Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thoughts On The Passing Of Marvin Miller

Until I heard of his death yesterday, I hadn't thought much about Marvin Miller since the last players strike, and when I thought about him then I wondered if he would have handled that conflict differently than Donald Fehr had. I concluded that he would not have. He would have left me as angry about the situation as Fehr had.


Anger was only the tip of the iceberg of feelings I experienced for a few days during the 1985 baseball season.   Prior to that I had been planning the very first vacation trip of my young working life. I had booked a trip to Boston through a travel company that specialized in baseball-themed trips. The trip included  games at Fenway Park between the Red Sox and Yankees, as well as tours of the city and other fun events. I was so excited that I could hardly contain myself. It was also going to be the first plane ride of my life, and I couldn't wait to add flying to my "been there, done that" list.

But several weeks before the trip news started to swirl that the MLB Players Association was planning a strike. Another strike! I worried that the trip would be canceled. I alternated between wanting to cry and  wanting to scratch Marvin Miller's eyes out.

But a week before my trip, it was announced that the strike had been averted. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and went off on my trip, not caring that a strike was still possible later in the year. In fact, the players did strike for two days later that year, two days that I don't even remember.

Of course, the biggest work stoppages were yet to come, and Marvin Miller's influence fell on them all, both directly and indirectly. The players are indebted to Miller because of it. I'm not so sure about us fans.

RIP, Marvin Miller.

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