Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy Labor Day from the MLBPA

The MLBPA is, of course, the Major League Baseball Players Association, the professional baseball players union. Being this is Labor Day, a holiday celebrating the American labor movement, what better day to discuss unionized baseball?

The MLBPA was founded in 1953 according to Wikipedia. Wikipedia sums up the first 13 years of the union with the words "The MLBPA was created in 1953". I guess nothing much happened until 1966 when the union hired Marvin Miller to be its Executive Director. Miller came from the United Steelworkers of America, one of the strongest unions in the country in 1963.

Miller is the guy on the far right.

Miller brought everything you associate with labor unions to baseball: collective bargaining agreements, minimum wages (which for baseball players in 1966 were $6,000), player strikes and lock-outs. Like it or not, Marvin Miller has made as big an impact on baseball as any of the great players or teams.

My plan for this post was to show baseball cards for team's player representatives. I don't think these guys are a secret but I could not find such a list on the web. I even sent an email to the MLBPA asking for a list, to which I got no reply. So this post will be pretty short.

The current Executive Director is Tony Clark, the first actual baseball player to hold the position.

Clark had a 19-year career. He was the Tigers 1st round pick in 1990 and made his ML debut in 1995. After 7 years with the Tigers he played for the Red Sox, the Mets, the Yankees, the Padres, the Diamondbacks and the Mets. He had a career BA of .262 and hit 251 home runs.

He got the top union job in December 2013, after the previous director, Michael Weiner died of a brain tumor after 4 years in the post. Clark had been the Deputy Executive Director. He is the 8th Executive Director of the MLBPA.

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