April 11, 1966: Players elect Marvin Miller as their executive director

On April 11, 1966, following his appointment by the Executive Board and ratification votes at each of the 20 Spring Training camps, it was announced that the players had voted to elect Marvin Miller as the Players Association's new executive director, 489-136.

Recruited by a four-person committee that included Jim Bunning, Bob Friend, Harvey Kuenn and Robin Roberts, Miller had been appointed executive director on March 5, pending the ratification votes at each stop on his Spring Training tour that spring.

The election of Miller, a 48-year-old economist for the United Steelworkers of America, the third largest union in the country, wasn't a sure thing by any stretch of the imagination. Owners and their representatives were adamantly against him and spoke out forcefully. Players, few of whom came from union backgrounds, were unsure about Miller themselves.

In fact, touring the California- and Arizona-based Spring Training camps first, Miller lost the vote decisively, 102-17, with each of the four clubs' votes conducted by their managers -- Bill Rigney (Angels), Leo Durocher (Cubs), Herman Franks (Giants) and Birdie Tebbetts (Indians).

But the player representatives, led by Roberts and Bunning, pushed hard with their teammates on the 16 remaining teams in Florida, and Miller prevailed.

"Had I been less exhausted, I would have been overjoyed," Miller recalled in his biography, "A Whole Different Ballgame."

As a result of the vote, Miller was given a 2 1/2 year contract at $50,000 per year and a $20,000 expense budget beginning July 1, 1966. When Miller officially came on board, the union had just $5,300 in its coffers.

The average player salary was $19,000 in 1966, but by the time Miller retired in 1982, it would be $240,000.