission than that of Marvin Miller
(Joe Posnansky, Sports Illustrated, 2010)


Time for Miller's call from the Hall
(Jerry Crasnick, ESPN, 2009)


Ray Grebey's Letters supporting Marvin's Miller's election to the Hall of Fame (2009 & 2010)

Players Need To Make Stand for Marvin Miller
(Allen Barra, New York Sun, 2008)


Miller Not in Hall but in Vincent Book
(Murray Chass on his website, 2010)



Notable Quotables


What! Marvin Miller is not in the Hall of Fame? How can that be? I don't believe it! In my humble opinion regarding the history of this great game there have been three men that have made it better: Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and Marvin Miller. The Baseball Hall of Fame is first a baseball museum but it is also an educational museum. Marvin Miller belongs there. Let’s make sure he gets there.

     — Brooks Robinson
     '55-'77: Baltimore Orioles
     1983: Inducted into the Hall of Fame




Dear Marvin, Here’s hoping you are in good health & good spirit on your 93rd. You have always been and always will be an extraordinary person in my life even though I spent a short time in my life around you. I was the player rep for the Padres in the spring of 1971 when you led us to the first professional athletic strike in any sport – and won after you led us to unanimously agreeing to leave spring training early and went 9 days into the ’71 season. I know you will remember the meeting you called of all the player reps to come to Dallas – the meeting was held at the Dallas airport before the strike. At this meeting you asked all of us reps to individually stand and provide what we thought the moods of our team’s players were regarding going on strike – as you simply stated that the negotiations with the owners were going nowhere and that the only card we had to play was striking – walking out of spring training – now – and that the strike needed to be unanimous. The individual reports from the reps was close to being unanimous as to what we thought our players would be willing to do – but there was hesitance from a couple of reps – rather heated discussion followed on the floor among us reps until you brought order to the meeting once again.... It was at that moment that I believe the world changed for the professional athlete. You, in your magnificent calmness and command of the right words, at the right time stated that we had lost – and that you stated you resigned as the head of our player’s association as of that date – picked up your briefcase and walked out of the room. We were all sitting there with our mouths open – until Tom Haller (an old teammate of mine with the Giants and at that time the player rep for Detroit; an excellent leader bless his heart who passed away a few years ago) rose to his feet, along with Reggie Jackson, and started hollering at all of us, saying “Are we going to let him go or are we going to chase him down the hall and tell him yes we are unanimous?” It then became unanimous – I believe it was Tom that ran down the hall and asked you to come back. I believe that first strike victory (which was a tiny victory) was the beginning of respect for the pro athlete around the world from owners. The first big victory to me was your victory with McNally and Messersmith. You won many for all of us.... One thing for today’s players: Of those 25 player reps that made that stand in 1971, I have been told that over 20 were moved by ownership by either being traded, sent to the minor leagues or released – retaliation from ownership in those days.... So there is always a price for making a stand for what is right – I’m very proud for the opportunity to have been a very small part of what you, Marvin, made possible for all of us.... And I will also close with an apology to you, Marvin. You shared with me after you retired that of all things the association, which never had any retirement benefits of any substance before you came along and never would have had without you, had not included you in the pension plan – hopefully, prayerfully that unbelievable injustice has been corrected! My apology is that I did not follow up to do something until what I am doing right now so that if it hasn’t been corrected we as retired players, and current players make sure that great injustice, has been, or will be corrected. Thank you ol’ friend for enabling me to have the opportunity to have known you. Happy birthday again!

     — Bob Barton
     '65-'74: Giants, Padres, Reds




In 1972 my employer Retirement Plans, Inc. (the MLB Players Pension Planʼs actuary) sent me to New York for an interview with Marvin Miller and Richard Moss for the position of plan administrator for the Pension Committee of the Plan. Fortunately for me and RPI they decided to give this young lady from Cleveland a chance and transferred the administration to RPI (later to become Mercer). It was a great career move for me personally and I had the opportunity to work with and learn from Marvin from that time until his retirement. Marvin was always a fair and reasonable man and never thought one person was better then the next. He wanted to make sure that the players are properly treated and fairly taken care of. I think that one of Marvinʼs many legacies that he instilled in the Players Association and one his successors has continued to adhere to is that the current players must never forget those who preceded them. As a result, whenever the Plan was up for negotiations a request for benefit improvements for prior players was included. The owners agreed and together they have made those improvements that so many of the players, coaches and managers are now enjoying. Thank you Marvin for giving me the opportunity to grow and to meet and work with so many wonderful people in the world of baseball.

     — Angie Rowan
          Plan Administrator for the Pension
          Committee of the Major League Baseball
          Players Benefit Plan, 1972 - 2008



Also, I would like to thank somebody that definitely has had an impact on myself and my family and many ballplayers sitting in this audience today and that was Marvin Miller. I came into the game when I broke into the major leagues, and the minimum salary was $7,000, and I had to go home in the winter time and get a job. And the first year that I was in the big leagues, the job I had was at a service station pumping gas from 3:00 to 9:00pm and closing the service station so Ruth and I could live through the winter until baseball season started. She worked in a bookstore at the college. And because of Marvin's efforts and the people in baseball, we brought that level up to where the players weren't put in that situation. Marvin, I appreciate the job that you have done and the impact that it's had on my family. Thank you.

   — Nolan Ryan, Hall of Fame induction speech, 1999




I am not a former player, just an avid fan of America's Pastime. I feel that in my lifetime (born 1950) the most important person in Major League Baseball is Marvin Miller. I believe that without his leadership there might not be baseball today! The game exists in this age because of him. Case closed.

   — George Fiske (a fan)



Marvin Miller belongs in the Hall of Fame, if the criteria is what impact you had on the sport, whatever way one wants to value that impact.... Yes, Marvin Miller should be in the Hall.

   — Bud Selig (interview with the Major League Baseball Network)



I am so appalled that both Walter O’Malley and Marvin Miller are not in the Hall of Fame.

   — Dick Moss (interview with BizofBaseball.com, 2007)



Marvin Miller changed the face—and the underwear—of professional sports.

   — Anonymous



[Branch] Rickey brought black players into the game, and Miller made them wealthy.

   — Murray Chass, NY Times, 2006



Comments from Fans


When fans of the "great" game of baseball think of its greats, they think of Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron or Willie Mays. None ever stop to think about the person who, next to Robinson, had the largest impact on baseball in the 20th century. It is not due to stupidity; but rather ignorance. Most people are fooling themselves: they are not fans of the game of baseball, but rather just of the players of baseball. One cannot speak of the exclusion of Marvin J. Miller from the Hall of Fame without using the words "injustice" or "travesty." In my opinion, the Hall will lack credibility until Marvin J. Miller is among its members! As a fan of the game of baseball, I wonder what could possibly be the justification for Marvin Miller being excluded from the Hall of Fame. Did he gamble on the game? Did he tarnish the name of baseball? Did he use steroids? I think not! Did he love the game and help make it what it is today? I think so!

   — Ira Polansky




As a baseball fan since 1966 and a union-side labor attorney for the past 22 years, I can without doubt point to Marvin Miller and say: "that's the man who changed baseball for the better in my lifetime." Marvin is right there in the pantheon of non-player baseball immortals along with people like Branch Rickey. When he finally does get elected in 2013, I will make sure to be there to honor him. I hope all baseball players past and present will show up to give thanks for everything they have -- thanks to Marvin (and Curt Flood).

   — Alan M. Compagnon, Esq.