|2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites #80 Marvin Miller|
No man in the history of baseball changed the way the business of the game is changed today than the man you see above. He helped end the reserve clause, which now allows players to move freely from team to team via free agency (source: 2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites #80).
Not only did he change the course of baseball history, but he was the man that challenged the monopoly that Topps had over the baseball card industry as well. Read any of the books that are out there about baseball cards (The Card, Mint Condition, even Card Sharks), and you will find that it was Mr. Miller that convinced that the players could earn a lot more for their likenesses on items like Topps cards after finding that the players were being taken advantage of via Topps' compensation (which was either a small amount of money derisively called "steak money" to a catalog of appliances). Taking on Sy Berger, Miller successfully convinced the players that they could get more than a toaster for signing the Topps contract. After the players went along with it, Berger had to comply (read the books, I'm just going on memory here). Every major league player owes Miller a debt of gratitude for the benefits he helped provide.
It is rare on this humble, little blog that we pay tribute to people who pass away. But it is because of all that Marvin Miller had accomplished as the Executive Director of the MLB Players Association that he is being honored here today. Maybe now, just like another player who was denied entry into Baseball's Hall of Fame, he will be formally inducted into Cooperstown. Our condolences to his family and friends.