By Ken Reed
He gave players freedom and made the game of baseball better for all stakeholders.
Marvin Miller, the former players union head who negotiated the right to free agency for players, as well as salary and grievance arbitration opportunities, was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Sunday by the veterans committee.
“These changes resulted in a vastly more competitive game, fan interest, and increased wealth for all, including the owners of baseball clubs,” said Miller’s son Peter in 2013 .
“Although he enjoyed the recognition, my father did what he did not for fame and glory, but for justice and for equitable labor-management relations. To treat that as something of lesser value than personal fame is really to dishonor him and the players.”
Miller, who died in 2012 at age 95, had previously fallen short of the needed votes to enter the Hall on numerous occasions because baseball owners and executives on the voting committees remained bitter about his negotiation success on behalf of Major League players.
It’s shameful that Miller will enter the Hall 12 years after former baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn, whom Miller routinely bested during labor negotiations and work stoppages.
The indisputable fact is Marvin Miller is the person most responsible for helping baseball players earn their fair share of baseball revenues, while also giving them the opportunity to ply their craft where they want to via the free agency system.
“You know, Rusty Staub once said before he died that every player should be forced, before they sign a contract, to sign a thank-you note to Marvin Miller,” said Gene Orza, Miller’s longtime friend and colleague at the players’ union. “All players (owe a debt of gratitude for) all the money spent on players. That’s part of the legacy that all the players owe to Marvin.”
And though Miller asked before he died to no longer be considered for the Hall, calling the process “a farce,” it’s great to know that he will soon be in the Hall of Fame. Miller will be enshrined on July 26, 2020.
Baseball will become a better institution on that day.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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