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A Whole Different Ball Game: The Inside Story of the Baseball Revolution Paperback – August 12, 2004
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A fascinating account…very well written by the man at the center of it all…. Spiced with hilarious behind-the-scenes anecdotes. (Bookcrossing.Com)
Provides an 'inside' story of baseball….outlines [Miller's] influence and baseball history. (The Bookwatch)
Brutally frank and immensely engrossing. (Kirkus Reviews)
[After Babe Ruth,] the second most influential man in the history of baseball. (Red Barber)
During his sixteen years in the game Marvin Miller was the true commissioner of baseball. (Jim Bouton)
Marvin Miller took on the establishment and whipped them. (Reggie Jackson)
The man did more to change the game in the last 25 years than anyone else. (Bill Madden New York Daily News)
There is no man in our time who has had more impact on the business of baseball than Marvin Miller. (Tom Seaver)
One of the most important [books] ever published about baseball. (Stephen Jay Gould The New York Review Of Books)
Marvin Miller is as important to the history of baseball as Jackie Robinson. (Hank Aaron)
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Top Customer Reviews
Miller didn't care for former baseball commissioners Eckert, Kuhn, and Uberroth. Lord knows why the baseball owners chose Spike Eckert or gave him a seven year contract, but he was only given three years on the job before he was ousted. Eckert probably needed a job when he was hired and is a good example why you shouldn't hire somebody who's unemployed.
Kuhn, a former assistant general counsel to MLB, was probably promoted over his head by a level or two. This is evidenced by his term as commissioner and his subsequent attempts to practice law. He spent only a short time with the first law firm at which he practiced, and the law firm that he founded eventually went bankrupt. Uberroth knew little about baseball. Having lived through all these commissioners I had low regard for the commissioners too, but it was interesting to hear an insider's prospective of them. Miller also thought that Kuhn's book "Hardball" was delusional. There are a few factual errors in the book, but overall a good read.
It was too bad because his work in creating a true baseball player's union revolutionized the game and showed the bargaining power of athletes who work as one voice at the negotiating table.
Miller, with a labor background as chief economist and assistant to the president of the steelworkers' union, became the first executive director of the MLB Players Association in 1966. At this time the team owners controlled the game at all levels - from preventing movement of players from team to team through the reserve clause to hand-picking a liason for the players to management to oversee the miniscule pension plan.
A group of players wanted to break away from being the pawns of management, but it was a tough mountain to climb. And the path may have been paved by an icon in blue pinstripes.
Miller cites aging superstar Mickey Mantle as the key player in setting the foundation for the association. Though Mantle denied it, Miller says the Yankee great delayed his retirement in 1968 so he could give the association his personal vote of confidence, which then weighed heavily on players to favor the plan.
Upon his retirement in 1983, Miller had led the charge to end the reserve clause; arbitration in labor disputes; the right for veteran players to veto trades; an improved pension plan; and, most importantly, the recognition of the players' association as the vehucle to bargain collectively, with players having the right to use agents to negotiate individual contracts.Read more ›
The book begins with the powerless Baseball Union contacting Miller about being its head with a plan to hire Richard Nixon as union councel. Miller quickly spashes the plan to hire Nixon. Miller then finds once hired the union has little money and no power.
He contacts the Topps gum company to get the players more money ($100 and a stack of cards) for using their images on baseball cards, and Topps tells him he has no power and to go away. Miller contacts the players and tells them to not sign their Topps contracts, meaning no contract, no players on Topps cards, and no Topps cards. The players comply, and Topps calls Miller and says, ok you got power, and the players get more money ($1000) and the union does too. Miller never asks the world he asks for the players to be treated fairly.
The owners told Miller the players salary was confidential and he was NOT permitted to have that information. Miller asked each player how much they made and published a copy for each player to see. One Dodger was told he was the 3rd highest player and the team therefore couldn't give him a raise. He was actually 8th. Knowledge is power.
Over the years Miller relates story after story of how he fought for the players and he fought to keep baseball viable. He understood better then anyone how the players, owners and fans were interconnected. He bring forth how he chose to protect the game, from free agency where player has a right to move to another team for a higher salary, but there are limits on their movement so not everyone is a free agent every year.Read more ›
Mr. Miller is definitely to be commended by baseball players and other professional players for bringing them from exploitation to fair market value...with that said, he will never be forgiven by the Owners and thus will never enter the Hall of Fame in his life time...so petty on the owners part...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I provided this book to my son. I have not received his feedback yet. I see that he is reading it, and is pursuing the field in other resources.Published 17 months ago by Charles Ojeda
It always amazes me at how many baseball purists feel Miller is a "villain" in the history of our favorite game. Read morePublished on May 14, 2013 by Harry Lime
An excellent read. Only disagree with his take on Pete Rose. He doesn't pull any punches and it is nearly a crime that he is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.Published on December 20, 2012 by Steve Nelson