Marvin Miller, the legendary labor organizer who grew Major League Baseball's players from puppets into what was often called the strongest union in America, died Tuesday morning. He was 95.
Over his 17 years as leader of the Major League Baseball Players Association, Miller instilled confidence in what was a fractured group of players and fear in ownership, preaching the strength of unity. During his tenure through 1982, Miller oversaw MLB's first collective-bargaining agreement, gained free agency for players, weathered three strikes and two lockouts, and positioned the players to reap the benefits they do today, when the average major league salary is more than $3.4 million.
"There was nothing noble about what we did," Miller said in a May interview with Yahoo! Sports. "We did what was right. That was always at the heart of it."
Baseball's era of labor discord has evolved into one of peace that's now deep into its second decade. Miller's disciple and successor, Don Fehr, negotiated a new CBA following the season-ending strike in 1994, and current union head Michael Weiner has struck the latest two deals, the most recent of which runs through the 2016 season.
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