Posted by Steve Dilbeck on 11/28/2012 at 7:39 PM
He didn’t look like much of a revolutionary. He looked like an economist, which he was, only with some serious attitude. Kind of bookish, but with an unnerving gleam in his eye.
The last guy you ever wanted to get into a fight with was Marvin Miller. He was a bulldog, feisty and intractable and fearless.
He was 5 feet 8 and 150 pounds. He had silver hair, a thin mustache and looked like somebody who went through three packs a day.
And just might have been the most influential man in sports history.
That’s a pretty subjective claim, of course, but it’s not hard to argue. Miller changed not only the face of baseball — for which he is often given credit — but all American professional sports.
Miller died Tuesday at 95, and you like to think that with his last breath he still uttered a final stinging shot at the baseball establishment.
Incredibly, the Hall of Fame, to its ever-lasting embarrassment, never welcomed Miller. He wasn’t elected when the Veterans Committee consisted largely of former players who benefited from free agency and salary arbitration, the one-two spark that ignited baseball’s skyrocketing salaries.