Baseball Players, Owners, Unions, and Trusts: The Roots and Rise of the Major League Baseball Players Association


This is a rough working draft. Comments are most welcome. Please email them to On April 24, 2012, Marvin Miller delivered a speech at New York University in which he reflected at length on the history of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and his role in the development of the labor union he led from 1966 to 1983. This article is an introduction in two parts to that speech and the panel discussion that followed it. Part I is a chronology of highlights of labor-management relations in major league baseball. Part II draws an inference or two about the MLBPA from events on that timeline. It is not the entire story of organized labor in major-league baseball, or even of Miller and the union he led. But it is enough, I hope, to put his recollections and the subsequent discussion in mature perspective.