NEW YORK —
“Marvin possessed a combination of integrity, intelligence, eloquence, courage and grace that is simply unmatched in my experience,” said Donald Fehr, a successor to Miller as union head. “Without question, Marvin had more positive influence on Major League Baseball than any other person in the last half of the 20th century.”
Yet baseball’s Hall of Fame refused to vote him in, despite five appearances on the ballot.
“I and the union of players have received far more support, publicity and appreciation from countless fans, former players, writers, scholars, experts in labor management relations, than if the Hall had not embarked on its futile and fraudulent attempt to rewrite history,” Miller said after falling one vote shy in 2010. “It is an amusing anomaly that the Hall of Fame has made me famous by keeping me out.”
Miller’s next opportunity for election is December 2013.
Former Commissioner Peter Ueberroth said Miller should be inducted “without question.”
“He changed the game of baseball,” Ueberroth said. “He was very tough, but he was very fair in the end.”
Miller was born in New York, the son of a salesman in the heavily unionized garment district. He was born with a withered right arm, which didn’t prevent him from playing tennis into his 90s. His mother was a schoolteacher. He studied economics at Miami University in Ohio and New York University.
He entered the labor field in 1950 as an associate director of research for the United Steelworkers Union. In 1960, he was promoted to assistant to union president David McDonald. When McDonald lost a hotly contested election, Miller began looking for a new job.
Miller remained current on baseball events right up until his death, never hesitating to criticize owners for collusion and the union for agreeing to drug testing.
While baseball has had labor peace since 1995, turmoil has engulfed the other major U.S. pro leagues in recent years.