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Happy Labor Day! Marvin Miller, Joe Niekro, Nolan Ryan talk shop

The Stew celebrates Labor Day with several iconic photos of Major League Baseball work stoppages past.

• Joe Niekro is asking, "Is it too much to get my union leader a cup of coffee? Garçon!"

• If Nolan Ryan doesn't get a top-off soon, he's going to put the waitress in a headlock and commence with the noogies. It's also coming out of her tip.

• Marvin Miller is good with just water, thank you. Also, Joe: "garçon" means "boy."

This photo was taken at a Manhattan coffee shop May 22, 1980, about 24 hours before the Major League Baseball Players Association planned to strike. A stoppage was averted early the next morning, but free-agent compensation remained an unresolved issue that would lead to the '81 strike, which lasted 50 days and split that season in two.

Speaking of coffee talk ... :

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Happy Labor Day! Marvin Miller, Joe Niekro, Nolan Ryan talk shop

Larry King: "Why do you drink coffee — and not water — like your predecessor, Marvin Miller?"

Don Fehr: "What does that have to do with the price of collusion, Larry?"

Richard Ravitch: "See? He's hiding something. At least the owners aren't hypocrites about coffee."

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Happy Labor Day! Marvin Miller, Joe Niekro, Nolan Ryan talk shop

A deal was struck in 2002 when players promised to keep playing as long as nobody got naked.

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Happy Labor Day! Marvin Miller, Joe Niekro, Nolan Ryan talk shop

This photo is actually from outside of an Oakland Athletics arbitration hearing in 1974, and it appears Rollie Fingers really wants that cigarette Marvin Miller is smoking.

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Happy Labor Day! Marvin Miller, Joe Niekro, Nolan Ryan talk shop

OK, kids — but only if you take the field in those jorts. This was taken inside the Astrodome, which reminds me of the "Let them play!" part of "Bad News Bears in Breaking Training" (co-starring Bob Watson!).

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Happy Labor Day! Marvin Miller, Joe Niekro, Nolan Ryan talk shop

Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane totally photobombs the appearance of Bud Selig (left) and Don Fehr, who testified before Congress in '94 about the long-term effects of wearing huuuuuuuuuuge glasses.

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Happy Labor Day! Marvin Miller, Joe Niekro, Nolan Ryan talk shop

Fehr really was in Washington to defend the rights of sluggers like Frank Thomas to wear Theo Huxtable swears home from the ballpark. Really, Frank? The '94 strike and that's all you're taking home from Comiskey? You might be away for much, much longer ...

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Happy Labor Day! Marvin Miller, Joe Niekro, Nolan Ryan talk shop

Not only did the owners lock out the players during spring training in 1990, but Fehr was locked out of his apartment for two days and all he had was his sport coat and an apple. Luckily, Selig took pity on him. But Bud knew a big payday was coming, so he was in a sharing mood.

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Happy Labor Day! Marvin Miller, Joe Niekro, Nolan Ryan talk shop

That's a cute button, Randy Martz. He's officially on strike, along with the rest of the players, in 1981.

Martz, incidentally, managed a 3.78 career ERA in 290 2/3 innings, but had just 78 strikeouts to go with 100 walks. How do you do that?

He pitched for the Cubs from 1980-82, then made one start for the White Sox in 1983. After that, like his button says, he was permanently off duty from major league service.

I'm off duty too. Happy Labor Day everyworker! In its honor, don't forget to steeeeeeeeeeeeeerike!

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