Richie Phillips, who was head of the umpires' union for more than 20 years, died last Friday at the age of 72, FOX Sports reported.
Phillips became the general counsel and executive director for the Major League Umpires Association in 1978. He led several work stoppages for improved salaries and benefits.
He was removed from his position after recommending that umpires resign in 1999 as a negotiating ploy.
According to the report, when Phillips began, rookie umpires earned $17,500 a year and most veterans made $40,000. By the end of his tenure, umpires earned a minimum of $95,000 and some made as much as $282,500 and got postseason bonuses.